Visa scams target people of all backgrounds, ages and income levels. The Department of Home Affairs (HA) website provides detailed information on how to protect yourself from migration fraud.
See: Visa scams
What you should know:
- There are many scams operating over the internet and in newspapers offering employment or visas to Australia. These are commonly offered by businesses claiming to be immigration consultants or recruitment agents.
- All employer sponsored visas can be lodged online on the Department of Home Affairs website. Employer sponsored visas are not processed in New Delhi.
See: Working in Australia
- If you are asked to attend the High Commission to apply for a visa or to undertake visa related appointments, it is most likely a scam. We do not collect visa applications or invite applicants to attend for visa interviews or checks.
- If your visa application has been lodged online correctly, you should be able to access your application through your ImmiAccount. If you do not know your ImmiAccount credentials, ask your agent to share them with you.
- You can check and verify your visa details and conditions on our Visa Entitlement Verification Online system (VEVO).
- If you suspect that you are being scammed, do not provide any further funds to the individuals you have been dealing with to date and consider contacting the local Police and / or seek legal advice around your situation.
- If you wish to report migration scams or illegal operators, please contact:
This is a scam targeting Australian citizens or temporary/permanent visa holders who are outside Australia. Individuals are contacted by scammers claiming to be employees of the Australian Consulate General Mumbai, Australian Consulate General Chennai, Australian High Commission and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The scammers may ask you for personal details, visa related information, passport and credit card details, in order to process a payment for a return flight to Australia. Scammers may threaten you with repercussions if this information is not provided.
We strongly advise the public to be cautious of these or similar emails or phone calls that falsely claim association with the Australian High Commission or Consulates. Any transfer of personal information or money to scammers may result in identity theft, financial loss or other damages.
If you suspect or are aware of any suspicious activities, please report it to the Department of Home Affairs visa Integrity team at [email protected].
This is an email scam which uses email addresses that are designed to appear as genuine Department of Home Affairs official addresses. Emails can be received unsolicited, or a person is targeted after they register their details on a job seeking website, or when responding to a non-genuine employment advertisement.
You may also be contacted by a non-genuine company and taken through a fake recruitment process and asked to contact the Department of Home Affairs through a fake email address. You may then be asked to provide personal documents to the scammer, and asked to make a payment, often through Western Union Money Transfer or directly into a bank account.
If the email has been sent from the High Commission relating to an employment opportunity, it will end in @dfat.gov.au
If it does not end in this, and the sender claims to be associated with the High Commission it is a scam.
Please note that email addresses ending in @australiamail.com, @consultant.com, @australia.vfsglobalembassy.com, @asia.com, @ausimmigdept.au.pn, @australianvisa.au.pn, @australian-high-commission.org , @counsellor.com, @australia-govt-homeaffairs.in or @diplomats.com do not belong to High Commission, Consular or VFS staff.
A letter from the Australian High Commissioner
Please be aware that any correspondence requesting visa payment signed by the Australian High Commissioner (current Australian High Commissioner to India Hon Barry O’Farrell AO or former High Commissioner Ms Harinder Sidhu) is fake.
The Australian High Commission categorically states that any such communication does not originate from or on behalf of the Australian High Commissioner and they are not in any way associated with this scam activity.
A job offer from Mr John Gandel
Individuals are receiving job offers from a person named Mr John Gandel. Offers are to work as a Housekeeping Manager/Supervisor in his house. In his email, he advises people to contact Ms Harinder Sidhu at the Australian High Commission Visa Office through email address [email protected] or through phone number +91 9821850956.
The Australian High Commission would like to inform that neither the abovementioned email address nor phone number belong to the Australian High Commission.
A job offer from Ms Felicity Halona
Ms Felicity Halona presents herself as an Australian Consular Officer to the people who receive a job offer from ASMO Shipping Company. The email address used to contact the scammed individual is [email protected] and the phone number is +91 9311597439. You may receive various documents such as biometric appointment letter and visa acceptance letter on Australian High Commission letterhead. You will be also asked to transfer money to cover various visa application charges.
The Australian High Commission advises people that Felicity Halona is not an employee of the Department of Home Affairs and is in no way related to the New Delhi visa processing office. Please note that the abovementioned email address or phone number does not belong to the Australian High Commission, Consular or VFS staff.
Hon. (Mrs) Becky Roselyn
You may receive a job offer from a company named Inorbit Pharmaceuticals. Upon accepting the offer, the scammed individual is contacted by a person named Ms Becky Roselyn who claims to be a Counsellor/Officer at the Visa Processing Unit.
The email addresses used to scam people are [email protected] or [email protected] and the phone numbers are +91 8447144069 or +91 8826876354. You may be asked to pay a certain amount towards a registration fee, subsequent to which, an appointment to visit the Australian High Commission is issued by Ms Roselyn for visa stamping. The invitation letter may bear the signature of Hon Barry O’Farrell AO, Australian High Commissioner to India.
The Australian High Commission advises that Becky Roselyn is not employed by the Australian High Commission and is in no way related to it. Also, we do not issue appointment letters to individuals to visit the High Commission. Please note that the abovementioned email addresses and phone numbers do not belong to the Australian High Commission, Consular or VFS staff. Any official email address for Department of Home Affairs will end with @dfat.gov.au or @homeaffairs.gov.au.
You can check the status of your visa by downloading and entering your details in the VEVO application. Further details can be viewed at: Check visa details and conditions for visa holders
Letter from Ms Hannah Woody
Individuals are receiving job offers from a person named Mr. John Oliver. Offers are to work as a storekeeper with Amora Jamison Hotel Sydney. In his email from [email protected], he advises individuals to contact a consultant/lawyer in India - Smith Lawrence via phone number +91 8190858773, +91-7871896085.
Individuals are also sent a letter on a fake Australian High Commission letterhead with a heading “Visa Application Approval through Dr Mrs. Hannah Woody”. The letter requests individuals to pay anti-terrorism charges and IELTS fees to the consultant in New Delhi as a fee required by the Australian High Commission. Individuals may also receive an employment contract agreement from Hellenic Australian Lawyers Association for the proposed employment.
Please note the email addresses used by the scammers in the name of the said Hotel:
Letter from Ms. Sarah Stanton / Mr. Felix Tom / Sophia Kate
Job offers are being sent from the company “Dr. Michael Good Farmhouse” for the position of a Manager/Supervisor. Job seekers are interviewed via phone +61-488873097 by Dr. Michael Good, who claims to be the Director of the farmhouse. The interview may be followed up with an email from - [email protected]. Following the interview, individuals receive a job offer confirmation letter and a ‘Diplomatic Authorized Approval Letter’ from [email protected]. Individuals are then advised to contact Mr Felix Tom – Appointed Immigration Attorney for visa processing. These letters are signed by Ms Sarah Stanton, claiming to be an approval officer at the Australian High Commission.
Further, individuals may also receive calls from phone number +91 7428374343 and emails from Ms Sophia Kate claiming to be working at the Australian High Commission. She would provide individuals with account details for payment and request them to submit a scanned copy of the payment confirmation.
The Australian High Commission advises people that Sarah Stanton, Felix Tom and Sophia Kate are not employed by the Australian High Commission. Please note that the abovementioned email address or phone number do not belong to the Australian High Commission, Consular or VFS staff.
The Australian High Commission is aware of fake job offers received by individuals from alleged companies or businesses in Australia. The scammers are targeting individuals by offering jobs in fields such as: construction, staffing & payroll, gas & oil, logistics & engineering, research assistant, marketing management.
Examples of companies used in most recent scams:
Staffing Group Pty Ltd.
GFE Management Pty Ltd
Loris Pty Ltd
HM Pty Ltd
Neto Co. Pty Ltd/Neto Solutions
Kalt Gas & Oil
Global Logistics Pty Ltd
HSC Payroll Pty Ltd
Oak Corporation Pty Ltd
Proton Oil & Gas Company
Stub Contracting Pty Ltd, etc.
How the scam works
Along with the employment offer letter, you may be provided with contact details for a migration lawyer/agency to organise your visa to Australia. Some of the names used in the most recent scams include APN Legal, PSN Legal Agency, IFA Legal Services, NGF Legal Services, AEV Legal or Shear Legal Agency.
The scammers might use different email addresses or phone numbers to establish contact with the scammed individual. The contact details could be one of the following or something similar to [email protected], [email protected], andrew/[email protected], [email protected], hr/[email protected], [email protected], +61 480023184, +91 8429085646, +91 9956973641, +91 9956982398.
After you contact the agent, you will be sent visa application forms. You may also be asked to undertake other checks as part of visa processing (e.g., security screening, English language test). The forms may be on non-genuine Australian High Commission or Australian Government Department of Home Affairs letterhead. You will also be asked to transfer money to cover various visa application charges.
What you need to know
Please note that while the abovementioned companies or contact details are the ones that have been brought to our notice, the scam is not limited to these. The scammers might create other fictitious companies or email addresses in order to scam people. Hence, we advise you to be cautious and beware of any such false job offers before providing any personal information or money towards visa processing.
Beware of fake visa labels. Unscrupulous agents and operators are charging large sums of money for Australian visas. They are then manufacturing fake visa labels and affixing them to clients’ passports as purported evidence that they have been issued a visa.
The Australian Government does not issue visa labels anymore.
Verification of visas is available to all visa holders online through VEVO.
It is easy for illegal operators to copy a real website or create one that looks professional and very similar to the original website.
Unscrupulous agents are offering non-genuine job offer letters and using fake websites to lure people into believing they hold an Australian visa. If you are unsure you can check your visa status on VEVO.
Scammers are charging people large sums of money (the equivalent of several thousand Australian dollars), to allegedly arrange an employment visa to work in Australia.
My Health Declarations (MHD) is a service for clients who have not yet lodged a visa application and would like to undertake health examinations before lodging a visa application. The unscrupulous agents misuse this facility to lure clients by presenting this as evidence that visa applications have been lodged on their behalf. However, applications are generally never lodged with the Department of Home Affairs and then counterfeit visa grant letters are handed over to the clients.
The Department of Home Affairs has contracts with specific medical clinics in India for conducting medical examinations. You can check the list of approved panel physicians here. If the clinic you are being directed to is not on the Panel physicians list, then you are probably being scammed.
If you are unsure about whether a visa grant letter is genuine you can check your details on VEVO.
Only citizens and passport holders of certain countries are eligible to apply for an eVisitor (subclass 651) visa. The full list of eVisitor-eligible passports is available on the Department of Home Affairs website.
If you do not have a genuine and valid passport showing you are a citizen of an eligible country, then you cannot lawfully be granted an eVisitor (subclass 651) visa. Even if the visa is granted in error, you will not be able to travel to Australia. You will be prevented from boarding your flight when you reach the airport.
Scammers are charging large sums of money to allegedly arrange travel and visas to Australia for a variety of reasons including tourism, business and employment. They obtain eVisitor (subclass 651) visas based on fraudulent personal information. Any visas that are obtained based on fraudulent claims are subject to cancellation and cannot be used to travel to Australia.
The Department of Home Affairs is warning people of a scam involving the Maritime Crew Visa (MCV). Scammers are charging people large sums of money to allegedly arrange an employment contract and visa for employment on maritime vessels travelling to or working in Australia. Some MCV visas are automatically granted online. These agents lure clients by showing them what appear to be valid visas on the departmental website. However, where these visas are obtained based on fraudulent claims these are subject to cancellation. These visas allow entry to Australia as a legitimate crew member on a vessel by sea only. An MCV does not permit travel by air to Australia. A separate visa is required for that purpose.
Unscrupulous operators are defrauding clients into believing that they have been selected for 'Australian Family Resettlement' as part of a United Nations Global Special Humanitarian scheme. To add legitimacy to the scam, individuals are being sent genuine looking documents on fake UN letterheads.
Information regarding legitimate options for people outside Australia in need of humanitarian assistance including when UN assistance may be sought, is available on: Refugee visas (offshore)