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Michael Arch

Michael Arch

Michael Ephraim-Arch has not set their biography yet

Posted by on in General

Hi everyone,

I am writing to extend an invitation to Registered Migration Agents to attend upcoming "Migration Wine and Cheese" events to be held at the offices that I share with VisaCorp (Liana Allan's migration practice) and Migration Alliance, located at Level 3, 276 Pitt Street. 

The events will include a short presentation by me on a current topic (or topics!) on migration law coming out of the Federal courts that will be meaningful for your work, and then an opportunity to share current issues/problems with other RMAs.

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What can you do if you have a client who has unexpectedly become unwell shortly before a hearing at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal?

What kind of documentation do you need to provide to the Tribunal in support of a request for an adjournment?

Or to put it alternatively, what kind of documentation should you file to preserve your client’s rights if the Tribunal refuses to grant an adjournment, decides the case against your client, and your client wants to take the case to the Federal Circuit Court to argue that the Tribunal’s refusal to grant the adjournment amounted to “jurisdictional error”?

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The Migration Amendment (Regulation of Migration Agents) Bill 2017, that was introduced in the House of Representatives on 21 June 2017, includes amended provisions concerning the requirements for registration as a new migration agent.

These amendments are evidently intended to facilitate the recommendations in the Kendall Report that was released on 24 September 2014 concerning educational requirements for migration agents.

The Kendall Report recommended that the previous requirement that “non-lawyer” migration agents entering the profession be required to complete a Graduate Certificate in Migration Law and Practice (a 6-month course) with a new requirement that new applicants for registration be required to complete a Graduate Diploma in Migration Law and Practice (a 12-month course).

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It has finally happened!

On 21 June 2017, the Turnbull Government introduced legislation (the Migration Amendment (Regulation of Migration Agents Bill) 2017”) into the House of Representatives that, if enacted, would end the dual regulation of lawyers by the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority.

The Kendall Report, which was issued on 24 September 2014, and which detailed the results of a study of the functions of the MARA that was commissioned by then-Assistant Minister Michaelia Cash, had made a recommendation that the system of dual regulation by  the MARA be ended.  However, legislation to implement this change had not been widely circulated until the introduction of the bill last week.

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Imagine that you were asked to comment on the chances that a Registered Migration Agent could avoid disciplinary action  - in the form of cancellation of his registration  - in the following scenario:

The RMA has the following “track record”:

  • Found by the AAT to have been a “key player” in an attempt to mislead the Trades Recognition Authority by providing a false work reference for a visa applicant;
  • Disqualified from acting as a “law associate” of a legal practitioner or law practice by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal by lying to a magistrate and a barrister by holding himself out to be a legal practitioner when in fact his application for admission as a legal practitioner had been rejected on the basis that he had failed to disclose that he had been charged for perjury and theft and had been convicted in the UK on counts of handling stolen goods, forgery and obtaining property by deception;
  • Had his registration as a tax agent terminated by the Tax Practitioners Board on the basis that he had ceased to meet the requirement of being a “fit and proper person”;
  • Has been permanently banned by ASIC from engaging in work as a finance broker after it was found that he had provided misleading information and had not made full disclosure on a credit licence application;
  • Had submitted an application to the MARA for renewal of his registration as a migration agent which was false or misleading in a material particular because he had failed to disclose in his application for repeat registration that the Tax Practitioners Board had made a decision to terminate his registration as a tax agent; and
  • Was found by the MARA to have engaged in a pattern of dishonest conduct in his dealings with the MARA, the ASIC and the Tax Practitioners Board by representing himself to be a legal practitioner when he had not been admitted to practice as a lawyer.

Against such a background, would you “reckon” that this person’s “goose was cooked”?

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