Govt warns workers of Aussie visa scam
The Labour Ministry is warning Thai jobseekers looking for agricultural jobs in Australia to be wary of scammers claiming to be able to secure a visa immediately, as details of the scheme are still being finalised by authorities.
Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin said the scam followed the decision by the Australian government to issue working visas which would allow its holders to work in the country's agricultural sector for three years, and return to their countries for three months each year.
The visa holder, he said, would also be eligible to apply for permanent residency in Australia after three years.
While the scheme has been announced, Australia has yet to actually issue any visas, so workers need to be wary of fraudsters claiming to be able to process and/or fast-track their application, he added.
"All job seekers who wish to work overseas must thoroughly check the job position and description. They can find legal recruitment firms, 125 of which have been certified, via the website of Employment Department at 'doe.go.th/ipd'," said Mr Suchart.
"They must apply for overseas jobs legally in order to receive a reasonable salary and be protected from crimes such as human trafficking," said Mr Suchart.
The Australian embassy in Thailand also said the details of the new working visa are still being finalised.
Employment Department director-general Pairoj Chotikasathien said from Oct 1 last year, the department has brought legal actions against 96 fraudsters who duped 205 victims into paying them a total of 17.8 million baht in the hopes of finding legitimate employment overseas.
Most of the victims were looking to work in Canada, followed by Japan, South Korea, Sweden and Australia, he said.
Mr Pairoj also warned Thai labourers to avoid paying cash upfront to employment agents, saying they should only transfer money to agents or recruitment firms that are certified by authorities.
Before applying for any jobs overseas, all labourers must inform the Employment Department and depart through the job-seeker channel at airports.
In order to pass through the checks and work abroad legally, all labourers must be vouched for by the department and their employers.