There’s a negative notion for having migration agents and lawyers in processing partner visas, it could be because there have been cases where couples had their fair share of getting scammed and ripped off.
Freedom Migration has come up with five reasons why immigration agents and immigration lawyers suck.
Migration agents and lawyers usually charge for their fees but let’s think about why they charge for their services.
Migration agents and lawyers have spent thousands of dollars studying and educating themselves on the nuances of migration law. They’ve invested years of their life learning and working in their field, honing their skills and knowledge.
Migration agents & lawyers spend a lot of money insuring themselves so you are protected. They also need to spend money on being licensed so that you have the peace of mind knowing that they’re permitted to operate in accordance with the laws that protect you.
They spend their time and their money on their team teaching them to help you with the process. Investing in a migration agent who specializes in the type of visa that you’re applying for is a payment for their experience, their time, and most importantly, an investment in peace of mind for knowing that an expert has managed your case from start to finish, in most cases, decreasing the likelihood of seeing a visa refusal, a broken heart, and money lost.
How can I work out how much experience my migration agent has?
Yes, some migration agents and lawyers are inexperienced and depending on your situation this can be a real problem. While all migration agents and migration lawyers should be capable of reading the law, regulations, and the policies that determine the grant or refusal of a visa, sometimes that’s just not enough.
If you were to undergo a serious operation, would you want the doctor who’s only just started in their role or would you want the doctor that’s done the same operation over and over again?
Just like a doctor, the more experience your migration agent has, the higher their fees are likely to be. So you need to decide what your future in Australia is worth to you.
That’s annoying. You come in with a plan and your migration agent pooh-poohs it.
Sometimes a migration agent is going to tell you your case isn’t going to be successful or your case is complicated. And, yeah, this sucks but it’s actually a good sign. A migration agent is required by law to be honest with you. We’re required to be frank and candid with you about prospects of success.
The last thing you want is a migration agent or migration lawyer that leads you up the garden path and tells you everything you want to hear, you hand over your hard-earned money and commit to an exciting plan for the future and find out that your visa has been refused. You definitely want the truth.
Yeah, that’s right.
Now, let me explain registration to you. Some migration specialists, visa experts, and visa processing companies are not operating in accordance with the laws that protect you, the consumers, in Australia. So we see this inside and outside of Australia, most commonly outside Australia.
It’s kind of like having a self-professed doctor who hasn’t been to medical school wanting to operate on you, someone who’s Googled how to treat you. They are unlikely to have access to the current laws, regulations, and policies that guide the decision-maker in how to make a decision on your visa.
The only thing ever going for them usually, in most cases, is they’re cheaper. If you wanna see how to find a registered migration agent, check out the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority website.
There’s an Australian government website that lists only those migration agents and migration lawyers who are legally allowed to give immigration advice and assistance. If the name of your agent is not on the list below, then stay clear.
Fortunately for you, it’s not all migration agents or migration lawyers do and if you do think that filling in the forms is all that’s required for a visa application then you really do need to sit down with an immigration agent.
Generally speaking, filling in the forms is really only 10% of the process required to secure a visa. The challenge of any visa is knowing what to include in an application to prove that you meet the requirements, as no two situations are the same.
A migration agent brings to your case their experience and their skills in dealing with similar cases, skills developed alongside our knowledge and our experience in substantive law.
Now, understanding the relevant cases, the relevant legislation, and how a case can turn on a small detail is what you’re investing in with a migration agent. We’re problem solvers, we’re problem preventers, we know how to help you get your desired outcome if we are of the opinion that you’re going to meet the criteria.
We distinguish between facts, inferences, presumptions, assumptions, watch out for biases, prejudice, and fallacies. We know what case law underscores the specific matter and what to watch out for that can turn a straightforward case into a very complex one.
In short, we know the law, we know how to find the relevant legislation, how to interpret it, and how it applies to your specific case. We know the legal processes, we know what must accompany the application for it to be a valid application, and how the criteria are to be satisfied.
So in short, it’s a really, really big mouthful, but that’s what a migration agent does. And as you can see, filling in the forms is only a small percentage of that.
IMPORTANT: Please note, this does not constitute Immigration advice. Always seek advice from a Registered Migration Agent before applying for an Australian Visa. Migration Law is constantly changing. This information is accurate only at the time of publication.
Emma is the founder and principal migration agent at Freedom Migration. She is extremely passionate about uniting partners and families with their loved ones overseas. It might be because she's a product of a partner visa family.