If you are going hire an agent to help you make your visa application to the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), you should be sure that the agent you are dealing with is registered with the authority that regulates Australian professional migration agents.
The Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) sets the rules that Australian registered migration agents must abide by. It is illegal (with a few exceptions) for Australians not qualified as agents and registered with the MARA to give immigration advice in Australia.
Even if you are applying from overseas, these days with internet aces, there is no need to use an unregistered agent in your home country. To have the benefit of MARA’s authority, you should either find an agent in your local area who is registered with MARA or find an Australian based agent on the MARA website, who deals with clients in your country.
MARA registered agents must abide by a Code of Conduct that is designed to protect clients and the integrity of the profession: https://www.mara.gov.au/becoming-an-agent/professional-standards-and-obligations/code-of-conduct/
In the past, Australian migration agents were not effectively regulated and there were wide variations in the quality of honesty and service clients could expect to receive. These days, the MARA has authority to discipline Australian registered agents who act dishonestly or negligently.
These measures have helped to improve the standard of Australian Migration Agents and have also provided clients with an opportunity to make an official complaint if they believe their agent has not acted properly.
All MARA registered agents are also required to hold insurance to provide clients with compensation in cases of professional negligence. It is important to be sure that your chosen agent is in fact registered with the MARA before handing over payment and engaging an agent’s services, so that you can benefit from the safeguards registration brings.
If you have already engaged an Australian Migration Agent and you are not sure if they are registered with the MARA, you can check by clicking on the following link and searching the MARA database:
We are Australian Registered Migration Agents dealing with clients all countries. Wherever you are in the world, we can represent you in your Australian migration case. If you have any questions about this or any other Australian visa or migration matter, please contact us and we will be happy to help:
Michele Clayton Migration Agents Registration Number 0957773
Legal Practitioner NSW 55486