Warning regarding Australian visa scams operating in Malaysia
Visa scams are getting more everyday specialty when its come about Australian Visa. The Australian Government manages a range of visitor and migration programs, including for international tourists, business visitors and family migration. Australia and Malaysia enjoy close people-to-people linkages, which are facilitated through these programs.
The Department of Home Affairs (the Department) warns people to be very cautious regarding claims that Australian visas are allegedly for sale. These claims are not true. Australian visas are not for sale. Visas can only be obtained through official channels. Don’t be fooled by visa scams.
We are also aware of facilitators in Malaysia organizing visas and flights to Australia for people to undertake paid work (such as fruit picking). This is a scam attempting to intentionally mislead people, often for money or another personal gain. Don’t be fooled by these scams. If you work in Australia in breach of your visa conditions, you may be detained and removed, and subject to the 3 year exclusion period. It is your responsibility to know what your visa allows you to do while in Australia.
More information on proper processes and reputable channels to obtain Australian visas in Malaysia are set out in:
- the website of our service delivery partner, VFS Global, who operate the Australian Visa Application Centre in Kuala Lumpur; and
- the Department’s website.
More information on migration fraud, and how to protect yourself from it, is available here.
Protect yourself from ETA Work Scams
An Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) is not a work visa. You are not allowed to work in Australia on an ETA. If someone says you can work on an ETA, they are lying to you. The Department of Home Affairs is aware of individuals and agents who are attempting to organize ETAs and flights to Australia for people to work illegally.
Don’t risk it. You can be refused entry to Australia by the Australian Border Force if you are suspected of coming to Australia to work illegally.
The Australian Border Force is identifying and refusing entry to people every day who are attempting to come to Australia to work illegally.
Be aware that you are being scammed if:
- the advertisement lists only a first name and number
- the employer or agent demands that you pay them a large upfront amount of cash for an ETA
- you are told to get an ETA for work
- you are told to set up a company and to apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN) in order to work
- the agent organizes fake documents and photographs
- the agent will only provide you with a handwritten contract or handwritten agreement
- you are promised permanent residence in Australia
- the employer or agent uses the Australian coat of arms on their website to deceive people into thinking that what they are offering is approved by the Australian Government
- you are told you will be paid in cash only
- you are told you won’t be required to get an Australian Government Tax File Number (TFN)
- the employer or agent in Australia does not have an ABN
- you are offered a rate of pay below the minimum Australian wage, which all foreign workers are entitled to (see www.fairwork.gov.au).
If you choose to engage in visa fraud, you risk:
- losing any upfront cash that you have paid to the agent
- having your ETA refused
- not be permitted on the flight to Australia
- being refused entry to Australia at the Australian border by the Australian Border Force
- being stranded at an Australian airport or city
- being exposed to forced or slave labor
- not being paid at all by the employer or agent
- being located and detained by the Australian Border Force and removed from Australia
- going home with far less Ringgit than when you arrived.
In order to protect yourself from visa scams, you should only deal with reputable travel agents or official Australian Government channels which are the Department of Home Affairs (www.homeaffairs.gov.au)
If you are aware of, or suspect a scam in relation to ETAs and working in Australia, please report it to Australia’s Border Watch by visiting www.homeaffairs.gov.au/report or inform the Australian High Commission, Kuala Lumpur, by sending an email to [email protected].