By Anita : Visa applicants have been warned again to avoid unscrupulous migration agencies targeting people interested in migrating to Australia, Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash said today.
The repeated warning follows complaints to have recently resurfaced about AUSFIS, an offshore web-based migration agency. The agency is alleged to have induced individuals to pay for visa applications that were never lodged.
Senator Cash said the website invites people to register their interest by submitting an online web-form with their contact details.
‘Once registered, applicants are contacted by phone or email and are asked to pay a fee ranging from $300 to $3000 via credit card in return for an ‘Immigration Package to Australia’,’ Senator Cash said.
‘However, several users of AUSFIS’s services have alleged that, once payment has been made, they either hear nothing further, or receive an email advising they are ineligible to apply for a visa.’
Where people have paid money by credit card to AUSFIS, or any other migration agency for a service they did not ultimately receive, they can contact their credit card provider and lodge a ‘disputed payment’ grievance with them. The credit card provider may be able to retrieve all or part of the money paid.
‘AUSFIS has no influence on visa decision-making and does not represent the Australian government,’ Senator Cash said. ‘The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has no record of visa applications lodged by AUSFIS and the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) does not list any registered migration agents connected with AUSFIS,’ Senator Cash added.