The decision to engage the services of a migration agent is your responsibility. The Department of Home Affairs does not require or recommend the use, but when you are making this decision, you may wish to consider the complexity of your application and whether you are confident that you have understood the regulations which will be applied to your application. A migration agent cannot influence nor predetermine the outcome of your application or arrange for your application to receive priority processing.
If you wish to engage a migration agent, we recommend using an agent registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) who oversees the code of conduct and good standing of all registered migration agents. Registered agents are regulated and must abide by the code of conduct and must adhere to the highest possible standards.
In Australia, only registered migration agents and exempt persons are legally able to provide migration advice. Some OMARA agents also operate in the UK and are subject to the same code of conduct, professional development and regulations applied to agents based in Australia.
You can search for registered agents on the OMARA online.
See OMARA: www.mara.gov.au
If you are considering using an agent outside Australia, please see: www.mara.gov.au/using-an-agent/using-an-agent-outside-australia/
An OMARA agent must meet professional standards and will only encourage you to proceed with an application if you have a realistic chance of being granted a visa. An OMARA agent is responsible for:
1 Maintaining up-to-date knowledge of migration law and procedures
2 Keeping a professional library with direct access to migration regulations
3 Undertaking continual professional development in order to maintain knowledge of migration regulations and policy
4 Charging fees which are regulated annually by OMARA
If you wish to use an unregistered agent outside of Australia, make sure you understand what you can reasonably expect from them and know your options if the agent acts incompetently, dishonestly or fraudulently. If you suspect an unregistered migration agent is engaging in criminal behaviour, you should report them to your local law enforcement authority and inform your local immigration office.
For information on the risks of using an unregistered person, please see: www.mara.gov.au/using-an-agent/using-a-registered-migration-agent/risks-of-receiving-assistance-from-an-unregistered-person/
Beware of Visa Scams
There are Australian registered migration agents working all around the world in countries such as India, the United Kingdom, China and New Zealand, just to name a few. These agents are subject to the same Code of Conduct, professional development and regulations as registered migration agents based in Australia. More information about Australia’s efforts to ensure the integrity of the migration advice profession is available at: www.mara.gov.au