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Your rights

The Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) is the regulatory body that ensures only fit and proper persons are approved as registered migration agents and investigates complaints against agents. It is a discrete office attached to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Choosing a Migration Agent

  • All registered migration agents have a unique Migration Agents Registration Number (MARN).
  • You can check if a person is registered by searching for their MARN on the MARA website.
  • Lawyers and education agents need to be registered before they can give you immigration assistance in Australia.
  • No person can guarantee you will get a visa –even if the person is a registered migration agent.
  • Unless exempt, it is illegal for anyone to give immigration advice in Australia if they are not registered with the Authority.

Tips and hints when using a migration agent

Your agent must:

  • be honest with you about your chances of securing a visa and cannot guarantee your application will be successful or faster processing of your application.
  • gives you a copy of the Consumer Guide. once they have agreed to do work for you.
  • provide you with a written statement — before starting work — of the services to be provided, the estimated fees and other costs.
  • return any documents that belong to you within 7 days after you have asked.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • provide timely and correct advice and tell you in writing about the result of your application as soon as possible.

Complaints

If you experience a problem with your registered migration agent you should try and resolve it with them but you can also complain to the MARA.

For more information about your rights, please click here.