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.
We must all be aware that DIAC has been reducing e-visa members from Feb 2010 onwards and hence in reality the earlier total was not 47 but possibly around 30 and now it is 22. ( Ravi Thanks for this information)
However we must be proud that all the 22 members who have been granted the access are only AAERI members when many non AAERI members also were invited for the sessions. This shows that AAERI members are only preferred by the authorities in Australia. In addition to this the Australian Universities have clearly told that if any agent wants to represent them then they should be members of AAERI.
I am not saying that the number of eVisa agents in India under the earlier system was 30. Frankly I donot know. However the visa office has been sanctioning various agencies over the last few months and I know that several agencies were removed from the list in Feb or so. Hence the number of active agencies had dropped earlier.
EVisa access is indeed a privilege and not a right.
Ravi Sent from my iPhone
Yes Ravi – there are some new members on the list and I would like to congraluate them. They all in a short time have come up the ladder
Nishi, 21 of the 22 in the list are AAERI members and not all 22.
Recently DIAC undertook an exhaustive screening process to select 22 e-visa agents in India using various parameters. It must have been a grilling exercise to screen 121 agencies within a limited time frame.I feel that most of the regions are well covered by these e-visa agents but few regions which have huge potential and large student base specially Northern region such as Punjab,Chandigarh, Haryana, Jammu&Kashmir could have some more e-visa agents to represent the prospective students. Same is true for large states such as Andhara Pradesh and Gujrat which have the potential of sending huge numbers as we have witnessed in the past. I feel there will be EXODUS of students to e-visa agents belonging to different regions as there is limited choice for them. This is my gut feeling.
Bubbly, I differ a bit from your viewpoint. The list does have higher proportion of agents from Punjab and Gujarat. Please also be reminded that even in the case of Hyderabad, it might appear that only 1 agency is on the list but in reality counting the branch offices of agencies with HQ in other cities, the total number with eVisa access is 5-6 even in Hyderabad.
I have however some concern about the background of some new agents included in the list.
I want study in Australia my ielts score 5.5
Look for a TAFE option or you may have to study for some Elicos prior to the degree.