Australia’s immigration authority has cancelled the licence of a Chinese immigration agent, following “a number of complaints about applications for protection visas”.
The Sydney-based migration agent failed in her bid to have a decision to cancel her registration overturned, with the Administrative Review Tribunal (AAT) confirming the decision by the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA).
The Authority found that Weiming Qian had failed to competently and diligently assist her clients and act on their instructions, manufactured or encouraged the manufacture of claims for protection visas, failed to attend with her clients at the Refugee Review Tribunal and the former Federal Magistrates Court for appointed hearings and prepared applications for judicial review when not qualified.
A migration agent has a duty to act in the lawful interests of a client and this agent’s conduct was clearly not in her clients’ interests, a spokesman for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection said.
“She deliberately undermined the protection visa programme at every stage, the lodgement of applications for visa processing and review proceedings before the Refugee Review Tribunal and the courts.”
The AAT found the scale of the complaints indicated entrenched poor practice and found the decision made by the OMARA to cancel Ms Qian’s registration as a migration agent was correct, as was the decision that she could not be re-registered for five years.
“Only people who are registered with the OMARA are permitted to give immigration assistance,” the spokesman said.
“Registered agents must meet a code of conduct and be a fit and proper person to provide immigration assistance.”
There are more than 5000 registered migration agents in Australia and overseas who can provide immigration assistance. People wishing to find out whether an individual is registered as a migration agent can go to the Authority’s website, www.mara.gov.au.