People from Malaysia planning to work in Australia are being reminded that they need to obtain the appropriate visa before travelling and that visas are not for sale.
The warning from the Australian High Commission comes after a number of high profile cases where groups of illegal workers from the country have been found without the correct documentation and it is warning that people should be aware of scams offering visas for sale.
‘Most Malaysians are able to travel to Australia on an Australian Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). However, the ETA is intended for tourism and does not carry any right to work in Australia,’ said a statement from the Commission.
The Commission also warned that there are currently facilitators in Malaysia organising flights to Australia for people wanting to work and telling them they can do so with an ETA. ‘This is a scam attempting to intentionally mislead people, often for money or other personal gain. An ETA does not permit you to undertake paid work such as fruit picking in Australia,’ the statement explained.
‘Don’t be fooled by these scams. If you work in Australia in breach of your visa conditions, you may be detained and removed, and subject to a three year exclusion period. It is your responsibility to know what your visa allows you to do while in Australia,’ it added.
In the most recent case earlier this month nine Malaysians were found to have overstayed their visas and three others were working in breach of their visas, including the ETA.
‘The Australian government is determined to prevent the exploitation of foreign workers in Australia. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection through its operational arm, the Australian Border Force, targets illegal workers and employers to stop visa fraud and exploitation of foreign workers,’ the statement continued.
Officials believe that some Malaysians are being tricked into scams in which agents offered visas for sale for the purpose of working but when they arrive in Australia they are paid very low wages, sometimes no wages, and provided with sub-standard accommodation.
Foreign nationals caught working illegally are detained and usually deported from Australia. They also face sanctions which could affect any future desire to return to Australia and could be charged for the costs of removing them from the country.