Why use a registered migration agent?
Australia's immigration rules are complex and subject to frequent change. If you decide to make an application for a visa, an Australian Registered Migration Agent can make the whole process easier and more effective. When you deal with a competent, experienced and honest Migration Agent, you maximise your chance of a successful outcome. You save a great deal of time, as the agent will take responsibility for seeing that the application is prepared correctly and that the right documents are provided.
The agent will follow up with the processing office after lodgement to minimise delays and comply with documentation requests. The agent will also keep you informed about the status of the application and about any relevant changes to legislation or policy that could affect the outcome of your case.
All agents operating in Australia must be registered with the Office of Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA). A registered migration agent is bound by the Office of Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA)Code of Conduct and is duly qualified to provide a quality service. They must also comply with legislation, specially designed to protect the prospective migrant.
To be registered, an agent must be able to demonstrate sound knowledge of immigration policy and procedure. Under the Office of Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) guidelines, registered agents must complete Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses prior to re-registration each year.
What to Expect from a Migration Agent
Migration agents registered with the Office of Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) are required to have a sound knowledge of migration law and procedure and abide by a Code of Conduct.
All migration agents who are registered with the OMARA must:
- make clients aware of all costs involved with their application and the expected time needed to perform the service
- inform clients as to the progress of their application
- provide clients with written confirmation of total costs of their application and all steps of the process have to be documented
- keep all client information confidential
- not make misleading claims as to the likely success of the application.
Registered migration agents are obliged to provide you with a copy of Information on the Regulation of the Migration Agent Profession, which provides you with basic consumer protection information.
See: The OMARA Information on the Regulation of the Migration Agent Profession
Why use a company where the migration agents are also a member of the MIA and/or the MA?
A valuable second protection is if the migration agent is also a member of the Migration Institute of Australia (MIA) and/or the Migration Alliance. These professional bodies have their own codes of conduct with which all members must abide. These bodies which represents the migration consultancy profession industry in Australia and are recognised as such by the Australian Department of Immigration. Membership with the MIA and/or the MA by your agent gives you further protection.
What about unregistered offshore agents?
Please remember that if you deal with an unregistered offshore agent you are taking a real risk. Such persons are not accountable to any Australian authority for their actions and have not had to demonstrate any knowledge of Australian migration policy and procedures.