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HR managers - unregistered migration advisers

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Companies that expect their human resources (HR) managers to provide migration advice or give guidance when preparing visa applications should bear in mind that these individuals are effectively acting as unregistered migration agents.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the role of HR managers is to "plan, organise, direct, control and co-ordinate the human resource and workplace relations activities within organisations".

While HR managers can carry out a wide variety of tasks - including recruitment, induction, training and development programs, as well as performance management, ensuring compliance with occupational health and safety standards and other workplace relations matters - this role cannot fulfil the function of acting as a migration advisor for a business or individual looking for a skilled sponsored visa.

HR managers who are paid a salary for preparing visa applications and providing immigration advice should be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA), which ensures they act in accordance with our industry's code of conduct and are trained in Australian migration law.

Registration with the Office of the MARA also ensures that Australian migration agents meet high ethical and professional standards - and, most importantly, protects the interests of the individuals who receive migration assistance.

HR managers who act as migration agents without being registered with the Office of the MARA may not have the knowledge, experience or specific training to complete applications on behalf of individuals or companies - or to fill out Form 956, which specifies the appointment of a migration agent, exempt agent or other authorised recipient.

Registered migration agents in Australia must meet the relevant requirements of the Migration Act 1958 in order to become accredited. These requirements include completion of the Graduate Certificate in Australian Migration Law & Practice and passing all the prescribed exams as a part of this certification process.

Only four universities in Australia offer the Graduate Certificate in Australian Migration Law & Practice - and we believe that anyone providing migration advice and assistance must hold this qualification.

At the Migration Alliance, we campaign tirelessly on behalf of our members, who are all registered Australian migration agents.

We work alongside the Department of Immigration and Citizenship to strengthen the profession and protect and exercise the rights of migration agents.

Our work is based on the core values of industry capacity, coherence and co-operation and we always aim to maximise positive outcomes for the industry.

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