Visas Cancelled For Bogus Work References
Table Of Contents
Website And PAM Do Not Bind Immigration
Must Be Present In Australia To Apply For A Subclass 485 Visa
Some Recent Practice Decisions & Practice Points
NSW Sponsorship Subclass 190 Visa
Various State & Territory Criteria
Priority Group 5
The End of Subclass 175, 176 and 475
Subclass 175 Visa cancelled for bogus work experience reference – PR lost.
In Singh 006407  MRTA 1823 (5 August 2011), the MRT affirmed the cancellation of a subclass 176 (Skilled – Sponsored) visa because the 900 work experience reference purchased for $300. The case is the result of investigating organised scams where a single employer supplied hundreds of bogus work references to individual visa applicants to meet Trades Recognition Australia requirements.
Basically any visa including a permanent residence can be cancelled after grant if the visa applicant supplied false documents to obtain the visa or supplied false documents in order to meet certain prerequisite criteria for the visa.
Section 103. Bogus documents not to be given etc.
- 103. A non-citizen must not give, present or provide to an officer, an authorised system, the Minister, or a tribunal performing a function or purpose under this Act, a bogus document or cause such a document to be so given, presented or provided.
The MRT concluded:
24…..Specifically, he obtained a positive skills assessment from TRA on the basis of false and misleading statements regarding his non-existent work experience at Axilleon Cakes. That document was a bogus document within the meaning of s.97 of the Act. He then provided that bogus document in support of his visa application, in breach of s.103 of the Act.
- In arriving at these findings, the Tribunal has considered evidence that the Department’s investigations disclosed that between 2006 and 2009, about 120 purported work references issued by Tina Galanos/Axilleon Cakes had been presented by overseas applicants for skilled visas. Many showed that the applicant had worked at Axilleon Cakes at the same time as other applicants, or during overlapping periods. During a search of premises belonging to a person who has admitted to producing numerous false work experience references for overseas students in order to assist them to obtain permanent visas, investigators found a vast collection of fraudulent work references, including about 200 in the name of Tina Galanos and/or Axilleon Cakes, many identical to that which the applicant provided to Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) in support of his application for a skills assessment for his nominated skilled occupation. As well, the informant advised the Department that he had been colluding with Tina Galanos in this way for at least three years, paying her $300 per reference. The Tribunal also noted that repeated efforts by the Department to verify the applicant’s work experience claims directly with Tina Galanos have been unsuccessful, with both Ms Galanos and her lawyers failing to respond, or to furnish the evidence sought.
- The Tribunal finds that there is no truth to the applicant’s employment experience claims and his credibility more generally. These work claims formed part of his application for a skills assessment by Trades Recognition Australia (TRA), and if they had been known to be false, would have resulted in an adverse skills assessment. Without a positive skills assessment, his overall score in the general points test would have been reduced by 60 points, well below the pass and pool marks at the relevant time, resulting in the refusal of his subclass 176 visa application, and the denial of permanent residency.
Rafi 1010592  MRTA 378 (24 February 2011)
24 February 2011, Melbourne
Mr D Young, Member
SKILLED . INDEPENDENT OVERSEAS STUDENT (CLASS DD) . SUBCLASS 880 . S.109 . CANCELLATION . S.103 . BOGUS DOCUMENT . A delegate of the Minister cancelled the applicant.s Subclass 880 visa under s.109 as he had failed to comply with s.101 (application to be correct) and s.103 (bogus documents) of the Act by providing a bogus document in support of his application.
The applicant claimed that he paid an intermediary AUD$2,700 to obtain a work reference from Via Veneto Restaurant which falsely claimed that he completed 900 hours of relevant work experience. That reference was submitted to Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) in support of the applicant.s application for a skills assessment which was then presented to the Department with the applicant.s Subclass 880 visa application.
The applicant claimed that he came to Australia as a 21 year old from Pakistan and he decided that he wanted to acquire permanent residency ‘at any cost’. He stated that he had specifically enrolled in a cookery course in Australia as an assured and rapid pathway to permanent residency. The applicant agreed that since acquiring the permanent visa, he had not worked in the hospitality industry.
He claimed that he dealt with someone at Della International College who said that the Regulations were to change in September, that he could not rely on the hours that he had worked at E-Gusto restaurant to meet the work experience requirement but, for a fee, someone could assist him to overcome that problem. The applicant stated that he did not know how many hours he worked at E-Gusto restaurant. The applicant claimed he was sorry for this conduct but that he would not be welcomed back in Pakistan, would not enjoy the same lifestyle and had ¡°issues¡± with his parents, whom he claimed were ¡°forcing¡± him to marry a cousin. He claimed he had ¡°invested five precious years¡± of his life in Australia and did not want to return to Pakistan.
Held: Decision under review affirmed.
The Tribunal considered that the alleged breach of s.101 was misconceived by the delegate and dismissed it accordingly. The Tribunal next considered the alleged breach of s.103 and found that the applicant provided a bogus document that was obtained because of a false or misleading statement in support of his visa application. Accordingly, the Tribunal found that there was non-compliance with s.103 of the Act by the applicant.
The Tribunal next considered whether the visa should be cancelled pursuant to s.109(1). The Tribunal was satisfied that the visa would not have been granted if the correct information had been provided. The Tribunal found that the non-compliance had occurred as the applicant was determined to achieve permanent residence in Australia ¡°at any cost¡± and that he enrolled in a cookery course after being informed by a migration agent that this was an assured route to his objective. The applicant knew that he would require relevant work experience in order to acquire the points needed to gain the visa and, in order to advance and expedite his migration plans, he availed himself of the services of a corrupt individual who was widely known to be manufacturing false work references for international students. Knowing that the TRA assessment had been fraudulently obtained on his behalf he lodged it in support of his visa application, fully cognisant of its illegality and of the associated risks. The Tribunal categorically rejected any suggestion that the applicant was a victim of a conniving intermediary or an innocent abroad, and it considered that he was a willing and fully informed party to a joint criminal enterprise designed to secure for him a visa and immigration status to which he knew full well he was not entitled.
In this case, the Tribunal was satisfied that the applicant committed an egregious breach of s.103 of the Act, in a premeditated and deliberate deception that was calculated to secure him a permanent visa to which he knew full well he was not entitled. The Tribunal considered that the review applicant.s misconduct represented an assault on the integrity of the Australian immigration system and undermined the rationale for the Commonwealth.s skilled migration program. The Tribunal found that there was non-compliance by the applicant in the way described in the notice given under s.107 of the Act. Further, the Tribunal was satisfied that the applicant.s Skilled visa should be cancelled. Accordingly, the Tribunal affirmed the decision to cancel the applicant.s Skilled visa.
Re: Batra 1008589
3 March 2011, Melbourne
Mr D Young, Member
CANCELLATION . SKILLED (RESIDENCE) (CLASS VB) VISA . SUBCLASS 885 . (SKILLED . INDEPENDENT) . s.103 . FRAUDULENT DOCUMENTS . A delegate of the Minister cancelled the applicant.s Subclass 885 visa because he was found to have failed to comply with s.103 of the Act. In 2008, the applicant was granted a Skilled visa on the basis that he was a pastry cook. He supplied to the Department an employment reference, in support of a skills assessment by Trades Recognition Australia (TRA), which stated that he had the relevant work experience for the grant of the visa. The applicant was informed by letter that the Department had subsequently interviewed an individual who admitted to receiving cash payments of between $1500 and $2400 from numerous visa applicants to fabricate their employment references, and paying the employer, O’heas Bakery and Deli, between $300 and $500 for a signature on each document. The Department found hundreds of false work references at the residence of the individual, who confirmed that no international students had worked for O’heas.
The Tribunal put to the applicant in a letter under s.359A that his purported work reference falsely asserted that he had completed the required number of hours of supervised relevant work experience at O’heas, and that he had knowingly submitted the reference to TRA, which had given him a favourable skills assessment, and then submitted it to the Department in support of his visa application. The letter further stated that without the falsely claimed work experience and favourable, but bogus, TRA skills assessment, he would not have been granted the visa. The applicant’s agent replied to the letter, but focussed on issues such as the validity of the s.107 notice and the status of TRA, rather than any of the substantive matters on which comment was invited. The applicant also submitted receipts pertaining to various charities, and a referral letter to a psychologist from a general practitioner, stating that the applicant was suffering from depression and was suicidal. The applicant declined the opportunity to appear before the Tribunal to give evidence.
Held: Decision under review affirmed.
The Tribunal found that the TRA assessment was a bogus document which was obtained as a result of false claims as to the applicant’s work experience. The Tribunal found that the applicant had studiously avoided any direct comment regarding the allegation against him, despite a direct invitation to do so. The Tribunal attached substantial weight to the evidence from the Department regarding their interview with the individual who had received cash for fabricated employment references and then paid the employer for his signature on each document. The Tribunal found that the applicant was never employed in any capacity by the employer and that he knowingly provided to the Department a bogus TRA skills assessment document which had been obtained because of a false or misleading statement.
The Tribunal considered the agent’s submission, and while it commended the agent.s diligence and creativity, it found that the bulk of her arguments were misconceived. The Tribunal’s view was that the express terms of s.103 prohibited the presentation of any bogus document and did not provide for any exceptions or qualifications. The Tribunal regarded the cancellation of a permanent visa as a matter of considerably gravity but was satisfied that the applicant had committed an egregious breach of s.103 of the Act that was calculated to secure him a permanent visa to which he knew he was not entitled. The Tribunal found that the applicant’s conduct had involved a cynical betrayal of the trust and good faith on which the skills accreditation system relied and undermined the rationale for the Commonwealth’s skilled migration program. The Tribunal found that, in the final analysis, a scheme designed to bring skilled individuals into Australia ¡°had netted the country a supermarket worker who had never worked as a pastry cook, or in any other skilled capacity, since acquiring permanent residency. The Tribunal noted that, since becoming aware of the impending cancellation of his visa, the applicant had busied himself with various charitable activities, and while commending him for these belated efforts at civic virtue, did not accept that they could expiate a blatant and calculated fraud. Accordingly, the Tribunal was satisfied there was non-compliance by the applicant in the way described in the s.107 notice, and it was satisfied that the applicant’s visa should be cancelled.