The Australian High Commission in India has published an alert warning of a new visa scam tied to an employment agency in South West Delhi. More than 50 people contacted the High Commission in recent weeks, saying they paid as much as 50,000 INR (about AUD$970 or US$715) for work visas in what turned out to be a scam. The High Commission urged visa applicants to exercise caution when working with visa agencies.

“Australia does not have a work visa program of the sort being promoted by the scammers,” a spokesperson from the Australian High Commission said in a statement, adding, “Our Temporary Skills Shortage work visa is run only with approved sponsors, and only for applicants with specific skills in demand in Australia.”

The High Commission said the agency behind the scam would charge victims for job placements, often providing fake job offers by using the names of prominent Australian companies. The agency would also charge fees for visa lodgement and for medical check-ups from an unauthorised clinic. The scammers went so far as to provide fake visa notices and links to a fake website.

“We have seen clones of our website before but the newest versions link to a fake visa checking site that only contains the visa details concocted by the agent,” the High Commission said. “This may look convincing to someone who is wanting proof the agent is not duping them—but actually, it is still all fake.”

BAL Analysis: Visa scams are common around the world. Potential visa applicants are urged to employ caution anytime they are asked to pay money or divulge personal information. The Australian High Commission has published a list of recent scams as well as general information for potential visa applicants and a list of authorised physicians. Those who believe they have been a victim of the scam should contact local authorities.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Australia. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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