Visa scam foiled

A 47-year-old Melbourne woman was sentenced to 18 months’ jail and a three-year good behaviour bond with a $2000 fine in the County Court of Victoria yesterday, after being convicted of visa fraud.

Following an investigation by the Department, the woman was charged with one count of dishonestly influencing a Commonwealth Official, contrary to section 135.4 (7) of the Criminal Code.

The woman was one of a group of people charged with providing students on temporary visas with false work references, for a fee, to support their case for permanent skilled migration to Australia.

Australian Border Force Commander Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Anthony Seebach, said the investigation found that the false work references had been submitted as part of Trades Recognition Australia assessments for more than 100 skilled visa applications.

“The Australian Border Force – the Department’s operational enforcement arm – actively investigates and prosecutes people who are found to be defrauding the immigration system,” Commander Seebach said.

“This type of fraud is not only unscrupulous, it’s unfair. It gives some people an advantage in the visa application process over others who abide by the law.

“Visa applicants who engage in this type of fraud against the Commonwealth are likely to have their visa refused and be subject to an exclusion period restricting them from returning to Australia.

“The Australian Border Force works closely with other government agencies, both federal and state, to identify potential instances of fraud against the Commonwealth.”

Source: DIBP Newsroom