Why do I need a Registered Migration Agent?

Most potential migrants are unaware of just how expensive it is to migrate to Australia. When hit by a $7,000 visa processing fee on top of travel, document verification and many other hidden costs, hiring a registered migration agent is the last thing on their minds.

However, submitting an application without professional help is probably one of the worst mistakes a visa applicant can make. Not only is the process very complex and difficult, getting it wrong the first time will impact the success of any follow-up applications.

Whether you are looking at applying for a visa or have a loved one who is, check out the information below on why using a migration agent is the right way to go:

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What is a migration agent?

A migration agent is a person who has been licensed and registered as a professional who can help give prospective visa applicants advice or who can help represent them as they file their visa application.

What can a migration agent do for you?

A migration agent can:

  • Give you information as to the types of visas which are available for you to stay temporarily or permanently in Australia
  • Assess the facts and circumstances of your individual case to see if you have the necessary eligibility requirements to apply for a visa
  • Help you obtain documents to submit in support of your visa application
  • Help you fill out forms and documents for submission to the Immigration authorities
  • Receive correspondence and notices from the immigration authorities with regard to the status of your visa application
  • Inform you of the legal remedies available to you in case your visa application is refused
  • Refer you to lawyers who can help you with the legal aspects of appealing the refusal of your visa application

Can I trust a migration agent?

Migration agents have a duty to keep your confidential information and not to disclose them unless it is with your knowledge and consent and disclosure is in your best interest.

Migration agents have a license and any misconduct committed by them in the course of their work as migration agents can be made the subject of complaint.

What difficulties may I encounter when dealing with a migration agent?

A migration agent may have many clients and so the migration agent may be under a lot of time pressure to meet deadlines and to see and confer with clients. They may not always be available for face-to-face meetings and so you will have to contact them through email or their mobile phone.  This may be difficult for persons who may have restricted access to the internet or to mobile phones.

Migration agents may have specializations: some specialize in humanitarian and refugee visas, others specialise in partner visa, etc.  You must find a migration agent who specializes in the kind of visa you want to obtain so that you can be assured of the migration’s experience and expertise.

Migration agents are under a contract for services and so they will charge a professional fee for their services.  This is on top of the fees for filing the application and other fees for obtaining copies, verifying and translating documents.  This professional fee is also on top of any fees for any assessments for your health, character and skills which you may need in support of your visa application.

How can I tell which migration agent to trust?

A trustworthy migration agent:

  • Has a valid license.
  • Has an office with a street address and land line phone number.
  • Will not insist that you pay his or her fees up front prior to rendering any services.
  • Will set up a trust fund for the expenses incurred in connection with your visa application
  • Will send you a statement of account and a report on how the trust fund was utilised
  • Will not give you 100% assurance that you will be granted the visa you applied for.
  • Will not promise that he or she will contact person(s) in the immigration office to ensure that your visa application is granted.

 

About the Author Emma Drynan

I am the founder and principal migration agent at Freedom Migration. I am extremely passionate about uniting partners and families with their loved ones overseas. It might be because I’m the product of a partner visa family.

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