I thought it would be useful for the public to know some of the more relevant responsibilities which Registered Migration Agents have. There are a whole range of rules which govern our conduct so that the public is protected. The rules can be found in the MARA Agents’ Code of Conduct (document can be found in our page footer below). However, for your benefit, here are some of the more important rules.
Migration Agents must;
- 1. Maintain standards of knowledge with continuing education and a professional library.
- 2. Maintain professional insurance.
- 3. Advise the client when the case does not have a reasonable chance of success.
- 4. Charge fees which are reasonable.
- 5. Deposit client monies into a trust account, only to be withdrawn after the work has been performed and an invoice issued.
- 6. Not guarantee the success of a visa application.
- 7. Not imply any connection or special relationship with the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
- 8. Not hold onto your documents even if you haven’t paid their fees, unless they are also practicing lawyers.
- 9. Preserve the confidentiality of client information.
Some interesting facts:
- – Roughly 80% of all MARA registered Migration Agents run their own practice.
- – If a Migration Agent works in a company as an employee, they may not have the authority to ensure that client monies are deposited into a trust account.
- – If you don’t speak to a MARA registered agent, but to a sales person initially, they may not be providing you with an accurate picture of your case. Keep in mind that most sales people work on a target and commission basis.
- – You could get a gauge of how well your case will be managed by looking at the response time of an Agent.
- – Don’t be drawn in and fooled by big promises of a job and a visa for a large fee.
- – MARA publishes a table of fees charged which are indicative of the market price https://www.mara.gov.au/Consumer-Information/What-does-it-cost-to-use-an-Agent-/default.aspx
Keep the above in mind when you choose an agent. Unfortunately this industry has a bad reputation due to the number of unregistered agents. Always check the MARA website for your Agent’s listing!