Hasmukh, a Bachelor’s in Computer Application (BCA), went to Canberra to study for a one-year degree in Networking. As Networking was on the Skilled Occupation List, he was told by an agent that his Permanent Residency (PR) would be automatic on completion of his programme. What he didn’t know was that PR was applicable to students with work experience only. Now, Hasmukh is struggling to make ends meet with no PR in sight and will be returning home.
Assess your agent, counsellor
Unscrupulous agents continue to misguide students to take programmes without bothering about students’ interests or abilities, charge large sums of money to arrange fake IELTS certificates, send them for chef and hairdressing programmes with PR hopes.
While there are thousands of candidates who are desperate to leave their countries under any pretext and are prepared to pay large sums of money for faking academic as well as bank and financial documents, it is equally true that there are thousands of genuine candidates who get duped by agents catering to the grey market. So go to representatives who are genuine with a good reputation. Ask your friends, relatives or alumni to enquire about the agent's experience, whether he is genuine and can provide the required services to help you get admission into a reputed institution or university to achieve your goals and ambitions.
Beware of ‘Earn and Learn’ ads
Ads like ‘Earn and Learn’ and ‘London Dreams’ of studying in UK colleges with fees as low as GBP 3,000 and promises of work are a trap. Many duped students find themselves stranded with no money to eat let alone pay for accommodation. You must understand that jobs aren’t so easily available, and these colleges are no more than basic classrooms with few facilities. Migration-driven students do little thinking or planning before migrating and many of them end up doing low paid work.
Parents, do your homework
Then again, there are parents who would often tell agents, ‘do whatever it takes’. Since Australia has toughened its visa regulations, students are now making a beeline to Canada or the UK or EU. These people are destined to be cheated and end up in failure. Of course, many have relatives or ‘friends’ in the chosen country who are ever ready, often for a price, to help them acquire fake papers and illegal work or for that matter fake marriages to ensure their stay. But such students and their parents are not aware that they are skating on high risk ‘thin ice’.
Say ‘No’ to fake certificates
Many visas are refused because of “fake documentation” and this can result in a ban of up to ten years to that country as well as other countries.The High Commissions and Embassies are now far more pro-active and are doing thorough verifications to halt this practice. New Zealand now authorises only licensed immigration advisers to advise on migration even for students.
Do verify the following points:
- Your agent’s reputation and standing by talking to their referrals
- How long have they been in the business
- Their charges and compare these with others in the industry
- Confirm and take a written document on Refund Policy
- Their credentials from their website as well as Government websites
- Verify their response and outcome of time frame of the application from the websites
- Get trapped into arranging fake documentation
- Expect a guarantee of visa as simply no one can give this
- Lay out large sums without understanding the service expectation