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Australian Immigration Law blog

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Lawyers do not pose an existential threat to RMAs

The deregulation of the migration advice profession, and in particular the fact that lawyers (with an unrestricted practising certificate) will  be unable to register as RMAs is creating fertile ground for speculation that Lawyers are out to "get" RMAs.

Keeping in mind the proposals advanced by the Law Council I think it is fair to say that the horse has bolted a long time ago, and the Law Council proposals have no hope of being implemented. The attempt to in effect curtail the matters that RMAs can handle (AAT) is too little too late.

RMAs are well established and have a great record of compliance with the Code of Conduct.

Nothwithstanding the lack of evidence to the effect that RMAs cannot be trusted with this important work  (immigration assistance), and the reliance upon anecdotal "evidence" by the Law Council and other critics of RMAs and their work, the Ministers Advisory Group will soon be constituted.  In that forum, agents can simply ask the question when faced with recommendations and criticisms of RMAs, "What evidence do you have to support that proposal/criticism etc?"

There is no scope at all for those hauling on the levers of power to influence the Minister to remove RMAs from this very important work.

The real existential threat to RMAs is a lack of work, and a crash in income, not lawyers.


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  • Guest
    Damien Lee Saturday, 22 August 2020

    I agree, as an RMA based in HK, I see clients here who don't know that Australian visa applications can be represented by RMA's. However we tell them early on as per the code of conduct and tell them like solicitors, we are liable for negligence (via out PI insurance) so we are 100% on the line for all client work. The clients come to us as they have a pain point on applying for a visa and wish to minimise refusals. As long as they know we are registered, regardless of if we have solicitor or barrister qualifications, it allows them confidence to engage us.

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