Published on July 28th, 2009 | by john.weir2
Australia vows to tighten up regulations on migration agents
A sting operation by an Australian news programme has revealed a host of migration scams that are duping foreign students out of thousands of dollars. As a result, Australian politicians have been quick to condemn the practices and promise a crackdown on unscrupuolous migration agents.
The zero tolerance approach on dealing with alleged migration and education scams comes after anÂ ABC News report on Monday night that hundreds of private colleges in Australia were offering courses such as hairdressing and cooking, luring Indian students with false promises of permanent residency.
The channel, which conducted a sting operation, also claimed that a number of migration agents were offering “fake” work experience certificates to students.
Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said the scams of ripping off foreign students would be looked into by immigration and education authorities and dealt with by a “no tolerance” approach.
It is yet more bad news for the Australian migration industry and comes on the back of raids on a migration agents office, attacks on foreign students and the suspension of a number of agents in the past year.
Mr. Smith told the ABC channel “Of course it’s very concerning on both fronts.”
“On the migration front, when we were in Opposition we did express significant concerns about the regulation of migration agents, and as a consequence we’ve recently seen a migration regulatory authority come into existence to regulate that industry better,” Mr. Smith said.
“But any of these abuses, of course, we won’t tolerate and don’t tolerate. And the cracking down, so far as the migration agents’ regulatory arrangements are concerned, will assist in that process,” he said.