The Australian Govt. had set up an inquiry for regulating migration and education agents. The inquiry provided 10 recommendations for the same. The inquiry also brought to notice that there was no accountability for education agents in Australia. Thus, there have been instances where unethical education agents are found exploiting international students.
In March 2018, the Joint Standing Committee on Migration began. The Committee intended to examine the present regulations of migration and education agents in Australia. A 138-page report submitted by the Committee in February recommends the establishment of an education agent register. It was also recommended to put more checks into an agent’s qualification. A sanction system for non-compliant agents was also recommended to be put in place.
The Report’s first page pointed out that the current Australian immigration system had certain loopholes. Organized crime and unlawful labour-hire companies often exploit these loopholes.
Unlawful education agents, in many instances, have been found making false promises to foreign students. One of the illegal practices that they follow is to promise a PR route through a certain course when it is not.
Unethical education agents have often, in a bid to buy time, advised people to apply for a Student Visa. These people use this extra time to look for a job or sponsor in Australia. Unethical education agents have also been found doling out unregistered immigration advice.
It is illegal in Australia for education agents to be giving migration advice, as quoted by SBS News. You are allowed to give immigration advice only if you are a registered MARA (Migration Agents Registration Authority) Agent.
It has often been found that Student Visa applications are being lodged by education agents. They have also been found lodging Work Visa and PR Visa applications for overseas students who have completed their course in Australia.
The Report also said that the education agents have not been adequately regulated by the Dept. of Home Affairs.
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