'Easy' migration, fake certificate lures laid for students
The Sydney Morning Herald
April 25, 2010
MIGRATION agents are taking advantage of the federal government's recent immigration changes to charge overseas students tens of thousands of dollars for what some say are bogus services.
A number of agents in Melbourne are now telling students they can migrate easily to countries such as Canada, New Zealand, Britain and the United States, for a fee.
Advertisements in the Indian press in Australia, and in flyers given to students at Flinders Street Station, boast of ''easy permanent residency'' in Canada.
One such company, Canada Express Migration, advertises ''100 per cent success in Canada migration''.
Canada Express consultant Saurabh Baid told The Sunday Age his company charged $9000 for Australian students to gain permanent residency in Canada.
''[The] Canadian government has opened their visas left, right and centre, basically,'' Mr Saurabh said.
''Basically, they're giving a visa to every genuine applicant who's got relevant work experience and qualifications.''
This claim could not be confirmed with the Canadian embassy, which declined to answer questions put by The Sunday Age.
Mr Saurabh's company, one of many ''selling'' Canadian migration, had seen 2500 students, mainly from India and Nepal, since Immigration Minister Chris Evans announced his visa changes in February.
Former student Tejashdeep Singh said other agents were charging up to $15,000 for fake certificates from restaurants or hotels in Canada confirming a person would be sponsored to work there.
''They're just selling dreams, saying it's not a problem,'' he said.
Mr Singh said it was one of many money-making activities by agents.
Others charged students $5000, sometimes in instalments, to lodge appeals to the Migration Review Tribunal.
Another agent, whose office is in Swanston Street, was telling students that, despite the new rules, designed by the federal government to cut down on ''back door'' migration, he could still get them permanent residency for a $12,000 fee, Mr Singh said. That agent boasted of a contact in the Immigration Department.
Sayed Kabir, of Kangaroo Immigration and Education Consultancy, offers students a $500 bounty for every fellow student they bring to him to change their course of study or their college.
Mr Kabir told The Sunday Age he had agreements with vocational colleges who pay him a commission for sourcing students, so he was able to ''give some back to the students''.