More Dodgy Migration Agents arrested – We Sue dodgy Migration Agents.

Were you given negligent advice or assistance from a “dodgy” (bad, unethical or incompetent) migration agent?
Not all is lost. We may be able to fix your visa application, and also help you seek compensation.

Recent Story about two dodgy migration agents:

Two Sydney women, one a 30 year old Australian citizen and the other a 32 year old Chinese national with permanent residency, have been sentenced to conditional good behaviour bonds after pleading guilty to multiple offences against the Migration Act.

Australian Border Force (ABF) officers commenced an investigation into the pair in October 2018 after it was reported they were unlawfully providing immigration advice and assistance to large numbers of mainly Chinese nationals.

Investigations revealed that although neither of the women were registered migration agents they had advertised migration assistance and charged a fee whilst not being registered, and provided immigration assistance to at least three travellers who were found to be in possession of fraudulently obtained identity documents.

For their unlawful services the pair charged clients fees ranging from $1,500 to $2,000.

The 32 year old woman pleaded guilty to two offences:

◦Charging fees for immigration assistance contrary to Section 281(1) of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth).

◦False representation that a person is a registered migration agent contrary to Section 283(1) of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth).

She was sentenced in Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court On Tuesday, 17 December, to an 18-month good behaviour bond.

The 30 year old woman pleaded guilty to three offences:

◦Giving immigration assistance when not a registered migration agent contrary to Section 280(1) of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth).

◦Charging fees for immigration assistance contrary to Section 281(1) of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth).

◦Self-advertising of the giving of immigration assistance by a person who is not a registered migration agent contrary to Section 284(1) of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth).

She was sentenced to a two-year good behaviour bond.

ABF Commander of Investigations, Graeme Grosse, said the ABF is targeting fake migration agents providing unlawful immigration services and misleading immigration advice.

“It is unlawful to charge a fee when providing immigration assistance in Australia unless you are registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA),” Commander Grosse said.

“And we certainly won’t tolerate fake migration agents trying to exploit Australia’s Immigration programme by assisting people to knowingly lodge false Protection Visa claims.

“Protection Visas are for people who are genuinely seeking protection due to a well-founded fear of persecution, or if there is a real risk they will suffer significant harm if they return to their home country.”

Non-citizens who do not engage protection obligations and have exhausted all avenues to remain in Australia are expected to depart in a timely manner and respect Australia’s immigration laws.

Those not holding a valid visa and who are unwilling to depart voluntarily may be subject to immigration detention and removal from Australia.

People who provide false or misleading statements or documents as part of a visa application in Australia risk being fined or imprisoned.

It is true that a migration agent can never guarantee a positive visa outcome, you can still expect that they exercise reasonable skill and care when they work for you.  However at the very minimum migration agents should give you an honest assessment of your chances of getting a visa and that they make a competent and forceful submissions on your behalf to the Department of Immigration.

So if you feel you have receive negligent migration advice, you may have options to remedy the situation. Talk to us.

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Ask about our “No Win – No Fee Compo” Deal.

What should you do if you feel “cheated” or poorly treated by your migration agent.

Changing agents

Firstly, is there still time, change your agent. If your visa application is still being processed, and you are unhappy with your agent, it may be that you can improve your position by finding a more competent agent or better still an immigration lawyer. You can at any time withdraw the authority which you gave to your current agent to act on your behalf, and you can appoint a new agent. You will need to sign a new form 956, and your new agent can let the department know that they are now acting for you.

Get Help. You may be able to get financial compensation. (a refund)

If the “damage” has already been done – ie your visa application has been refused because of the incompetence of your migration agent, you may be able to claim compensation. Be advised to be able to make a compensation claim, you need to prove that you received negligent migration advice and have suffered some kind of loss. This is different in each and every case. For example, if you have missed out on a permanent visa and are unable to start a life in Australia and earn Australian wages (they are comparatively high) because of your agent’s negligence, you can claim compensation for your lost earnings.  Or a different example may be that because of your agent’s negligence, you miss out on the opportunity to apply for a visa while you’re still onshore, and you have to leave the country and apply offshore. Even if ultimately your application is successful, this may have caused you a lot of additional and unnecessary expense (for example, airfares and overseas living expenses) which you may be able to claim.

On the other hand, it is more difficult to make a claim for compensation if you cannot prove that the agent’s negligence caused financial loss. For example, if, due to the agent’s negligence, you miss out on a visitor visa, that may cause a lot of inconvenience, but it would be difficult to argue that you have incurred significant financial loss as a result. This is because a visitor visa is a temporary visa, which is not designed to give the holders an ability to earn income in Australia, and to stay here long term.

So if you feel you have receive negligent migration advice, you may have options to remedy the situation. Talk to us.

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Ask about our “No Win – No Fee Compo” Deal.

Neglience and your visa.

Just because you can show to the Immigration Department that your agent was negligent does not mean you will get the visa. However, you may have options. Talk to us.

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Ask about our “No Win – No Fee Compo” Deal.

How to avoid “dodgy” migration agents? Use a Master Migration Lawyer.

While there is no guarantee that the migration agent you choose will not make a mistake, there are some steps you can take to minimise the risks.

Firstly, be aware of the difference between a migration agent and an immigration lawyer. A migration agent is not necessarily legally qualified. On the other hand, an immigration lawyer is someone who is not only a migration agent, but also an experienced lawyer. Immigration lawyers can do everything that a migration agent can, and in addition, they can also represent you before the courts, they are skilled in obtaining and presenting evidence in the strongest possible form, and they can advise you more broadly about how the Australian legal system affects your rights. What this means is if there are factors which complicate your case (for example, character issues relationship breakdown for partner visa applications etc) then you should consider engaging an immigration lawyer.

Always check that the migration agent you sign up with is registered with the migration agents registration authority (the office of MARA). You can check their registration

You should also check your agent’s history. If they have been disciplined before, there is a register which contains the relevant details. You can find it

So if you or someone you know has had their visa cancelled or refused due to poor/dodgy advice talk to us.  (for more about cancelled or refused visa go to

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AR LAW Services are not only Masters of Migration and Visa law but we have extensive experience in AAT and Federal Circuit Court appeals including GTE, PIC 4020 Bogus Document, health and character matters and s501 cases, these are extremely complex and specialist area of Australian immigration law and that is where a Master Migration Law with over 20 years experience may give you the edge you need.

In these uncertain times of ever changing laws you can depend on us! AR LAW SERVICES. The Smarter, Tougher, Better Immigration Lawyers.  We will fight for you.

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Call 03 9614 0218 or email info@arlaw.com.au to make an initial 30 Minute consultation at our Melbourne office. (conditions apply)

For more go to   www.arlaw.com.au

Note: this update, or any previous updates on this page, do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Please call our office to seek professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content on this page