Warning about Spouse Visa Scams
A 32- year- old Indian national- Jagjit Singh has faced court over allegations of organizing marriage visa scams that targeted South Asians, who were willing to pay large sums of money to remain in Australia. The charge Mr Singh faces carries a maximum penalty of up to $210,000 and/or 10 years imprisonment. Four others also appeared in court for allegedly convincing Australian citizens to marry the prospective partner visa applicants. They were charged under the Migration Act and Criminal code.
The Australian Border Force says a total of 164 partner visa applications have been refused after they were found to be linked to the syndicate.
In February last year, a Queensland couple was jailed over a similar visa-marriage scam after being found guilty of organising 16 sham marriages, mostly involving Indian men desperate to stay in Australia. However, earlier this year, the couple won an appeal against their conviction and a retrial in just one case of alleged fake marriage was ordered.
According to Australian Border Force Commander Clinton Sims, these types of scams generally target vulnerable young women, mostly from disadvantaged and low socio-economic backgrounds as the foreign nationals desperate to stay in Australia generally pay a significant sum of money for such arrangements. He also added “Protecting the integrity of the visa system is an operational priority for the ABF and anyone found to be involved in, or facilitating sham marriages should expect to be investigated and face criminal prosecution. Registered agents and marriage celebrants also face losing their registration.”
Other visa scam stories
- Tricked by a non-genuine website and pay a big amount of fee for a false advertisement
- Employed unregistered migration agent to lodge a visa application and lost money or/and an opportunity to come to Australia
- Listened to bad advice from a friend and submitted false information
- Online romance turned out to be scams
How to avoid being a victim of these scams:
- Avoid giving any personal contact in illegal ads.
- Only refer to the legally registered migration companies and their agents for migration advices.
- Always check the MARN or Migration Agent registration Number of your agent
- Acknowledge the visa requirements, the conditions and obligations
- Do not transfer any money to unknown receivers and keep the receipts of all transactions carefully.