Australian law states that a person who is not a registered migration agent cannot offer immigration assistance unless they meet one of the limited exemptions. This applies even if you are not being charged a fee.
If you find someone giving immigration assistance without being a registered migration agent, understand that this is an offence of ‘strict liability’. Because of this, doing the act itself is enough for a conviction – it does not need to be proven that a person intended to commit the offence.
Australian migration laws can be complicated and difficult to put into practice. This is why it is essential that the person who is offering you immigration assistance is a registered migration agent. This registration means that the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) can do many things.
Registered Migration Agents can:
- Keep a public register of registered migration agents, which is easily accessible by visa applicants and others.
- Keep a register of agents who have been suspended or cautioned
- Be confident that registered migration agents have the knowledge and understanding to offer immigration assistance by requiring them to complete a course in migration procedure, pass an exam and undertake continuing professional development
- Ensure that a registered migration agent is a person of integrity and a fit and proper person to give immigration assistance
Using an unregistered migration agent puts you at significantly more risk of being supplied incorrect, incomplete or misleading advice which will jeopardise your application process. Using an unregistered migration agent will also mean you do not have the benefit of consumer protection. When you use a registered migration agent, you can be confident that they:
- Comply with a Code of Conduct
- Have professional indemnity insurance and,
- Can be sanctioned by the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) including being cautioned or having their registration suspended or cancelled.
Talk to Emergico’s registered migration agents today so we can get to work helping you apply for your Australian visa.