Read: A cautionary tale of an immigration application gone wrong

immigration scamIt is always heartbreaking to hear stories of innocent people taken in by conmen. Especially in the immigration industry where people’s dream are crushed and large sums of money is often lost!

That’s why we wanted to share the story of someone who recently contacted us. We want you to be aware of the dangers, so that you can steer clear of corrupt individuals who are only after your money.

Mrs X’s story

Mrs X submitted a residency application for her son in 2015. By 2017, she had still not received an outcome.

Unhappy with the long wait, Mrs X took matters into her own hands. When she was referred to a ‘deputy head of adjudications and appeals’, Mrs X attended an interview with this person.

To Mrs X’s shock, this ‘deputy head’ contacted her afterwards to ask for R4 000 to complete the process.

Mrs X paid this amount, even though she was unhappy about it, as she feared that her son’s application will be held back forever if she didn’t pay.

What happened next…

You might have guessed it – as soon as Mrs X paid the R4000, the ‘deputy head’ disappeared, never contacting her again.

When Mrs X pursued the matter, the ‘deputy head’ suddenly contacted her again, threatening and intimidating her.

The outcome…

Unfortunately, at the time of contacting us, Mrs X had still not received an outcome on her son’s residency application.

Don’t let this happen to you!

Immigration consultants and practitioners are highly regulated in some countries, but sadly this is not the case in South Africa. It is therefore much harder to check a person’s credentials.

You can, however, give yourself some peace of mind by working with a consultant, practitioner or immigration company who:

• Can prove that their immigration knowledge is up to date;
• Has tried and tested processes in place;
• Is recognised by the industry;
• Is affiliated with institutions in the industry; and
• Ideally have ISO certification.

And of course the golden rule is – never hand over money to just anyone! Insist on an explanation of what the money is for, verify that the reason you’ve been given is truthful and see to it that you get an invoice and receipt. Further protect yourself by keeping records of all transactions and communication.

This not a foolproof method in an industry that’s mostly unregulated, but it sure will go a long distance in protecting your dreams and your money.

Need professional advice? Please feel free to contact us

Should you suspect that you’ve been the victim of a con artist, you are welcome to contact us for advice. You can either call us on +27 (0) 21 424 2460 or send us an email.

We might not be able to provide assistance, as these matters are always complicated, but we could at least point you in the right direction.