Education broker jailed for visa fraud

The man, identified only as Mr Li worked with this sister Ms Olive Li, a director of Sydney-based New Field International Education Group in fabricating documents required for an Australian student visa for at least 2 applicants who are now Australian permanent residents.

According to the report after the fraudulent application was lodged, Ms Li posed as the applicants during the mandatory telephone interview with Australian immigration officials as the applicants could not speak English. She then coached the applicants on how to deal with queries at the airport, found them accommodation and jobs.

The Chinese courts heard that the Li’s charged them $10,000 to facilitate their fraudulent passage to Australian permanent residency. to permanant residency or to their student visas?

New Field International Education Group has reportedly been operating for some seven years. The court has heard that at the time of Mr Li’s arrest the pair were working on at least three other applications.

Last year, the ABC’s Four-Corners program revealed that Australian universities were paying an estimated $250 million each year to unregulated education brokers for the recruitment of international students despite widespread acknowledgement that a number of these brokers are corrupt and deal in fraudulent documents.

There are some 645,000 foreign students in Australia now, with almost a third from China. Last year, a review by the Australian National Audit office found ‘extensive shortcomings’ in the department of immigration’s oversight of visa compliance.

“There are weaknesses in almost all aspects of the Department’s arrangements for managing visa holders’ compliance with their visa conditions,” stated the report. DIBP told the AFR that it would be looking into the Li matter and will provide a response later this week.

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