Fabrizio is a citizen of Venezuela who came to Australia on a student (Class TU) subclass 500 visa. Since being in Australia, the situation in his home country has deteriorated, and he tells you that he no longer feels safe returning when he finishes his studies. He explains that he is opposed to the Venezuelan government and is being targeted by its supporters. He asks for your help to apply for a protection (Class XA) subclass 866 visa.
Shortly after meeting with Fabrizio, you are visited by Silvio de Silva, another Venezuelan student in Australia. He tells you that Fabrizio is involved with an organised group who are exploiting the political situation in Venezuela in order to remain in Australia to work. He tells you that Fabrizio has paid $15,000 to middle-men who will develop an on-line profile for him so he appears to be politically active and opposed to the Venezuelan government.
(a) Should you, as a registered migration agent, inform the Department about what Silvio has told you?
Following the visit from Silvio de Silva, you contact Fabrizio and tell him what Silvio has said. Fabrizio denies this and explains that Silvio is supportive of the Venezuelan government and trying to undermine protection claims by those who are opposed. He confirms his instructions to you to proceed and lodge the protection visa application.
(b) What are your obligations under the Code of Conduct?
(c) What consequences, if any, might there be for you as a registered migration agent, if Silvio’s allegations are found to be correct?
Jen Harding is a registered migration agent with her own practice. Unfortunately Jen has let her workload get on top of her and is finding it hard to respond to all her clients’ emails and phone enquiries. In fact, she’s feeling so stressed that she’s closed her practice and cut off her telephone and email accounts without letting any of her clients know.
Given that Jen’s clients have been unable to contact her, they’ve had to employ other agents to take over their matters and have incurred financial loss as a result.
Referring to the relevant legislation, and the Code of Conduct, identify and explain:
Jen’s registration as an agent lapses before MARA has a chance to act on the complaints that it has received from her clients.
Carole Baskin is a Registered Migration Agent. She owns and operates Aussie Visas!, a migration agency in Melbourne. A few weeks’ ago she spoke on the phone with a new client – a gold mining company with a registered office down the road from Carole’s office. She agreed to assist them to apply for a Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa for one of their overseas employees. The company said it was happy to pay for all aspects of the work, including any sponsorship application; nomination; skills assessment and the visa application. The call concluded with the mining company engaging Carole to undertake the work.
Carole’s only communication with the company was that telephone call a few weeks’ ago when she informed the company’s human resources officer that she will be charging $8,000 (plus $800 as 10% for GST) for professional fees for the work.
Yesterday a work experience student from the mining company suddenly appeared at Carole’s office reception. He gave her a company cheque for $8,800. The cheque was made out in her name and she deposited it in the firm’s general account. She plans to withdraw $3000 of the client’s money as soon as the cheque is cleared next week, because she needs to pay for her dog’s vet fees. She has not yet started work on the client’s matter.
Refer to relevant legislative provisions in your answers.
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