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At Migration Alliance, we are passionate about protecting the rights of migration agents and advocate for co-operation, coherence and capacity across the industry. As such, we have identified three main areas of focus for 2011-12 to maximise positive outcomes for the migration industry, acting in support of registered Australian migration agents across the country and around the world. These key areas - campaigning against IELTS testing for migration agents in 2014, emphasising the continued need to adopt secure e-record keeping processes and eliminating unregistered offshore migration processes - are at the heart of all the work we do in supporting registered Australian migration agents. IELTS testing - opposing the English-language test for Australian migration agents From January 1, 2014, the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) will require that all new migration agent applications - as well as applicants for repeat registration - demonstrate English-language proficiency. This can be demonstrated in the form of a score of 7.0 on the IELTS test with a minimum score of 6.5 on each sub-test or a score of 100 on an online-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Migration Alliance believes that the new, more restrictive English language requirements are detrimental to the profession - particularly to those agents that work with clients primarily in another language than English - and tantamount to discrimination on a racial and cultural level. Changes to the English proficiency requirements could have a significant impact on the migration agent profession - some experts believe that up to half of the current registered Australian migration agents will not be able to successfully apply for renewal after 2014 if the changes go ahead. We are campaigning tirelessly for the rights of our members - and taking action to oppose this restrictive approach to language testing. Secure e-record keeping protects migration agents and their clients Migration Alliance champions the security of both our members and our clients - which is why secure processes for e-record keeping is another of our areas of particular focus. We believe that digital records in particular can carry privacy and security risks - and we want to ensure that agent and client records are protected. This means advocating for online records to be safely stored and protected in Australia, not handled by data centres and third-party providers overseas. We are taking an ongoing, proactive approach when it comes to the management of this sensitive information - and working tirelessly to ensure these details remain controlled and protected to Australian standards. Eliminating unregistered offshore migration processes

Learn more about Migration Alliance's key areas of focus

It is illegal for unregistered individuals - either in Australia or abroad - to provide migration services such as assistance with visa applications. The individuals who engage in such practices damage our profession - and the reputation of registered Australian migration agents around the world. Migration Alliance is working to eliminate unregistered offshore migration processes to protect and exercise the rights of our members - and registered migration agents everywhere. We believe that the registered migration agents who operate under Australia's migration law should never be confused with self-appointed, unregistered or rogue agents operating offshore. Australian registered migration agents operate in a highly-regulated, trained and professional industry - and we work tirelessly to uphold and protect the reputation of our members. Supporting only qualified, accredited offshore migration agents - and opposing rogue agents - will strengthen our profession and ensure continued positive outcomes for our industry. Registered Australian migration agents will find a complete support network at Migration Alliance. From our advocacy efforts in the industry to the opportunity to liaise with other qualified migration agents online and at our in-person events, as well as competitive professional indemnity and public liability
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