If you are seeking assistance in relation to your migration to Australia it is strongly recommended you choose a Registered Migration Agent (RMA).
In Australia it is a legal requirement that anyone who provides another individual/business with ‘immigration advice’ be a Registered Migration Agent. The Office of the MARA (Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority) is the regulatory authority of all Registered Migration Agents.
There are individuals outside of Australia who are not registered migration agents. If you engage their migration services The Office of the MARA do not have jurisdiction over these individuals and will not be able to assist you in relation to any concerns you have about that unregistered migration advisor. View the Consumer Guide Pamphlet.
It is recommended that you obtain advice and assistance from a Registered Migration Agent. Registered Migration Agents must adhere to The Code of Conduct which is in place to ensure the professional standard of the migration advice industry is high. View the Migration Agents Code of Conduct.
Of course, like in any industry make enquiries about the registered migration agent you may be thinking of using. You must ensure that you trust the individual you are engaging. Migration to Australia is a very important step in your life. Having a great migration agent who has your best interests in mind and who has the legal migration knowledge is who you want on your side when preparing and lodging your application.
Why choose a migration agent?
One should never underestimate the complexity of migration law. One should also never assume that their migration situation is exactly the same as the person next to them. Migration to Australia is a very personal matter and one small change in your circumstances may affect your eligibility to migrate. At a bare minimum I always advise individuals who want to migrate to (a) seek legal migration advice in relation to their eligibility. After they have ascertained whether they are eligible or not then they should (b) determine if they require legal migration assistance. By undergoing an initial advice from a registered migration agent you will also make your own assessment as to whether that individual is knowledgeable, trustworthy and has your best interests in mind.
What is individual legal migration advice?
Individual legal migration advice is NOT a free consultation online where you enter your details and a generated answer is sent back to you regarding your prospects of migration to Australia. You must remember that in those instances it is a computer generating you an answer based on the information you supplied. A computer no matter how sophisticated the program can only do so much and you must not substitute a free online consultation for legal migration advice.
If you are genuinely interested in migrating to Australia you need to value and understand that you will need to comply with a variety of migration rules that are ever-changing. An initial legal advice is personalised advice from an experienced and knowledgeable migration advisor. Services between migration professionals will differ but that is for you to work through. When decorating your home and installing new blinds you obtain quotes from two or three different businesses. Why wouldn’t you do the same in migration – source out who you believe is knowledgeable, trustworthy and will have your best interests in mind. Be mindful of how much each professional’s service costs but don’t make that your only point of concern. Remember, if you seek good legal migration advice there will be a professional fee as there is in any other area of the law – if you buy or sell a property, lease a premises, get divorced...and so on. You need to determine what is the service you will be receiving and is the professional fee reasonable. Also keep in mind and allow your better judgement to guide you – when something is FREE there is usually a reason why.