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Immigration Work Abroad

Oz restuarant charged over illegal workers

Work in Australia

A Nando’s restaurant owner in Australia is facing 22 charges for illegally employing foreign students.

The students had worked illegally in Anni Kartawidjaja’s Melbourne stores over a two-and-a-half-year period. Five of Anni’s employees have also been charged over their involvement in the scam, according to Australia’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

“More than 90 charges are expected to be laid as a result of an Immigration-led investigation,” a Department spokesman said.

Work in Australia

Anni allegedly organised Indonesian nationals to travel to Australia on student visas to work in breach of their visa conditions at her Nando’s restaurants and other grocery stores. Most of the illegal workers allegedly lived at her properties while paying rent, internet, telephone and heating bills to Anni, often as salary deductions.

“It is imperative that employers understand they may be penalised for compromising the integrity of visa programs,” the spokesman said. “The department’s focus is to address the actions of businesses that willfully take part in illegal work – not to penalize businesses which act in good faith.”

Evidence obtained during the investigation indicates that key management staff were told to turn a blind eye to the illegal workers.  If convicted under the Migration Act, Anni and her associates could face up to 12 months’ imprisonment for each charge. Where the department becomes aware of fraud, these matters are fully investigated and can result in both criminal and administrative penalties, a media statement from the Department said.

“It has been a criminal offence to hire illegal workers since 2007 – an offence that carries substantial penalties including prison terms,” the spokesman said.

More information about the revised laws is available online.

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Paulini to become Aussie

Fijian-born singer Paulini is taking up Australian citizenship tomorrow at a special ceremony in Canberra coinciding with Australia’s Harmony Day.

“Australian citizens come from across the globe and my story is no different,” says Paulini. “I moved here from Fiji when I was four-years-old.”

“I am so excited to be taking this step to formally join the Australian family.”

“No matter where you come from, you can contribute something special to what it means to be Australian. We have a diverse, free and inclusive society and this is the one thing I love most about Australia,” she says.

Paulini, australian singer, fijians in australia

Paulini came into limelight when she became one of the top four finalists in Australian idol. She went on to top the Australian ARIA Charts in 2004 with her debut Platinum album “One Determined Heart” and her Platinum smash single “Angel Eyes”, both hitting the No. 1 spot (Angel Eyes remained at the top of the charts for 6 consecutive weeks). She is one of only ten Australian female solo artists to have a #1 album.

“I’m at the happiest point in my life. I’m spending my spare time in the studio writing and creating my own work”.

Paulini will receive her Australian citizenship on the Harmony Day where this year’s theme is: Many Stories – One Australia.

More than 50 people from 21 countries will become citizens at the ceremony, fittingly on a day where Australians celebrate the nation’s diversity.

“The values of inclusiveness, respect and belonging are fundamental to the development of Australia’s successful multicultural framework and these values are at the core of what Harmony Day is about,” a spokesman for Australia’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship says.


Since Harmony Day began in 1999, about 50,000 events have been staged across Australia with community groups, schools, churches, local governments and the business community once again coming together to celebrate the cultures that make Australia a great place to live.

Harmony Day is celebrated on March 21 each year, which is also is also the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Immigration Study Abroad

Resources for finding study-abroad opportunities

In this increasingly globalized world, there are many reasons for Indians to study abroad. You get the chance to see the world and broaden your experience. You can gain a fresh perspective on your home country. You learn a language in country where it is spoken by the native population. You gain transferable professional skills and improve your marketability. You also get the opportunity to develop friendships that can last a lifetime.

The idea of studying abroad can seem intimidating, especially for Indians without experience of traveling outside of the country. Here are some resources for easing the process of studying abroad and finding study-abroad opportunities:

  • College Study-Abroad Programs – Many colleges and universities offer study-abroad programs, including study-abroad programs through distance learning schools. You can find more information earning a degree here. Some schools have individual study-abroad departments, while others are affiliated with a specific department, such as languages and cultures of Asia or international business. The study-abroad programs at schools can help line students up with study-abroad programs, as well as offer guidance on such things as travel reservations, culture shock, and pre-trip immunizations.
  • The Center for Global Education – The Center for Global Education is an Internet resource for all things about studying abroad. This includes help in finding study-abroad opportunities, descriptions of various types of study-abroad programs, advice on funding your study-abroad experience, location of banks and ATMs, safety and health tips, and cultural information for specific countries. The Center for Global Education also provides links to many other useful study-abroad websites.
  • International – The Intenational Student website is great porthole for those interested in studying abroad. In addition to providing useful information on study-abroad programs, it gives individuals who are interested in studying abroad the chance to interact with each other on blogs or forums.


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Unregistered migration agent fined

An Australian citizen has been fined $12,000 by a Perth court for providing immigration assistance while not a registered migration agent.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) says the sentence sends a strong warning that illegal operators in the migration industry will not be tolerated.

Pacita Boynes, who was previously convicted on similar matters, pleaded guilty to 13 charges under the Migration Act 1958, for offences including making false statements on visa applications and referring people to work in breach of visa conditions.

In Australia, migration agents must be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority.

DIAC began an investigation of the woman after receiving a complaint from one of her clients and found her acting without accreditation as a migration agent for dozens of individuals or businesses on temporary skilled migration matters.

She is suspected of earning more than $100 000 by charging fees to both businesses and visa applicants for migration services.

In November 2010, Boynes had to pay the Commonwealth $50,000 under the first successful proceeds of crime action for migration fraud for her work as an unregistered migration agent.

A DIAC spokesman said anyone found to be providing unregistered immigration assistance can face charges under the Migration Act with penalties ranging from two to 10 years’ imprisonment and/or fines.

“The Australian Government will not tolerate illegal operators posing as migration professionals,” the spokesman said.

“Migration decisions involve considerable financial and emotional investments on behalf of prospective migrants. Unprofessional, incompetent or unethical behaviour by unregistered individuals challenge the integrity of Australia’s visa programme and brings the entire profession of more than 4500 registered migration agents into disrepute.”

Anyone found to have obtained a visa based on fraudulent information will be considered for cancellation, and any future applications may be refused under new provisions introduced in April 2011. People working in breach of visa conditions also face visa cancellation.

Earlier, a Perth man was prosecuted in August 2011 for supplying illegal workers to West Australian businesses.

In Australia, migration agents must be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA). A list of registered migration agents in Australia is also available on the website.

Agents Outside Australia: Migration agents who operate outside Australia do not have to be registered. The MARA department may give some overseas agents an identification (ID) number. This number does not mean they are registered.