Immigration fraud is facing harsh penalty in Australia. A Federal court in Victoria recently imposed a hefty fine on an immigration training company. The Melbourne-based firm reportedly duped many clients with false promises of permanent residency.
The court indicted Clinica Internationale Pty Ltd and its managing director Radovan Laski for false, misleading and unconscionable conduct. The judge slapped a penalty of $700,000 on Clinica and $325,000 on Laski.
“What happened bore little or no resemblance to what clients had been promised, and what they paid for,” Federal court judge Debra Mortimer said. But Laski denied the charges. Justice Mortimer indicated that she would order a review of the contracts between Clinica and clients.
According to the Australia Competition and Consumer Commission, Clinica enrolled 97 people in its program between August 2012 and July 2013. It collected more than $800,000 from the aspirants. But employment was offered only to 10 people, reports 9 News.
Clinica promised clients that it would provide Certificate III cleaning training and place them on a job. The job may be in regional Australia. But it would qualify them for a permanent residence visa. Clinica has also spread the word that it has influence with officers in helping clients to apply for the visa.
But many job aspirants ultimately landed in odd jobs at abattoirs. One Sourab Uppal told the court he paid $2000 to join the asset management course. But he was placed on a cleaning job at an abattoir. “To my horror, the work did not involve cleaning, but rather cutting off the legs of dead goats and sheep,” Uppal said.
One witness, Lauris Fahey told the court that Laski used to boast how he exploited the migrants. She said many former clients had sued Laski but he would use delaying tactics to make sure the clients’ visa expired before they could finalize their claims.
Meanwhile, the citizens of Australia and New Zealand, applying for a UK Visa beyond six months will be required to pay 200 pounds (AU$410) extra as health surcharge. This will be implemented starting from 6 April 2016, reports Australian Times UK.
The immigration health surcharge was introduced in April 2015, to all non-European Economic Area (non-EEA) nationals. That time nationals of Australia and New Zealand were excluded. The surcharge will be to ensure that visa seeking nationals are making an appropriate contribution for the National Health Service (NHS).