The Australian Department of Immigration wants to sends a strong message to working-holiday scammers after the arrest of a UK national, AAP reports.
A man was arrested by Australian Federal Police (AFP) on Sunday after he arrived at Brisbane airport, in transit through Australia on his way home to Britain.
He faces charges of allegedly giving fraudulent information to the department about a female acquaintance’s application for a second-working-holiday visa.
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“It will be alleged this man aided and abetted a breach of the Migration Act and, therefore, according to the criminal code, he is taken to have committed the same offence,” a department spokesman said.
The man is expected to appear before the Brisbane Magistrates Court soon.
The arrest was part of an ongoing department crackdown on fraud relating to second-working-holidaymaker visas.
Working-holiday visa holders can apply for a second 12-month visa provided they fulfil certain requirements, including three months of regional employment in a specified industry.
“However, these applications are closely scrutinised and assessed – in this case, the applicant, who has already been fined $5000, and this man allegedly together provided false and misleading information in an effort to secure a second visa for this woman,” the spokesman said in a statement on Sunday.
So far in the current financial year, the department says it has cancelled 162 second-working-holiday visas on the basis of fraudulent claims.
Some first-time working-holiday visa holders had paid up to $1200 to people claiming to be Australian farmers in exchange for the purchase of Australian Business Numbers (ABNs) so they could falsely claim they had worked in a rural area for three months to obtain a second-working-holiday visa.
Temporary visa holders who become involved in immigration fraud can face charges with possible jail terms of up to 10 years.
People who have information about immigration fraud are encouraged to contact the department’s Dob-in Line on 1800 009 623. Source: AAP.
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