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Thursday, 17 November 2016

An increasing number of Malaysians are falling prey to Australian visa scams, which sees them being duped into working illegally


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KUALA LUMPUR: An increasing number of Malaysians are falling prey to Australian visa scams, which sees them being duped into working illegally in the country.
The Australian High Commission said a number of visa scams have emerged in Malaysia recently. It said these scams may come in the form of agents offering visas and flights to Australia for people to work illegally.
“These scams are deliberate attempts to mislead people into breaking Australian law, for money or other personal gain, “ it said in a statement today.
The High Commission said that the Australian government is concerned that many Malaysians are being taken advantage of by these scams and is appealing to Malaysians to understand what their visa or Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) allows them to do while in Australia.
“ETAs do not provide work rights in Australia and it is illegal to work if you are in Australia on an ETA,” it explained.
It urged Malaysians to ensure that they deal through reputable and official channels when seeking Australian visas to protect themselves from visa fraud and scams.
“If you work in Australia in breach of your visa conditions, you may be detained and removed from Australia, and be subject to a three-year exclusion period,” it said.
The High Commission said Australia takes strong action against exploitation of foreign/migrant workers which are both illegal and unacceptable. It adds that Australian government is taking strong action to eliminate organised criminal networks and unscrupulous employers and agents seeking to profit from exploiting vulnerable migrant workers.
“This action includes the establishment of Taskforce Cadena in 2015 and the Migrant Workers Taskforce in 2016,” the High Commission said.
Taskforce Cadena is a joint agency initiative between the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, its operational arm the Australian Border Force, and the Fair Work Ombudsman. It targets organised criminal networks and unscrupulous employers who facilitate illegal work and seek to profit from exploiting foreign workers.
The Migrant Workers Taskforce has been introduced to provide expert advice on measures that will deliver better protections for overseas workers.
This includes increasing penalties for employers who underpay migrant workers and who fail to keep proper employment records; and deliver a AUD$20 million funding increase for the capabilities and workforce of the Fair Work Ombudsman, the agency responsible for tackling illegal work practices in Australia.
© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd

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