For some people, the process of applying for a visa can be quite complicated and time consuming, so they look for outside help when lodging an application. Although it can be overwhelming when you first look at all the types of visas on offer, it is possible to apply for visas by yourself through the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).
If you do decide to work with an immigration agent, make sure they are registered with the Australian government. There have been many reports of unofficial agents charging unsuspecting customers thousands for visa advice and lodging visa applications. This is illegal and should be reported to the Australian Government.
To find a registered migration agent, you can take a look at the official Register of Migration Agents.
What can Migration Agents do for you?
Migration agents can:
- Explain the visa options available to you, help identify the most suitable visa to apply for, and provide advice on immigration law
- Assist you with extending your visa, applying for permanent residence etc.
- Prepare documents for your visa application
- Lodge a well prepared application to the DIBP
- Can contact DIBP to ask questions on behalf of your application
Remember that an immigration agent cannot fast-track your application or influence the outcome of your application. Only the DIBP can make decisions about visas.
Benefits of Using a Migration Agent
If your case is particularly complex or you are not confident submitting an application, it can be worthwhile to employ the services of a migration agent. Migration agents generally have an extensive knowledge of the visas available and how the system works, as well as knowledge of current immigration law.
Contracts & Fees
It’s important to obtain a contract from your migration agent, which should outline the services they will provide and the fees they will charge. If you have to pay for additional services (such as DIBP application fee, medical assessment, skills assessment etc.) this should also be stated in the contract.