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Why Registered Agents

If you want to use a migration agent in Australia to help with your visa application, make sure they are a registered agent with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA). This protects you.

It is a serious offence for anyone who is not a registered migration agent to give immigration assistance in Australia. The penalty can be up to 10 years of imprisonment.

Registration of an agent gives you protection and helps ensure people working with migration agents who are aware of current laws and procedures and give correct advice.

Benefits of using a registered Migration Agent

Registered Migration Agents are bound by a Code of Conduct and are required to meet high professional and ethical standards and;

  • must have a good and up-to-date knowledge of Australia’s immigration law and procedures
  • are bound to act in your legitimate interests and give you accurate advice through Code of Conduct
  • must manage your money in a separate account until services are provided, and have their accounts audited from time to time
  • must keep proper client records for seven years.
  • are authorised to represent you and must tell you about your visa outcome in a timely manner                                                      

All registered Migration Agents must:

  • Have undergone an Australian Federal Police check.
  • Hold a current Australian Legal practicing certificate or have completed (and passed) a Graduate Certificate in Australian Migration Law and Practice at an Australian University.
  • Be an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident
  • Maintain a professional library and up to date professional knowledge;
  • Complete ongoing professional training apply for re-registration as a Migration Agent each year;
  • Hold a minimum amount of professional indemnity insurance.
  • manage your money in a separate account until services are provided, and have their accounts audited from time to time
  • Abide to act in your legitimate interests and give you accurate advice through a Code of Conduct.

Risks of using an unregistered Migration Agents

Using a registered migration agent has many benefits. Not using one has many risks, an unregistered Migration agent:

  • might have only limited knowledge of Australia’s immigration law and procedures
  • might give incorrect advice, make false promises, or try to take advantage of your situation
  • might not handle your money the right way (some have taken large amounts of cash from their clients)
  • might not keep proper files and misplace your important documents, including original ones
  • make false claims about your chances of success and have no obligation to tell you about your visa outcome

​​​For more information about Migration Agents, please go to MARA website.