Australia is very selective about who is allowed to live and work in their country and as such many visa applicants turn to a registered migration agent for professional assistance with their application.
While the Australian government welcomes skilled migrants, who will positively contribute to their economy and Australian society, they want to be sure that these migrants fill a need / or is in an occupation which is deemed necessary to ensure the county’s continued positive growth.
Working on a points-based system all applications is scored on their age, experience and education levels – to name a few.
This score determines if the applicant meets certain minimum criteria before the applicant might be considered for an Australian visa.
The process can be complicated and in order to ensure that applicants enjoy the best possible outcome many turn to seasoned migration agents to assist with visa applications.
Australia requires all immigration agents to be registered and accredited by MARA (Office of the Migrations Agents Registration Authority). This ensures that applicants are not subjected to fraudulent agents who scam unsuspecting applicants.
“The Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) is an office attached to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). We are based in Sydney and operate nationwide, “states their official website.
All migration agents in Australia must be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA). This ensures that a strict level of conduct is observed by the agents while complying with ethical and legal requirements of the visa application procedure.
The Australian government conducts regular inspections and raids to ensure that unlawful operators are not practicing by pretending to be registered migration agents.
MARA advices that applicant always check their website to make sure a registered migration agent is being used. Remember MARA has jurisdiction to consider complaints about registered migration agents only. If you encounter an unlawful operator providing immigration assistance, report them to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s dob-in service.
What will and won’t an immigration practitioner do?
Immigration assistance (under section 276 of the Migration Act 1958) is when a person uses or claims to use knowledge of, or experience in migration procedure to assist with visa applications or other visa matters by:
• Preparing, or helping to prepare, a visa application or other document
• Advising about a visa application or visa matter
• Preparing for proceedings before a court or review authority in relation to a visa application or visa matter
• Representing in proceedings before a court or review authority in relation to a visa application or visa matter.
A MARA agent won’t be able to help you with:
• Doing clerical work to prepare (or help to prepare) an application or other document
• Providing translation or interpretation services to help prepare an application or other document
• Advising another person that they must apply for a visa
• Passing on to another person information produced by a third person, without giving substantial comment on or explanation of the information.