Using a Migration Agent? Check the code of Conduct

Have you heard about fake migration operators who mislead clients and falsely claim they are FULLY registered with the government authorities? Unfortunately, there are in fact numerous dodgy ‘agents’ out there who claim they can give you immigration advice and/or prepare your visa application for you.

What should I be aware of as a Visa Applicant/Sponsor?

As a Visa applicant or sponsor, you need to be aware of the many online companies, located both inside and outside of Australia, who fraudulently allege they’re authorised to give immigration guidance. For your own protection and to prevent your hard-earned money going to waste, please ALWAYS seek advice from a Migration Agent who is registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) and can provide proof of their current registration.

How do I check if my agent is registered?

To check if your agent is registered with MARA you need to get their MARN Number. Only registered migration agents get the 7-digit MARN number. This number should be on their business card, website, Facebook page and any other advertising material they publish. As an example, you can see that my MARN number (1800051) is published next to my name on this blog and all over our website.

Get a FREE copy of our Partner Visa Roadmap

Download our free Partner Visa Roadmap and use it to do a self assessment of where you are at in the process. Try filling out as much information as you can and see if you have everything that is required.

However just having a MARN Number published does not mean the agent is ACTUALLY registered. You need to go to the MARA website and search for them. To do this, you simply go to the page and in the ‘Search for an agent’ section in the top right of the page, enter the MARN number of your agent and check if he/she is in the results. Check that the agent is actually registered and that the details they have given you match what is on the website.

This is not just a scare story, this actually happens! We have experienced this at Freedom Migration where a non-registered person fraudulently used our details to try and trick unsuspecting clients. Luckily, this person has been caught and the Australian Federal Police are now involved.

If you have engaged the services of an agent or are thinking about it then you should do this. It only takes a few seconds so go do it NOW!

Once you are sure your agent is registered then you know that they must comply with the Code of Conduct. All registered agents are governed by this Code of Conduct.

What is the ‘Code of Conduct’?

The Code of Conduct was created by the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA), the Australian Government body who regulates the conduct of migration advice professionals. This code of behaviour applies to all registered migration agents and we encourage you to check it out so you are aware of your rights before you engage anyone to help you with your Visa application.

We just hate it when people are cheated or taken for a ride. That’s why you can rest assured that here at Freedom Migration, our agents are all MARA registered migration agents. We care about our profession and keeping a high standard of service as that is what our job is all about. We make sure that you have a smooth and stress-free experience during your migration journey.

So, if you’re wanting to hit the ground running on your Partner Visa journey, start it with us — contact us now!

Please Note: This does not constitute Immigration advice. Always seek advice from a MARA Registered Migration Agent before applying for an Australian Visa. Migration Law changes constantly. This information is accurate only at the time of publication.

About the Author Avelyn Chen

I was born in Changsha (China), lived in Wuhan (China), and moved to Singapore when I was 8. So I speak Mandarin and Singlish. I might also speak a bit of Cat. I studied law and now specialise in migration law.

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