Australia shuts down its visa office in Iran

Australia shuts down its visa office in Iran

The Australian Govt. has shut down its visa processing office in Iran over possible corruption warnings. There were allegations that certain migration agents were illegally obtaining Australian visas through a contact in the embassy in Tehran.

The ACLEI (Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity) has been entrusted with the investigation. The visa processing of the Australian embassy in Tehran has been closed last July.

As part of the investigation, the ACLEI has questioned many Iranian citizens in Australia. Questions were raised over how they obtained their visas. These cases raised concerns over the integrity of the visa system of Australia.

A group of migration agents based in Australia brought to notice certain migration agents with Iranian clients. These migration agents were boasting of how they had a special connection with a contact in the Tehran embassy. These agents were also charging their Iranian clients a huge sum of money for visas that cost much less.

A letter from the AIMCA (Australia Iran Migration Consultants Association) pointed out there was a surge in the number of temporary visas granted to Iranians. Most of the recipients already had relatives in Australia on protection visas. Generally, in such cases, the likelihood of getting a visa is very slim, as per ABC News. That is because the family members who arrive in Australia have a higher chance of applying for protection.

Mohd. Reza Azimi, Head of AIMCA, has said that the Australian Embassy in Iran has asked for more information to look into the corruption charges.

Since the closure of the visa processing office, other embassies in the region are now handling the visa applications from Iran.

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