IF YOU’RE intending to use a migration agent for help with your visa applications, make sure he/she is a registered migration agent.
In Australia, it is illegal for anyone to give professional immigration assistance without being registered with the Office of Migration Agents Registration Authority (Office of the MARA).
“For your protection, make sure your agent is registered with the Office of the MARA – this authority ensures only fit and proper people are registered migration agents,” a departmental spokesman said.
“They must keep up-to-date with migration law, abide by a code of conduct, maintain proper communication records and pass police checks.”
There are more than 4400 registered migration agents in Australia and overseas who can provide immigration assistance.
“If you are unhappy with the services of your registered migration agent, you can complain to the Office of the MARA,” the spokesman said.
“Making a complaint will not affect any visa application you have with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.”
The department has released a new booklet called Your rights – tips on using a registered migration agent, to protect migrant communities from unscrupulous operators.
The booklet is free and comes in 17 languages, including English, and can be downloaded here (pdf).
For more information, visit the Office of the MARA’s website www.mara.gov.au or call 1300 226 272.