What To Look For In A Migration Agent In Perth

Immigration advise and assistance can be provided through migration agents.  These services may be helping applicants lodge visa applications or apply to the Migration and Refugee Division of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for review of a visa decision.
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However, it is important to note that these migration agents are registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA).In order to be registered with OMARA, the agents have to demonstrate that they have sufficient knowledge of migration law and procedures.  They also have to prove their integrity and fitness to provide immigration assistance.

Migration agents can advise if a visa application is likely to succeed.  However, they are not authorised to make visa decisions and cannot influence outcomes.  Only the Department of Immigration and Border Protection makes decisions about visa applications.

Some agents work for voluntary organizations and provide their services for free of charge. However, most of them charge a fee for their services. It is important to bear in mind that it is against the law for someone in Australia who is not registered with the OMARA to provide you with immigration assistance.

Before you select and sign an agreement with an agent, consider the following matters;

Does the agent have the right skills and experience to help you?

Can he advise about visa options, help to lodge a particular type of visa, advise on a particular type of visa, advise about how likely it is for your application to succeed and why?

Can he help you with the steps to take?
Is he an agent who is also a lawyer?

What language does the agent speak?

Does he speak your language?  Or can he arrange an interpreter?

What does the agent charge?

What does the agent charge for his services?  What are the extra costs?
(ex: visa application charges)
Ask to give it in writing how much he charges as his fee.

Has the agent given you a contract to read?

An agent must give you a written agreement (contract) with their fees and services, as well as a written receipt for any payments you make.

Your registered migration agent can also be your authorized recipient and receive documents on your behalf. You can nominate them on Form 956. When you appoint your registered migration agent as your authorized recipient, we will:

  • send any written communication about your application to them.
  • deem written communication sent to them as being received by you.

Getting a refund

OMARA does not have the power to order a registered migration agent to refund your fees. You need to discuss any concerns with your registered migration agent.  You can also contact the consumer protection office in your state or territory.  If you are outside Australia you can raise complaints with the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN).

It is in your best interest to search for another migration agent if a migration firm or agent attempts to force you to sign anything against your will or puts you under pressure to make a commitment to work with them.

There are certain businesses that use sales representatives in order to increase their flow of business and pay those representatives on the commission. As a result, such sales representatives will tell you whatever you want to hear in order to get you to sign or begin working with them. You must consider these critical factors, as requesting refunds, later on, can be a big hassle.

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