Australian High Commission
New Delhi
India, Bhutan

Visa Scams

On this page

Visa Scams
          Warning signs
          What to remember
          How to protect yourself
          Where to report incidents
Current Scams affecting clients in India
         Visa Label Scams
         Fake websites to check visa application status
         False DIBP email addresses
         Fraudulent job offer and misuse of Medical Examination facility
         The eVisitor (subclass 651) Scam
         The Maritime Crew (subclass 988) Visa (MCV) Scam
         Scam: “Australia Giving Away 100,000 Permanent Residence Permits to Indian Citizens”

Visa Scams

Scams target people of all backgrounds, ages and income levels. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) provides detailed information on how to protect yourself from migration fraud.
See: http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa/migration-fraud-and-scams

Some of the recent scams and warnings are listed on this website under the 'Current Scams' heading. 

Do you want to work in Australia?

Warning Signs

  • You get an offer for a ‘guaranteed’ Australian visa or an offer for a Family Resettlement in Australia.
  • The offer comes via email, post, over the phone, on a website or even face-to-face.
  • A visa is offered in return for payments, personal details and identity documents.
  • The person making the offer claims to know someone in the Australian High Commission, be a ‘registered agent’ or ‘Australian visa application service’.
  • It claims to be a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’, or your ‘only’ chance to travel or migrate to Australia.
  • You are asked to pay the scammer upfront to ‘register’ your interest in getting a visa. The scammer asks you to pay them directly rather than paying the government department and claims that only they can pay the department’s fees.
  • The scammer claims to have a special relationship with DIBP.
  • They tell you they need to keep your original documents.
  • They may try to trick you into believing they are genuine by posing as staff from an Australian Government department, or by using websites which look like official Government sites.
  • They commonly give you incorrect advice, ask you to lie on application forms, demand money and fail to deliver services.

What to Remember

  • There is only one official Australian Government provider of visas - the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. DIBP’s official website is www.border.gov.au.
  • If you receive an email from the Australian High Commission in New Delhi the email will be from enquiry-india@border.gov.au or end in "@dfat.gov.au".
  • If you receive an email from the DIBP processing office in Australia the email address must end in “@border.gov.au”.
  • It is easy for illegal operators to copy a real website or build one that looks professional. Even if one character is different, it can mean it\'s a different website or an email address.
  • You can pay the fee directly to the department and do not require an agent to pay this fee on your behalf.
  • No one can influence the outcome of a visa application or the visa decision making process. Visa is granted only by the authorised officers from DIBP only if you meet the relevant visa requirements.

How to Protect Yourself

  • Be suspicious if you are contacted by phone, post, email or approached in person about a visa you did not apply for. The department does not contact people offering visas. Any new information is always updated on the DIBP’s official website www.border.gov.au.
  • If you wish to use an Australian migration agent, check they are registered on the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority website (https://www.mara.gov.au/)
  • Never give or send anyone your original identity documents. Government departments may wish to view your original documents in person or may ask for certified photocopies but should never ask to keep your original documents.
  • Never provide your personal, credit card or banking details in an email or over the phone—scammers will use your details to commit identity fraud or steal your money.
  • If you think you have provided your bank account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.
  • Never provide private information online unless it is a secure site and you know who you are dealing with. Secure sites are locked with a padlock in the browser window or secure URL at the beginning of the address (that is, https://)
  • Job offers should be approached with caution and verified with the business in Australia.

Where to Report Incidents

People with information about migration scams or illegal operators should contact DIBP\'s Dob-In line. See: http://www.border.gov.au/about/contact/immigration-and-citizenship-online-report

If you are the victim of a scam, report it to your local police. You can also report it to the website run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
ACCC’s website. See: www.scamwatch.gov.au.

Local incidents can be reported to the Australian High Commission, New Delhi, by emailing: integrity.newdelhi@dfat.gov.au

Current Scams Affecting Clients in India 

Visa Label Scams

Beware of fake visa labels. Unscrupulous agents and operators are charging large sums of money for Australian visas. They are then manufacturing fake visa labels and affixing them to clients’ passports as purported evidence they have been issued a visa.

The Australian government no longer issues visa labels at the time of grant and is moving towards a completely label-free system; labels are only issued on request after grant and for a fee.

Verification of visas is available to all visa holders online through VEVO. See:
htthttp://www.border.gov.au/vevo
 

Fake websites to check visa application status

ImmiAccount is an online system that allows clients to create, submit, pay for and manage their online applications in one place. For more details, refer to the DIBP website www.border.gov.au

VFS Global Services Pvt Ltd works in partnership with the Commonwealth of Australia to provide Australian visa application services in India and Nepal.

Visa applications submitted at the VFS Australian Visa Application Centres in India and Nepal can be tracked on the VFS website http://www.vfsglobal.com/Australia/India/ 

It is easy for illegal operators to copy a real website or build one that looks professional and very similar to the original website.

Unscrupulous agents are offering non-genuine job offer letters and using fake websites to lure people to believing they hold an Australian visa. Fake websites noted recently are:

http://ausvisastatus.com/

http://tracking.vfsglobal.esy.es/ 

http://immi.govt-au.net/Services/Pages/check-progress-online-application.aspx

http://immi.govt-au.net/

http://online.immi.gov-au.cc/firstparty.aspx

http://www.immivisaausgov.co/

http://australianembassyvisastatustracker.ml/

http://australianonlinevisatrackingdepartment.net/

http://checkmyvisa.net/ and http://checkmyvisa.in/

http://australiaimmigration.npage.de/linklist.html

False DIBP email addresses

This is an email scam which uses email addresses that are designed to appear as genuine DIBP addresses. Emails can be received unsolicited, or a person is targeted after they register their details on a job seeking website or when responding to a non-genuine employment advertisement.
Individuals are generally informed that they have been selected in a ‘resettlement programme’ through an ‘electronic ballot’.
Individuals may also be contacted by a non-genuine company and taken through a fake recruitment process, and then told to contact the department through a non-genuine email address ending in ‘.pn’.
The person targeted is then asked to provide personal documents to the scammer, and will then be asked to make a payment through Western Union money transfer.
Following are some of the false/fake DIBP email addresses:

Fraudulent job offer and misuse of Medical Examination facility

Deceitful operators are charging people large sums of money (the equivalent of several thousand Australian dollars), to allegedly arrange an employment visa to work in Australia.
My Health Declarations (MHD) is a service for clients who have not yet lodged a visa application and would like to do health examinations before lodging a visa application. The unscrupulous agents misuse this facility to lure gullible clients by presenting this as evidence that visa applications have been lodged on their behalf. However, applications are generally never lodged with DIBP and then counterfeit visa grant letters are handed over to the clients.

The eVisitor (subclass 651) Scam

Only certain countries are eligible to apply for an eVisitor (subclass 651) visa. The full list of eVisitor-eligible passports is available on the DIBP website. See: eVisitor-eligible passports. If you do not have a genuine and valid passport showing you are a citizen of an eligible country, then you cannot lawfully be granted an eVisitor (subclass 651) visa.
Unscrupulous operators are charging people large sums of money to allegedly arrange travel and visas to Australia for a variety of reasons including tourism, business and employment. They obtain eVisitor (subclass 651) visas based on fraudulent personal information. Any visas that are obtained based on fraudulent claims are subject to cancellation and cannot be used to travel to Australia.

The Maritime Crew (subclass 988) Visa (MCV) Scam

DIBP is warning people of a scam involving the maritime crew visa (MCV).
Unscrupulous operators are charging people large sums of money (the equivalent of several thousand Australian dollars), to allegedly arrange an employment contract and visa for employment on maritime vessels travelling to or working in Australia.
Some MCV visas are automatically granted online. These agents lure gullible clients by showing them what appear to be valid visas on the departmental website. However, where these visas are obtained based on fraudulent claims these are subject to cancellation. These visas allow entry to Australia as a legitimate crew member on a vessel by sea only. An MCV does not permit travel by air to Australia. A separate visa is required for that purpose.

Scam: “Australia Giving Away 100,000 Permanent Residence Permits to Indian Citizens”

Unscrupulous operators have set up a website with a fake media release about Australian visa give-aways. See: Australia Giving Away 100,000 Permanent Residence Permits to Indian Citizens

All links from this page lead to a webform requesting you to provide personal details. See: https://www.ausfiv.org/l2/

The Australian Government is NOT giving away visas to people who fill in this form. We recommend that you DO NOT fill in this form, as it is a scam.