Loading

Visa scams

Don't get caught in a visa scam

​Be aware that you may be 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 or a Visitor visa
  • you are told to get an ETA or Visitor visa 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 organises 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 Fairwork).

Be aware of fake migration agents. In Australia, migration agents need to be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority.

If you choose to engage in visa fraud and do not go through official channels to apply for an ETA or Australian visitor visa, you risk:

  • losing any upfront cash that you have paid to the agent
  • having your ETA or Visitor visa refused or cancelled
  • having your visa refused and being excluded from obtaining a further visa to Australia for up to 10 years
  • not being 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 labour
  • 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 money than when you arrived.

In order to protect yourself from visa scams, you should only deal with official Australian Government channels such as the departmental website, reputable travel agents, Australian Visa Application Centres, or the Australian High Commission or Embassy in your country.