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Employing a Registered Migration Agent

Australian Registered Migration Agents (RMA’s) are professional advisors (in Australia or overseas) who are approved by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection to provide advice and assist people with their visa application.

In Australia it is illegal for someone who is not a registered agent to provide migration advice (even if they do not charge a fee). Offenders can be prosecuted with penalties of up to 10 years in jail. However, the Australian Government does not have legal jurisdiction over unregistered agents who practice outside of Australia and there are therefore many unregistered and unlicensed migration agents practicing overseas.

Many people find the Australian visa application process complex and confusing and choose to engage the services of registered migration agents to process their visa application on their behalf as this takes away the guess work and helps to avoid confusion.

Our strongest recommendation is to check that any agent you are considering discussing your visa application with is registered before handing over any money. Registered Migration Agents (RMA’s) are governed by a code of conduct that provides protection for their customers and fees paid for visa advice and services. There are currently approximately 5,000 registered Australian migration agents

Immigration Lawyers

Accredited Specialist Immigration Lawyers are Australian lawyers who are admitted to practise law in Australia and are also listed as specialists with one of the Law Society of NSW, Law Institute of Victoria, Queensland Law Society or the Law Society of South Australia. There are around 50 lawyers currently listed as “accredited specialist immigration lawyers”.

Registered Migration Agents - Ready 4 Australia (©Tony Hewitt)

Check Registration

All registered migration agents are listed on the Australian Government Office of Migration Agents Regulatory Authority (MARA) website which you can check via this LINK.

Established in 1992, the Migration Institute of Australia (MIA) is the premier professional association for this industry. The MIA stands for the highest professional standards in its dealings with its stakeholders such as Federal and State Governments, Ministers and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. It provides its members with the highest quality educational opportunities and up-to-date information regarding legal and policy changes in the Australian immigration space.

A large proportion of professional migration agents are members of the MIA. You can also look out for their MIA Membership Number and the MIA logo when considering which RMA to engage:

You can also search for a MIA Registered Migration Agent using the MIA Find An Agent Search Tool

Questions to Ask a Migration Agent

  • How long have you been in the industry, how long have you been practicing as a migration agent?
  • What is your experience in the area where I need help?
  • What services will you provide me with?
  • How much will it cost?
  • Can I speak to the registered migration agent whose number appears on your website and who will be assisting me with my application?
  • How many registered migration agents do you have (sometimes two or more opinions can be important)?

Do not be afraid to ask any other questions that may be concerning you before you engage an agent’s services.

If you have any concerns about an agent, please do not hesitate to Contact the MIA and/or Contact the MARA.

Continue to the next section (Skills Assessments).

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