You are possibly aware that two months ago, DIAC(Department of Immigration And Citizenship) announced that it was terminating the earlier access agreement and requiring all education agents to submit fresh expressions of interests. This was a process akin to re-registering and fresh agreements to be signed between DIAC and education agents. The process is nearing completion and agencies on the first list have been invited.
121 education agents in India submitted the EOI and DIAC undertook an exhaustive screening process using various parameters including success rate of visas, integrity of the agent, level of fraud and the ability to meet new threshold. Shortlisted Education Agents were invited formally on 29th-30th April and just yesterday on the AHC website has been updated with the new list of agents with eVisa access from India.
In 2009 the number of Indian agents with access to eVisa was close to 70 which was reduced to 47 by March 2010. The re-registered list released today has only 15 of the earlier 47 eVisa agents along with 7 new inclusions. I have attached the new list which can also be found on LINK HERE.
Personally, I feel that it is a turning point in the industry in more ways than one. Several “largish” members are fuming at not being included and I feel their pain as several have been in the industry for a long time and many are friends. While they are all in their right to complain, DIAC certainly knows more than me or you and the benefit of doubt, in the absence of any of their data, will be to the Australian Government’s DIAC. The process was a thorough one indeed and appeared to be fairly transparent based on some parameters.
GR is proud indeed to continue being on the list. I wish the success rate and fraud details could be made public as I feel that GR possibly has the highest success rate of all agencies due to our stricter quality control mechanism.
I will be doing a blog on the various cleansing mechanisms being embarked by the OZ government and whether all this is in the right direction.
POST SCRIPT ON 06.05.2010
It appears that a number of education agents have been kept on a kind of “waiting list” or in Indian Railway’s terminology RAC and these agents on the secondary list may be included on the primary list over the coming months subject to several factors.
I also want to make one major clarification above. It appears that a number of members are giving an impression to the rest that they have been unfairly not included on the list this time. However, it is a fact that DIAC has been actively observing several agencies over the last year. Some of the agents (atleast 4 that I know of) were actually taken off the list way back in February itself while the impression to the rest that they have not been included now. Only that the DIAC list on the immi site was not updated leading to them continuing to claim to be an eVisa agent when in reality they had ceased to be so.
Do I agree with the process undertaken by DIAC?
YES. IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN TAKEN EARLIER ITSELF.
Do I agree with all the names on the primary list?
NO. There are some names included who seem to be too new in the industry or are clearly not overboard. Once again, DIAC knows best. I will differ though. Also some names should have been there who are not there. They languish on the secondary list and should be included in the primary list.
Does AAERI have a role?
NO. It is between DIAC and the agents primarily because AAERI is not privy to the conduct of the agents while DIAC is. AT THE MOST, AAERI PRESIDENT CAN SEEK CLARIFICATIONS ON THE PROCESS FOLLOWED and I know that he is already doing that.
Is eVisa the future?
THE ABOVE ARE ONLY MY PERSONAL VIEW POINTS AS I KEEP GETTING CONTACTED BY MEMBERS ON THIS ISSUE AND WILL BE DIVERTING THEM TO THIS BLOG.