What exactly does a migration agent do?
A migration agent is a service provider who will offer you professional help with applying for a visa for Australia. Every migration agent practicing in Australia needs to be registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) and have a Migration Agents Registration Number. A migration agent is not part of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). He/she is independent of DIBP, and does not issue a visa! Rather, the visa is granted by an immigration officer from DIBP.
What professional education does a migration agent have?
Every person wishing to practice as a migration agent in Australia must have a valid Australian Legal Practicing Certificate or must have passed a special postgraduate course at university (the Graduate Certificate In Australian Migration Law And Practice). This ensures that every registered migration agent has the appropriate knowledge in the complicated and extensive Australian migration law and will therefore be able to offer services of the highest professional standard. Every migration agent needs to undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD). This means that their level of knowledge of migration law is kept up-to-date, and it also means that Australian migration agents are amongst the best-educated immigration advisors worldwide!
How should a migration agent behave towards me?
A migration agent must always be frank and candid with you about the chances of obtaining a visa. The migration agent must act in the client's best interest and he/she is obliged to confidentiality. Naturally, a migration agent has to work within the law. Every migration agent must also abide by a Code of Conduct, and as a client you are entitled to a copy of the Code.
Can a migration agent guarantee success of my visa application?
No! The Code of Conduct expressly prohibits a migration agent to offer a guarantee of success! If a migration agent has guaranteed success for your visa application that is a clear sign of the lack of professionalism of this agent.
Why should I pay for immigration advice from a migration agent?
The decision to migrate to Australia may be one of the most important decisions in your life! Therefore, it is paramount for you to engage a migration agent who will advise you honestly, competently and professionally, and then assist you in applying for the visa and hand in the application on your behalf. Hiring a migration agent ensures that all necessary documents and information will be communicated to DIBP, thus enhancing your chances of obtaining the visa. Australian migration law is complex, extensive, and frequently changes. What is up-to-date today can be out-of-date tomorrow, and, as the expression goes, "the devil is in the detail"! By engaging a migration agent, you ensure that important aspects in your visa application are not missed, and that your chances will be assessed based on the most recent changes to the Australian migration legislation.