AUSTRALIAN IMMIGRATION OFFICIALS are investigating a potential visa fraud whereby applicants from Ireland use their Irish language names to apply for visas they are not entitled to.
Irish visa applicants were using new passports with the Irish version of their names to apply for the visas, hiding the fact that they previously had a visa in the country using the English version of their name. The new system of fraud was first reported on by the Irish Independent.
The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection confirmed to the Irish Independent that its officers travelled to Dublin in February to discuss immigration and border protection issues with their Irish counterparts.
The Department is aware of and is investigating a migration fraud involving Irish applicants using new passport features to access Australian visas,” a spokesperson said.
Accurately identifying non-citizens underpins the integrity of Australia’s migration, visa and citizenship programmes and is the basis for all security and character checks completed before making a decision about whether to grant a visa to come to Australia.
However, the Australian authorities said they could not comment further.
The DFA said its Passport Service regularly met with other countries to discuss passport issues.