Who is a Registered Migration agent? [RMA]
Want to know how to spot a good agent? A registered migration agent is someone registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (Office of the MARA) who can legally provide advice on visa requirements, help lodge a visa application and deal with the department on your behalf.
You don’t need to use a migration agent to apply for any visa. However, if you decide to use a migration agent, you should use a registered migration agent.
In Australia, agents must be registered with the Office of the MARA and their name should be followed by a 7-digit number (eg 0533317.)
Why use a migration agent?
Migration is an important decision. For most people, it can be a life-changing decision… so just like you would need a lawyer to help you with your legal matters or your house conveyancing needs, you would also engage a competent migration agent to help you navigate the journey of migration to another country.
Migration agents contribute greatly to the success of your visa application and so it is important to choose the right one.
As at 30 June 2017, registered migration agents lodged 76 % of the total number of 457 applications, 86% of Employer-Sponsored visa applications, 54% of Business Skills visa applications and 19% of Permanent Protection visa applications.
So as you can see, many people choose to use a migration agent to assist with one of the most important decisions in their life.
Migration Assistance | How do I know who to choose?
The total number of registered migration agents was 7006 at 30 June 2017 – so there are plenty of options!
But how do I know who is a good agent? The FOUR tips below should help you identify a good agent:
You should make sure that your agent is a registered migration agent. Giving migration advice without registration [unless specific conditions apply] is ILLEGAL. This applies whether the agent [or you] is IN or OUTSIDE Australia.
If you want to check whether an agent is registered or not [or has been sanctioned] you can check on the MARA website: https://www.mara.gov.au/search-the-register-of-migration-agents/
Experience and Competence
You should make sure that the agent you are hiring is competent to handle your application. Looking at Client Testimonials on their webpage or speaking to people who have dealt with them in their applications can help.
Their MARN number will tell you the years of experience they have, as the first two digits will tell you the year they registered in. For example 0533317 = year of registration 2005 and this agent has 12 years of experience.
Genuine, Caring and Transparent
This is usually one of the agent’s best selling point and it is essential that they have a genuine interest in you as an individual, that they demonstrate they care about a positive outcome of your application and that the process and communication is always transparent.
High professional fees do not always reflect the best service, but a higher than average price can also be indicative of an agent’s experience and popularity.
For more information about fees that migration agents charge, visit the MARA website: https://www.mara.gov.au/using-an-agent/working-with-your-agent/agent-fees/
How can EMSA help?
At EMSA, we have a variety of migration agents on board to assist and assess each individual’s situation. Each agent is registered and has broad knowledge of different visa types and the migration industry in general.
For more information on this or how we can help in your visa process, feel free to to fill out the link below!
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