In Zhang v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection  FCA 921 the client argued that the Migration Agent acted fraudulently in connection to an IELTS document and that the client had no involvement or knowledge of the fraud.
In contrast to Trivedi, where it was alleged that a fraud had been carried out by an IELTS agent without the applicant’s knowledge, that in this case the fraud had been perpetrated directly against the visa applicant, and that the visa applicant was himself a victim of the fraud; that the applicant had not authorized the “migration agent” to arrange for an imposter to sit the IELTS exam and to falsely attribute the results achieved by the imposter to the visa applicant; and that the “migration agent” had completely deceived the visa applicant, and that the applicant had no “hint” that there had been any fraud on the part of the “agent”.
The Federal Court (Judge Griffiths) held that under Trivedi, it is not “material” whether the visa applicant knows about fraudulent conduct on the part of an “agent”. Therefore, even if an applicant is completely unaware that a bogus document has been submitted to the Department on her/his behalf, and finds him/herself completely “shocked and surprised” when notified by the Department that a bogus document has been submitted in support of her/his application, the applicant will nonetheless suffer refusal under PIC 4020.
So the moral of the story is DO NOT risk your money, your visa or your future with a migration agent. (see the Kendal report for more https://www.arlaw.com.au/legal-resources/ )
If you or anyone you know has had a visa refused or an AAT Appeal rejected particularly a due to 4020 please speak to one of the lawyers at our office for thorough advice on your options.
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