DIAC warns against using apps for visa advice

by Ray Clancy on June 6, 2012

in Australia Immigration

Using apps for visa advice increases risk of being conned, claims DIAC

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) is warning that people using tablets and smartphones for advice on applying for a visa are more at risk of being conned.

Providers offering advice via mobile applications are often unregistered and users could be exposed to false information and guarantees, it says.

‘Tablet and smartphone apps are another avenue that scammers and unscrupulous operators have explored in a similar manner to unsolicited phone calls and hoax emails,. These applications should be ignored and deleted,’ a DIAC spokesman said.

The department pointed out that only registered migration agents are qualified under Australian law to provide advice regarding migration or visa applications.

‘We are aware of a number of mobile applications that offer guides to the unwary about applying for a visa where the applicant might not have sufficient evidence or tips about how to speed up visa applications,’ the spokesman explained.

‘Not only would the information provided be potentially false or misleading, but may also jeopardize a genuine application. The department warns that the risks are high for those who seek to defraud the system,’ he pointed out.

‘The unlawful provision of immigration assistance by unregistered people can adversely affect the lives of our clients and challenges the very integrity of Australia’s migration and visa programmes,’ the spokesman added.

The department encourages members of the public to report unregistered people offering migration advice to DIAC by telephone or through its website so that appropriate action can be taken to protect consumers.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: