Work visa scams. Don’t pay the price

A scam is an attempt to intentionally mislead people to steal money, property, or personal information, or to dishonestly obtain something else of value.

We are aware that criminals around the world and in Australia use scams with false promises of work and permanent residence in Australia as a way to exploit or steal money from people.

We are committed to educating people about the correct processes for applying to live and work in Australia and to assist them to protect themselves from migration fraud and scams. It is important that you understand your rights and your employer’s obligations to ensure you are protecting yourself.

Most people follow the appropriate and lawful process in meeting visa and sponsorship requirements, a minority do not. We undertake a range of measures to identify those who are engaging in fraudulent activities and have penalties in place to deal with visa holders and sponsors who are found to be doing the wrong thing.

There are a number of things you can do to ensure you remain vigilant and do not become the victim of a work visa scam.

1. Ensure you are aware of the visa application charges and processes that apply to your situation.
2. Make sure you are aware of your work rights and your sponsor’s obligations.
3. Be cautious of any job offer requiring an upfront payment or paying back some of your salary.
4. Familiarise yourself with current scam warnings and be alert to the warning signs of scams.
5. If you use a Migration Agent, ensure you are using a Registered Migration agent. Always check with Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority to see if an Agent is registered.

If you know of someone who is involved in migration fraud, is operating illegally as an unregistered migration agent, or if you are the victim of migration fraud, report it to us through our Immigration dob-in service.

Suspected scams can also be reported to SCAMwatch. It is an independent website run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

If you have been scammed by an individual or group that is not in Australia, you might also want to consider reporting the issue to local police or consumer protection authorities in the country where you reside.​​​​