Refugee Council of Australia
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Information on resettlement fraud

What is resettlement fraud?

Resettlement fraud is when people pretend they can influence the outcome of a resettlement process. This can include people who are, or people who pretend to be, employed by UNHCR, non-governmental organisations, foreign embassies or host governments. People can also say they are ‘agents’ or ‘brokers’ who can help you resettle. They may not ask for a fee or favour, but if they are pretending to do something they cannot, this is fraud.

All resettlement services by UNHCR and the International Organization of Migration are free. It is fraud if anyone asks to be paid for these services, or if they ask for a favour for these services.

These people might:

  • charge you a fee for resettlement services
  • draft false refugee claims
  • coach you on how to make false claims
  • promise you false documents or false stories
  • tell you that they can get you an interview or a departure place
  • tell you that they can speed up your processing
  • deliberately lose, destroy or fail to process a case.

These people may show you things to prove that they work with UNHCR or another organisation. For example, they can show photos of themselves with UNHCR staff, wear false ID or use false UNHCR signs or logos, and even set up false UNHCR offices or websites.

You can watch these videos by UNHCR to understand resettlement fraud. The first is in Arabic, with English subtitles.

Anyone who is giving you advice about migrating to Australia must be registered as a ‘migration agent’, even if they are outside Australia. You can check to see if the person is registered as a migration agent. You should only ever work with a registered migration agent. You can use one who lives in Australia even if you are living overseas.

Search the Register of Migration Agents

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