A so called ‘visa-fixer’ has been caught on camera offering to arrange false paperwork for skilled and student visas in exchange for cash sums of up to $50,000. The ‘fixer’ told an undercover operative he could arrange fake job offers and paperwork from employers he knew in Sydney and Melbourne in order to falsify requirements for an Australian visa.
Jasvinder Sidhu, a prominent member of Melbourne’s Indian community who helped to expose the ‘visa fixer’, said he personally knew of at least 40 Indians who paid large cash sums to obtain fake skilled and student visas in an effort to get permanent residency, with some remaining silent against unfair pay and work conditions, and sometimes physical and sexual abuse by their employers, in order to gain permanent residency.
Following the scam, FairFax has questioned the Department of Immigration’s internal visa fraud processes after it identified that Immigration Department Chief Michael Pezzullo referred 132 cases of suspected corruption inside the Department to the national corruption watchdog, the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI).
Latest update 28 June, 2016:
The Department of Immigration has corrected FairFax’s statement about suspected corruption within the Department, clarifying that “the vast majority of referrals to the ACLEI since 1 July 2015 related to individuals either claiming to represent the Department or in a very small number of cases individuals working within the Department.” The Department also claimed that allegations referred to ACLEI do not equate to actual instances of criminality, fraud or corruption, stating “many are yet to be assessed for veracity.”
In response to the recent media interest in fraudulent 457 work visas, the Department of Immigration stated visa fraud is a high operational priority, and since forming the new Department on 1 July 2015, it has introduced measures to identify, target and respond to serious misconduct, fraud and corruption in the immigration and visa system and increased its resources to investigate visa applications.
Source: ABC News