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May 19, 2014

Role of Registered Migration Agents

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A migration agent is a professional person who can advice on immigration matters, and can help you to prepare and lodge an application. They will also deal with DIBP (Department of Immigration and Border Protection) on your behalf; this is all usually done for a fee. It is not compulsory to use a migration agent, and it will definitely save your money on fees, but if you do not feel confident lodging an application yourself, or your case is quite complex, you may wish to use a migration agent. Always ensure the agent you use is registered to provide advice on migration. This means your agent should be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA).

Visa Registration with the Migration Agents Registration Authority

Migration Agents operating in Australia are required by law to be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA). Some Migration Agents operating outside Australia are also registered although this is not compulsory. Education consultants no matter where they are located are not migration agents and are not qualified to give migration advice.

The role of the MARA is to ensure applicants using the services of a registered migration agent receive high quality immigration assistance, and protect the consumer interests of people using the services of a registered migration agent.

Obligations of Registered Migration Agents

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 to meet high professional and ethical standards.

All registered Migration Agents must:

  • meet qualification requirements for registration which include having a sound knowledge of Australian migration law and procedures;
  • maintain a professional library and up to date professional knowledge;
  • complete ongoing professional training apply for re-registration as a Migration Agent each year;
  • be of good character; and
  • abide by the Migration Agents Code of Conduct.

So, if somebody is not MARA registered, they cannot charge you a fee to help you submit your application, they would be breaking the law here in Australia if they did. But whether you are looking to use an Australian-based agent or an agent from anywhere around the world, it is essential you choose to work with only MARA registered migration agents.