Melbourne: 80 Indians were reportedly mocked, when they were asked to pay unreasonable fees for a working visa by some recruitment firms. It raised serious concerns about the improper use of visa scheme that permitted hiring of immigrants.
Foreign employees were promised permanent residency or long term occupation if they were paid 5,000 – 40,000 Australian dollars , but they were only given a temporary work and in some cases with a very small compensation or no payment at all.
Some Indians were also reportedly duped to pay 4,000 dollars for enrolling in a cleaning course, where in fact the actual cost of training was only 1,300 Australian Dollars. They were also advised that it would allow them to get an Australian Work Visa.
Some Indians were ordered by their recruitment agents to work as unskilled laborers in abattoirs in an arrangement with an abattoir owner. The investigation revealed the worst misuse of 187 and 457 visa schemes with up to more than 200 cases in Australia.
As a component of Regional Sponsored Migrations Scheme or RSMS, subclass 187 visa permits Australian employers to sponsor foreign workers. Subclass 457 visa permits qualified employers to address shortages in skilled workers which cannot be filled within the local labor market.
An investigation revealed that other companies currently based in Philippines, Geelong and Gold Coast were targeting Filipino Workers who were applying for a 457 temporary workers visa.
There were twenty – nine Filipinos who complained to Philippine Embassy in Canberra about the unreasonable fees they paid to agents.
A report also revealed that Clinica Internationale, a company based in Melbourne was also involved in such felonious act. However, the said company was able to continue its operation despite of the repeated complaints reported in the immigration department.
The owner of the said company allegedly asked one hundred Indians to pay 40,000 Australian dollar to avail 187 visa. This visa allows a worker to avail a permanent residency after being provided with a regional employer sponsorship. However, the owner failed to provide the promised jobs to the workers. Some visa holders were just asked to work in abattoirs as skilled laborers.
The federal government of Australia has declared the introduction of new laws by which employers will be requested to undertake labor market testing in hiring foreign employees.
The minister for Australian Immigration stated that the current government believes that the permanent residents and Australian Citizens must be given priority in local jobs.
The minister further stated that the government would introduce new work inspectors who would be given a monitoring role and additional powers under the migration act.