Australia Immigration

Further warnings issued over Australian migration agents

by Ray Clancy on October 21, 2014

in Australia Immigration, Immigration Documentation

Visa applicants using migration agents in Australia are again being urged to make sure they are registered and also acting lawfully following yet another cancellation.

Assistant Immigration and Border Protection Minister Michaelia Cash says that even if the agents have an aura of respectability, it is their conduct that matters.

scam

“Fraudulent visa applications attempt to undermine the integrity of Australia’s immigration system” said Immigration Minister Michaelia Cash

In the latest case, the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) found that Issam Sam Issa, a lawyer and migration agent, encouraged and assisted clients to fabricate claims for protection visas in order to remain in Australia.

Cash said the migration agent had not only acted unlawfully, but had not provided immigration assistance which was in the best interests of his clients.

‘This former agent lodged applications with little or no prospect of success and created statements purporting to have originated from his clients. His conduct fell well short of the standards set out under the Code of Conduct for registered migration agents and he posed a serious risk to consumers,’ explained Cash.

She pointed out that the former agent had failed to demonstrate that he understood the significant level of trust his clients placed in him as a migration agent.

‘Fraudulent visa applications attempt to undermine the integrity of Australia’s immigration system – fraudsters should understand that under this Government they will be pursued and they will be brought to justice,’ she said.

She added that only people who are registered with the Office of the MARA are permitted to give immigration assistance. Registered agents must also meet a Code of Conduct and be a fit and proper person to provide immigration assistance.

There are more than 5,000 registered migration agents in Australia and overseas who can provide immigration assistance. People wishing to find out whether an individual is registered as a migration agent can do so by visiting the MARA website.

Meanwhile, a new framework for policing services for immigration detention facilities in New South Wales has come into effect after a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and New South Wales Police Force for policing services to Immigration Detention Facilities (IDFs) in New South Wales was signed in Sydney.

Developed cooperatively among the three parties, the agreement will formalise police response arrangements should an incident occur in an immigration detention facility in New South Wales, clarifying roles and responsibilities for all parties.

‘While maintaining the good order of an immigration detention facility is the responsibility of the detention services provider, we recognise there may be circumstances under which a police presence may be required, for example, in the case of a major disturbance or an alleged criminal act,’ said Acting Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Mark Cormack.

He added that the signing ensures there is a robust understanding between the department, AFP and the New South Wales Police Force in responding to such incidents.

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