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10 tips to avoid a visa scam in Australia

Thinking about working in Australia? You’ll need a valid work visa. If you are told that you can work on an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), you’re being lied to.

You could be caught in visa scam if:

  1. the individual or agent demands upfront fees/money for an Australian visa
  2. you are told to get an ETA for work
  3. you are asked to set up a company and to apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN) in order to work
  4. the agent will only provide you with a handwritten contract or handwritten agreement
  5. you are promised permanent residence in Australia
  6. the employer or agent uses the Australian coat of arms on their website to deceive people into thinking that what they are offering is approved by the Australian Government
  7. you are told you will be paid in cash only
  8. you are told you won’t be required to get an Australian Government Tax File Number
  9. the employer or agent in Australia does not have an ABN
  10. you are offered a rate of pay below the minimum Australian wage which all foreign workers are entitled to (see

If you are aware of, or suspect a scam in relation to ETAs and working in Australia, please report it to Australia’s Border Watch by visiting

Source: The Department of Home Affairs

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