2004 – Options for Regulating Migration Agents Overseas and the Immigration Related Activities of Education Agents

Attachment: CAPA Submission

CAPA’s key concern in this submission is the welfare and rights of international students. CAPA is very concerned about the number of unscrupulous agents (both education agents and migration agents) acting against the welfare of students.

The Migration Act and ESOS Act are designed to both:

  • stop migration of unsuitable/unqualified people into Australia, and
  • protect the rights of suitable/qualified migrants.

There is an essential tension between these two roles which can result in legitimate migrants or visa holders being incorrectly or inappropriately targeted and punished after making honest mistakes, through the same legislative instruments they rely on for protection. CAPA belives that the protective elements of legislation and regulation should be the focus of the current review. Strong regulation of the migration advice industry will weed out both those agents who misinform potential legitimate migrants, as well as those who facilitate illegitimate immigration – indeed it is likely that the same agents undertake both roles.

We also comment here on some issues outside of the scope of the current review relating particularly to the off-shore education advice industry. Believing that the illegitimate migration advice activities of off-shore education agents are likely to go hand in hand with illegitimate education advice activities by the same agents, CAPA recommends a broader review of the offshore education advice industry with input from both DEST and DIMIA.