Prospective migrants invest a good deal of time, money, and energy into converting their dream of a new life abroad into reality. Unfortunately for some, they will fall victim to one of many scams infiltrating the migration advice industry.
Migration Fraud is big business for fraudsters, who usually only have one of two objectives – to get your hard earned cash and/or to obtain your personal details.
Feeling overwhelmed by the maze and minefield of the migration process, you’ve engaged an agent that can guarantee that you will get a visa to Australia, or that their offer is a “once in a lifetime opportunity”, or better still, your only chance to migrate to Australia.
You begin to feel reassured and you trust your agent. You agree to hand over a princely sum and every piece of personal information (required to steal your identity) to process your visa application, but before you can say visa to Australia, you realise you’ve been had.
Your agent has disappeared, along with all your money and your identity.
Migration agents who operate in Australia must be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA). If they operate without being registered they are breaking the law and a penalty of up to 10 years jail can apply.
Migration agents who operate outside of Australia are not required to be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA). Consumers should heed the warning – protect yourself and don’t become a victim of Migration Fraud.
If you are located outside of Australia, for peace of mind, and for your own protection, ALWAYS engage a Migration Agent who is registered with MARA.