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An unregistered Melbourne migration agency was raided by federal police on Friday.
“The business is suspected to have been making false promises of permanent residence as well as providing migration assistance while not being registered to do so,” a statement from DIBP revealed.
Strict laws regulate migration advisory in Australia. Outcomes of visa and migration applications cannot be guaranteed and it is an offence under the Migration Act for a person who is not a registered agent to provide migration assistance to another person.
The registration aims to help ensure ethical and knowledgeable conduct and advice at professional levels by migration agents. The Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) governs agents and agent registration.
DIBP’s statement reiterated the government’s vigilance over the migration advisory business and its ability to act promptly with the full force of the law to deal with unscrupulous practitioners.
DIBP Minister, Scott Morrison pointed out that, “The department works closely with other government agencies, both federal and state, to assist in the identification and prosecution of these offenders,” adding that, “Instances of alleged criminal activity relating to the immigration portfolio can result in criminal and/or administrative penalties, including imprisonment.'
Migration Alliance supports this strong commitment by DIBP to weed out fraudulent practices in the industry. Maintaining registration, abiding by the code conduct and ensuring continual professional development not only helps ensure the integrity of the business but maintains a high ethical standard for a profession that often advises vulnerable individuals.
By Jerry Gomez, Editor, Migration Alliance