Applicant gets visa with fake documents
When exactly do things like Skills Assessment and English Language proficiency test documents get checked by the department of immigration? The answer apparently seems to be well and truly after the visa has been granted.
In a matter recently considered by the AATA, the Tribunal found that the DIBP granted the applicant a skilled visa purely based on information provided by the applicant at the time of application. There were no checks made by the DIBP with the Skills Assessment authorities or the relevant language testing centre prior to the DIBPs decision to grant the visa.
However, a year after the application and well after the grant of the visa, “CPA Australia advised the Department that in their database they had no record of the applicant’s skills assessment, that they had no record of the reference number provided by the applicant, and no record of the applicant’s name” according to the Tribunal member’s statement.
The Department, then undertook checks with the IELTS Report Form Verification Service which showed that there was no record of the applicant undertaking an IELTS English test – the Verification Service was unable to locate any record of the reference number the applicant provided and there was no record of the applicant’s name in their database.
DIBP subsequently cancelled the visa. The applicant applied for a review denying any wrong-doing and pointed to corruption within the DIBP and fraud by “a migration agent whom he paid a fee of $70,000…”.
“Fraud was perpetrated by his consultant and by the Department” noted the submission from the applicant’s representative at the Tribunal, “Our client was not complicit in any fraud perpetrated by the parties but as he has claimed he has been a victim in this matter.”
In reaching its decision, the Tribunal acknowledged that the visa cancellation is a serious outcome and would likely result in the applicant being subject to a section 48 bar preventing the grant of certain visa subclasses and an adverse migration history.
However, the Tribunal rejected the applicant’s key arguments and refused to accept that the applicant handed such a large amount of cash to a stranger on the promise of a visa. It did not comment on the claims of corruption in the DIBP nor question DIBPs audit process which effectively allowed the applicant to remain in Australia for some 20 months.
Source: Migration Alliance