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Posts Tagged ‘migration agents’

WA will be able to handpick permanent migrants to service the booming resources sector and other areas of critical need under a massive overhaul of the skilled migration program to be unveiled today.

Under the changes, Immigration Minister Chris Evans will revoke and refund 20,000 applications from would-be skilled migrants and instead give top priority to those who are sponsored by employers and States for high-level jobs.

The overhaul is geared towards making Australia’s skilled migration super-responsive to urgent shortfalls in qualified mining and health sector workers, while also tightening permanent visa criteria for overseas students studying courses in low skill occupations.

Senator Evans will immediately abolish the Migration Occupations in Demand List, which gazettes 106 areas of preferred workers, replacing it by April with a more targeted Skilled Occupations List drawn up by the independent Federal authority Skills Australia in consultation with the States and business.

It means doctors, nurses, engineers and high-value professions and trades will have priority over low-skilled workers such as hairdressers and chefs.

In WA, as yesterday’s Olivier Jobs Index showed, the most sought after workers are in engineering, trades and services, and building.

In a marked departure from the existing skilled migration scheme, States will be asked to draw up their own migration plans to allow fast-tracking of applications for migrants sponsored by States or companies for specific jobs.

The bar will be raised for unsponsored skilled migration applicants, with criteria such as proficiency in the English language, work experience and overseas qualifications to be made tougher.

The overall annual skilled migration intake will remain unchanged at 108,100 people.

The changes are likely to have a significant impact on the burgeoning multi-billion-dollar overseas student market where hundreds of thousands of foreign students have come to Australia to undergo trades training, enticed by the prospect of permanent residency.

The Government believes such courses are skewing the migration program, leaving new permanent residents with poor English and little prospect of finding work in their nominated field of expertise.

Foreign students in Australia studying in areas dumped from the new skilled occupation hit list will be given 18 months after completion of their studies to find sponsorship from an employer or sent home.

The Government believes the new regime will help the clampdown on unscrupulous migration agents, many of whom are Indian-based, who con students into believing completion of an Australian course gives automatic entitlement to permanent residence. 

The bar will be raised for unsponsored skilled migration applicants, with criteria such as proficiency in the English language, work experience and overseas qualifications to be made tougher.

The overall annual skilled migration intake will remain unchanged at 108,100 people.

The changes are likely to have a significant impact on the burgeoning multi-billion-dollar overseas student market where hundreds of thousands of foreign students have come to Australia to undergo trades training, enticed by the prospect of permanent residency.

The Government believes such courses are skewing the migration program, leaving new permanent residents with poor English and little prospect of finding work in their nominated field of expertise.

Foreign students in Australia studying in areas dumped from the new skilled occupation hit list will be given 18 months after completion of their studies to find sponsorship from an employer or sent home.

The Government believes the new regime will help the clampdown on unscrupulous migration agents, many of whom are Indian-based, who con students into believing completion of an Australian course gives automatic entitlement to permanent residence.

Source  :  www.thewest.com.au

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Immigration to our shores is running at record levels and so too is the boom in illegal immigrants.

Some are scamming permanent residency is to catch and marry single Aussies. Immigration officials are cracking down on fake marriages, but  sometimes impossible to know when love is true or false. 

Over the last ten years spousal visa applications to Australia jumped from 26,000 to 40,000 a year. Many phoney fiancés and spouses were kicked out last year. 

Less than three per cent of applicants are investigated. 

The process requires foreign spouses to live with their partner for two years and they may be tested on their truthfulness by the Bona Fide units, set up in states across the country.

Differentiating between love and fraud is not a given, what we are interested in determining is that the evidence and the paperwork and the documentation put before us is true and accurate that it is not a forged document. 

They’re even more brazen in India where migration agents and internet surfers state plainly what they want, with posts including: “Paper marriage for Australia” and “Looking for a girl to do a paper marriage just to get residency in Australia.” 

The Times of India newspaper detailed how brides and grooms are contracted to marry, just so they can move here. 

If they are operating in India, or in China, or in Canada, or in the UK or anywhere overseas, our laws don’t control their activities

Act, under visa fraud it can include cancellation of the visa, and ultimately removal from the country. In the least we can refuse and we often do in 3000 instances to grant a visa in the last financial year. 

Dob-In Line: 1800 009 623

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The professional association representing migration agents, the Migration Institute of Australia, is concerned about allegations raised on tonight’s Four Corners program on migration and education scams.

“Unfortunately, hearing reports about international students and visa applicants falling prey to unscrupulous operators is not a new issue”, says Maurene Horder, CEO of the Migration Institute of Australia.

In May 2008, the MIA reported 60 rogue agents from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship and is unaware if any of these were prosecuted.

Any unethical or illegal behaviour by registered migration agents is not tolerated by the Institute and should be cracked down on by the Department.

“We’ve been asking government to sort out problems with education agents and illegal or unscrupulous operators for an extended period of time. The announcement that education agents will have a register is a first step but doesn’t go far enough in reforming the sector,” says Ms Horder.

A recent independent report, entitled Changing Together, confirms the nature of some of the problems which affects the profession – that the bad behaviour of a minority of unscrupulous operators’ impacts negatively on the entire migration advice profession.

“Following the report’s release, the MIA is acting on a comprehensive range of reforms to strengthen standards and ethics of migration agents.” says Ms Horder. These include:

• Comprehensive reform to the education and training of agents
• Requiring current Registered Migration Agents to requalify to a higher standard of English language and professional competence
• Introduce a tiered system of registration to protect consumers
• Formation of an independent complaints body with the power to review fees

Responsibility for change should be shared by education providers, the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

“I wait with interest to see tonight’s Four Corners episode and hope that it will provide an added impetus for the key stakeholders to come together and develop appropriate policies to meet Australia’s educational and immigration interests without anyone being exploited.”

  • Source  :  www.mia.org.au
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    Migration agents operating in Australia are required by law to be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (Office of the MARA).

    Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (Office of the MARA)

    Prior to 1 July 2009, the MIA acted as the MARA under a Deed of Agreement between the MIA and the department. The 2007-08 Review of Statutory Self-Regulation of the Migration Advice Profession, which was undertaken to assess the effectiveness of the regulatory scheme, recommended that the government consider establishing a regulatory body separate from the MIA.

    In response to the review recommendation, the Minister announced the establishment of the Office of the MARA as a discrete office attached to the department and headed by a specifically designated senior officer solely responsible for Office of the MARA activities. The new body is located in Sydney and assumed functions from the MIA from 1 July 2009.

    The Office of the MARA is supported by a representative advisory board, which includes a nominee from the MIA, a nominee from the Law Council of Australia, a consumer advocate and a community representative.

    The Office of the MARA undertakes a range of functions including:

    • processing registration and re-registration applications
    • administering the profession’s entrance exam and continuing professional development program
    • monitoring the conduct of registered migration agents
    • investigating complaints about registered migration agents
    • taking appropriate disciplinary action against registered migration agents who breach the migration agents Code of Conduct or otherwise behave in an unprofessional or unethical way.

    See: Office of the MARA website

    Source  :  http://www.immi.gov.au/gateways/agents/regulation-of-advice-profession.htm

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    Down Under Live!, the UK’s biggest event for Australia and New Zealand returns to London in 2010 at the Business Design Centre in Islington.

    The show will be bigger and better, with dedicated travel, working visa and recruitment zones, as well as the best advice and help for anyone planning the move of a lifetime down under.

    Come and listen to our dedicated migration seminar programme, where visitors to the show can hear from recognised migration experts on every aspect of making the move of a lifetime. Topics covered include the visa process, how to avoid paying too much to have your goods shipped overseas and specialist areas such as healthcare and schooling.

    State Governments such as South Australia will be on hand to discuss job opportunities, and highlight the best that their state has to offer migrants from the UK.

    This is the ONLY show for Australia and New Zealand. Make sure you’re there.

    COMING SOON! Check back regularly for exhibitor and seminar programme updates

    January 30th – 10.30am to 5.30pm
    January 31st – 10am to 4.30pm
    Tickets from £5 per person. Under 16’s are admitted free.

    SKILLED MIGRANTS! IF you are under 45, and are skilled in areas such as nursing, healthcare, engineering, construction, IT or finance, then you may qualify for a FREE ticket.

    Source  :  www.downunderlive.co.uk

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    alliedhealth4Skilled health professionals in the west of the UK are being given the chance to find out about a new life in Australia at the Down Under Live event in Cardiff. on the 11th July. 

    There is currently a significant shortage of doctors, medical specialists and nurses in Australia, particularly in regional areas. One of Australia’s leading healthcare recruitment companies, HealthStaff Recruitment, will be coming from Australia to interview candidates for positions in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and other cities.

    Candidates will also be able to talk to a range of companies that will make the move possible, including migration agents, state governments, banks and shipping companies.

    Tickets are free to any skilled professionals in the healthcare professions. For further information or to apply for tickets, go to www.emigrationseminars.com/cardiff.php

    Source  :  www.australiamagazine.co.uk

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    Foreign students could be forced to leave – Research your migration agent first

    SCORES of foreign students, suspected of using bogus documents to support permanent residency applications, have been discovered by Federal Government migration fraud investigators.

    More than 60 students, whose documents were initially accepted as genuine by the Government, will be forced to leave Australia if they are unable to prove their documents are authentic.

    It is the latest indication that rorting in the lucrative $15.5 billion international education industry — the nation’s third-biggest export earner — is a serious problem, which could undermine the integrity of Australia’s education and immigration systems.

    The students are suspected of using fake references from employers, which claim to show they have 900 hours’ work experience in a job related to their area of study.

    Foreign students are required to provide evidence of 900 hours’ work experience to support their applications for permanent residency.

    Sources in the international education industry have told The Age some students pay up to $20,000 to rogue college operators or middlemen, such as unscrupulous migration agents or education agents, to obtain fake paperwork.

    Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) is the body nominated by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship to assess skills, including those of foreign students. Under the Australian migration system, a successful skills assessment by TRA can be used by foreign students to support their permanent residency applications.

    In the last financial year, TRA received 34,180 applications for skills assessment, about 10,000 of which were from foreign students. TRA initially accepted the documents of the students in question as genuine. But after the Federal Government received information suggesting their paperwork could be bogus, it sent letters to the students threatening to revoke their successful skills assessments if they did not prove their documents were authentic within 28 days.

    More than 60 such letters have been sent to foreign students since the start of the year, with 48 sent last month alone.

    The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, which investigates matters relating to international education refuses to say how many students have already had successful skills assessments revoked.

    “Disclosing departmental actions as part of quality control and fraud measure could adversely impact on the administration of the program,” the department said in a statement to The Age.

    The students are believed to be either close to the expiry of their student visas or on bridging visas. Either way, they will be expected to leave the country within 28 days if they are unable to prove their documents are genuine.

    The identification of students suspected of using bogus documents follows the discovery of an alleged racket uncovered by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship in March.

    Three migration agents were allegedly providing fake documentation to support permanent residency applications for foreign students based on their claimed skills in a number of occupations, including cooking, hairdressing, horticulture work and car mechanics.

    Investigations are continuing into possible offences relating to forgery and migration fraud, which carry penalties of up to 10 years’ imprisonment.

    Source  :  www.theage.com.au

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