Registered Migration Agents
Do you need to use a registered migration agent for Australian Visa?
You do not need to use a migration agent to lodge a visa application. However, if you choose to use an agent, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection recommends that you use a registered migration agent.
- Please find out whether your agent is a registered migration agent. You can search for a registered agent outside Australia on the Office of the MARA website. Go to ‘Search for an Agent’ and Search By Location Details: ‘Country’.
Who are Registered Migration Agents?
- Registered migration agents are people who are registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (Office of the MARA) to provide immigration assistance.
- Only registered migration agents can legally give immigration assistance in Australia.
- Migration agents must be registered with the Office of the MARA, if they are operating in Australia.
- Registered Migration Agents are bound by a Code of Conduct and are required to have an in-depth knowledge of Australian migration law and procedure and meet high professional and ethical standards.
A registered migration agent will:
- explain which visa options are available to you, and recommend a suitable option
- prepare documents for your visa application
- lodge a well-prepared application with all required documents, which can make it easier and faster to get a decision from Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) and
- contact DIBP or other organisations to discuss or ask questions about your application
The registered migration agent cannot guarantee your application will be successful as the decision is made by the Department, cannot help you get a visa if you do not meet the visa requirements and cannot guarantee faster processing of your application as it depends on a number of factors.
Your registered migration agent should:
- be honest with you about your chances of securing a visa
- keep you informed about the progress of your application and any changes that may affect it
- be contactable during business hours and tell you if they change their contact details
- act within the law, your best interests and protect your privacy
- declare any interest they have that may affect your application and not act for you if there is a conflict
- provide you with a written statement before start working on your case of the services to be provided, the estimated fees and other costs
- charge a reasonable fee and, if you pay in advance, keep this in a separate bank account
- provide you with an invoice listing the actual services completed and the amount payable, and
- provide timely and correct advice and tell you in writing about the result of your application as soon as possible.
All registered migration agents must follow the Code of Conduct for agents and must meet the obligations set out in the Code of Conduct.
The code of conduct details the professional and ethical standards for registered migration agents.
When you sign a contract, your registered migration agent must give you a copy of the Consumer Guide.
The Consumer Guide includes a summary of the Code, what you can expect from your agent, what the Office of the MARA does, and how you can complain to them if you need to.
For further information please refer to the Office of the MARA website www.mara.gov.au
A person gives immigration assistance if he or she uses, or claims to use, his or her knowledge or experience in migration procedure to assist a person with matters related under the Migration Act 1958 by:
- preparing, or helping to prepare, a visa application or other document
- advising about a visa application or visa matter
- preparing for proceedings before a court or review authority in relation to a visa application or visa matter, and
- representing in proceedings before a court or review authority in relation to a visa application or visa matter.
Immigration assistance does not include simply filling in an application form, translating or interpreting or passing on information about an application without comment or explanation.
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