While visa applicants do not have to use a migration agent to lodge a visa application with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, many individuals applying for a permanent residency visa or making a citizenship application may prefer to enlist the services of a trusted professional.
The Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) keeps an up-to-date list of registered migration agents, who can provide services to those seeking an Australian migration visas.
At Migration Alliance, all our members are registered migration agents - and we are passionate about strengthening our profession and ensuring continued positive outcomes for the industry.
Visa applications - the role of migration agents
Australian migration agents - in other words, anyone who provides assistance with applications for immigration visas or offers migration advice - must be registered by the Office of the MARA.
Registered migration agents can perform a range of duties, including advising on requirements for various migration visas, assisting applicants with the lodgement of a visa application and liaising with the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) on behalf of a visa applicant - usually for a fee.
In Australia, it is illegal for anyone to give migration advice - such as for a citizenship application or a permanent residency visa - without being registered by the Office of the MARA. Individuals who ignore this law can face heavy penalties.
Australian migration agents can apply for registration within 12 months of completing the Graduate Certificate in Australian Migration Law & Practice, as well as passing all the exams associated with this certification program.
Once registration has been confirmed, migration agents can then join Migration Alliance.
All Australian migration agents must adhere to a strict code of conduct, which specifies the ethical and professional standards for registered migration agents.
This code of conduct specifies a migration agent's obligations to their clients, fees and charges, record keeping, management and financial duties, as well as detailed standards of professional conduct and relations between registered migration agents.
Migration Alliance - advocates for Australian migration agents
Joining Migration Alliance is free for new members - and in addition to the valuable contacts and information you will be able to gain through your membership, registered migration agents can benefit from our organisation in a number of ways.
We work to protect the rights of Australian migration agents and take action whenever possible to strengthen our profession.
Migration Alliance has a close working relationship with the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection and we are committed to protecting and exercising the rights of registered Australian migration agents.
We emphasise industry coherence, co-operation and capacity across the profession and work to support our members through a range of services.
From offering competitive insurance cover to our members to providing online forums and coffee shop meet-ups for networking opportunities, Migration Alliance aims to continuously support and improve our industry.
Our lobbying efforts also protect the reputation of registered migration agents - we campaign tirelessly against illegal, rogue and offshore agents who have not been registered with the Office of the MARA.