Australia’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) are warning those thinking of applying for a visa to be wary of unscrupulous immigration agents.
The warning comes after a former Sydney-based agent, Jingyi Wang, was formally de-registered following claims of fraudulent documentation associated with his clients’ visa applications.
Investigations of two complaints affecting 12 clients by the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) led to the cancellation of Mr Wang’s agent’s registration.
The Office of the MARA found he had failed to act in accordance with his clients’ instructions by lodging applications to a skills assessing body without their knowledge, consent or authority.
“In Australia, only people who are registered as migration agents with the Office of the MARA can give immigration assistance and charge a fee or reward for doing so,” said a DIAC spokesman.
“Registered migration agents are bound by a code of conduct and are required to provide immigration assistance services in accordance with the professional standards as set out in the code,” they added.
Currently there are more than 4,800 registered migration agents in Australia and overseas who can provide immigration assistance.
You can find out whether an individual is registered as a migration agent by visiting the official MARA website at www.mara.gov.au.