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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

Immigration consultants fined for failing to assist Kharar resident

Shailee Dogra, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, November 14, 2013
First Published: 23:56 IST(14/11/2013) | Last Updated: 23:57 IST(14/11/2013)

Failure in assisting a Kharar resident to get a student visa for Australia; cost a city-based Healthyway Immigration Consultant Private Limited, dear. The firm has now been instructed to pay `15,000 as compensation for deficiency in services and unfair trade practices.

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“Retaining fee for the service, which immigration consultants failed to provide amounts to deficiency in service and not disclosing about fate of the application, amounts to unfair trade practice,” ruled district consumer disputes redressal forum, Chandigarh, while directing Healthyway consultants to refund `25,000 to Ramanjit Kaur, a resident of Sill village in Kharar. The immigration consultants would also have to pay `10,000 as cost of litigation.

Ramanjit Kaur said that she had approached Healthyway Immigration Consultant Private Limited, for arrangement of a student visa to Australia and had submitted original certificates of educational qualifications to confirm the eligibility conditions.

She said that after scrutinising the documents the immigration consultant had entered into an agreement of arrangement of student visa to Australia on March 15, 2010, against the consideration amount of `25,000 as retainer fee and university registration fee.

Ramanjit also paid `5,000 each as visa charges and medical charges and had even handed over her passport to the immigration consultants.

She accused the immigration consultants of wasting two academic years in the process of her unlimited visits to the office of immigration consultants and their false assurance that the visa would be stamped within a month or two.

Healthyway Immigration Consultant Private Limited, in its reply denied that Ramanjit had approached them for arranging a visa for Australia, and maintained that she approached the company for arrangement of Canada Student Visa in 2010.

The immigration consultants denied that there was any provision for refunding the said amount and there was no provision of law that directs the immigration consultants to refund the amount.

The consumer forum in its order dated November 6, observed, “The immigration consultants failed to take any action proves that it had done nothing in helping the complainant in getting her student visa for Australia, which clearly amounts to deficiency in service for which it had charged `15,000 towards consultancy and `10,000 towards college registration fee.”

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