Migration agents are being warned to act lawfully following the cancellation of the registration of a Sydney migration agent, said the Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash.
The Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (Office of the MARA) found that Mr Issam Sam Issa, a lawyer and a migration agent, encouraged and assisted clients to fabricate claims for protection visas in order to remain in Australia.
Minister Cash said the migration agent had not only acted unlawfully but had not provided immigration assistance which was in the best interests of his clients. “This former agent lodged applications with little or no prospect of success and created statements purporting to have originated from his clients,” Minister Cash said.
“His conduct fell well short of the standards set out under the Code of Conduct for registered migration agents and he posed a serious risk to consumers.” Minister Cash said the former agent had failed to demonstrate that he understood the significant level of trust his clients placed in him as a migration agent.
“Fraudulent visa applications attempt to undermine the integrity of Australia’s immigration system – fraudsters should understand that under this Government they will be pursued and they will be brought to justice,” Minister Cash said. “Only people who are registered with the Office of the MARA are permitted to give immigration assistance.”
Registered agents must meet a Code of Conduct and be a fit and proper person to provide immigration assistance. There are more than 5000 registered migration agents in Australia and overseas who can provide immigration assistance.
Those who wish to find out whether an individual is registered as a migration agent can do so by visiting the Office the MARA’s website.