Friday the 2nd May 2014
Volume 299

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Dear subscribers, 


Welcome to the latest edition of IMMIGRATION NEWS and to the new subscribers. IMMIGRATION NEWS is proudly sponsored by Australian Immigration Law Services. For new readers you can subscribe using the link on the right hand side. Please feel free to forward this e-mail to any of your friends.


Today we bring to you excerpts from news stories in the mainstream media regarding Immigration and Migration Agents.



Sydney woman jailed for impersonating an Immigration Officer.                                        

We all get spam email from what looks like legitimate banks and know better than to read them, however there have been reports regarding people claiming to be Immigration officers and contacting people for various reasons. 

The Immigration department has issued statements from time to time warning people against such scams. On May 1st, 2014 a Sydney court issued a reminder to the community that immigration fraud will not be tolerated, after a Sydney woman was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment for impersonating an Immigration Officer. 

Australian citizen, Tashu Singh was found guilty in Parramatta Local Court on four charges under the Criminal Code Act 1995 of impersonating a Commonwealth public official and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment. 


Impersonating Immigration Officers is a serious crime that will not be tolerated by the Immigration Department and Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said the Government takes these sorts of cases very seriously.

'The Department of Immigration and Border Protection actively sought prosecution of this person following complaints about her actions,' Minister Cash said.



Update: David Bitel's rape case.
Sydney attorney and Migration Agent; David Bitel Image Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Prominent Sydney refugee advocate and Migration agent Mr David 

Bitel was arrested and charged in December, 2012 with with seven offences, including rape and indecent assault on four of his male clients.


You can read the news stories regarding his arrest and subsequent updates below:


Australian Broadcasting Services, December 6th, 2012 


Sydney Morning Herald, December 7th, 2012 


Australian Broadcasting Services. 22nd January, 2013 


The Australian, January 22nd, 2013 


The Daily Telegraph, March 9th, 2014 


The Sydney Morning Herald, April 16th, 2014 


After nearly 18 months the case is still to be heard before the courts and he is still permitted to practice as a Migration Agent. 



Department of Immigration monitoring individual social media contents according to various media reports. 

The Department of Border Protection and Immigration has publicly asked a refugee advocate to remove an "offensive" Facebook post, sparking outrage on social media. SBS reported on April 7th, 2014.

Canberra Times reported further that "Federal government departments are using increasingly powerful cyber-snooping equipment to monitor the social media lives of millions of Australians.

A dramatic public confrontation between the Immigration Department and a Sydney political activist over her Facebook page has resulted in accusations that mass-electronic surveillance is being used to keep tabs on political dissent.


Other large government departments including Centrelink, Defence and Social Services have done mass monitoring of social media activity."

Read the full Canberra Times article here.


Tanaya Das                                        woman-taking-notes.jpg

Sometimes I wonder what the Department of Immigration is thinking and what it deems are its priorities. For some people it takes the form of an omnipotent being that can grant them their dreams or just as easily crush their dreams.

On one hand Australia encourages skilled immigrants to apply for permanent resident visas on the other hand makes the visa application procedure super complicated and the fees exhorbitant. On one hand international student income accounts for the third highest earning export on the other hand there is this ridiculous hoops students have to jump through before being given student visas. 

The genuine temporary entrant criteria boggles one's mind! I mean logically any student who spends the kind of fees international students pay would want jobs that would justify the cost of the education, the highest number of students come to Australia from various countries in Asia. So to think that they are coming here just to study and then intend on going back to India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, honestly who believes that? Its simple in Australia there is a pathway to stay on after completing their education that is the most attractive thing to most international students. And what's wrong with that? Why shouldn't someone want to stay in Australia? It is a wonderful country and most people are genuinely warm and welcoming.

Australia has a population of 22.68 million; visas for spouses and partner's of Australian citizens and permanent residents depending on the subclass, country of applicant and length of relationships take a minimum of five months to be processed compared to say France with a population of 66.7 million takes two weeks to process spouse visas.  Kind of makes one wonder what is being done at the Department of Immigration doesn't it?

There are still thousands waiting to be granted their subclass 885/886 visas, some of these people have been waiting for four years in a limbo, many of them just leave Australia as they are tired of waiting. Most jobs in Australia require one of have full work rights and a substantive visa so a lot of these people have had their career prospects stalled because the department of immigration without any notice deemed that their applications were of lower priority.

So visa applications sit in limbo while the department updates the numerous number of forms visa applicants have to fill out. The latest version of the forms ask for residential addresses that go back 30 years, who remembers information like that? The forms ask for education data primary school onwards, honestly if someone was hiding something would they actually answer the forms correctly? They would just skip giving any adverse information, meanwhile most skilled people looking to migrate to Australia for a better future are forced to fill-out these ridiculous forms for days. How is that productive use of anyone's time?
The introduction of Streamline Visa Processing for student visas in 2012 was a wonderful idea that reduced the red-tape for students coming to study degrees at Universities. But then according to a few education agents in spite of applying for a student visa to study a University degree; students from certain countries are still asked to show access to funds amounting to $60000! Which student in the world has $60000 just lying in their accounts?
And now it seems like the Department of immigration is busy spying on people's social media pages and threatening them for expressing their opinions on private profiles. Seriously?
This may seem like a bit of a rant but a lot of people are just confused with the way the notoriously secretive department of immigration works. A little bit of transparency is not much to ask after visa applicants pay these ridiculously exorbitant visa application fees.

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Australian Immigration Law Services






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          Karl Konrad

Australian Immigration Law Services


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