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Home Australia Self Help Articles
Australia Self Help Articles

Choosing a migration agent.

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Choosing a migration agent.

You have logged on the www.immi.gov.au website to find out more information on how you can move to Australia, and by now you have recognised that there are hundreds of different types of visas, all seem to have different prerequisites  and policies,  you now feel some anxiety and unsure about the whole process.

 Be assured you are not alone in feeling slightly overwhelmed about the complexity of applying for a visa. You just wish someone can guide you through the whole progress.

Well, if you wish you can use a migration agent to assist you in applying for a visa. Migration agents can guide you through the whole visa process from choosing a visa to lodging it for you. Sounds great, now you need to do your own home work. A migration agent doesn’t have to be registered with institute or governing body, hence anyone can state that they are a migration agent and sell such services.

The MARA was born in 2009 from the recommendation of the 2007-2008 “Review of Statutory Self-Regulation of the Migration Advice Profession “where it was found that a self-regulation of migrant agents was not working properly and that consumer protection was lacking.

Hence, to ensure that you utilise you a qualified migration agent, ensure that they or the actual person, is listed as active members on the MARA and MIA websites. If they are they have to abide by a Code of Ethics and a compulsory Code of Conduct.


Using an unregistered migration agent can be very risky and you do so at your own risk.

Also review the feedback on this website for personal experiences of agents and actually speak to the agent before entering a contract, the first consultation is usually free and it is wise to speak to multiple agents before choosing one.

For addtional information please read.




Migration Institute of Australia

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The Migration Institute of Australia is basically and professional association for person or business that provide migration services to Australia. The MIA current has approximately two thousand registered migration agents.

MIA members commit to operate in accordance with our Code of Ethics, as well as the compulsory Code of Conduct for all registered migration agents. This provides extra assurance to anyone seeking a migration agent that choosing a MIA member is a smart move. 

If you are looking to use a migration agent, please ensure that they are registered with the MIA. 

Visit www.mia.org.au for more information. 


Don't get Caught Out by Unregistered Agents

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If you are thinking or in the process or applying for a Visa to visit / live or work in Australia you Don’t have to use a migration agent to apply for your visa. Migration agents are not governmental departments, they are individual businesses offering a service, hence they will focus and target would be immigrants into using their services. Whilst there are many good and professional migrations agents around the world, some are not so professional and may not live up to their advertised expectations.

You can apply for a visa directly to the Australian government via the www.immi.gov.au for any visa and not pay for the services of any migration agent. If you have any questions about visas or how to apply for a visa you can call the Department of Immigration and Citizenship for assistance, this service is via a premium phone line.

Use this website to view feedback from the public of agents that you may be interested in. Note that this website is independent of all migration agents and governmental institutes and only seeks to provide feedback to would be immigrants from persons who have experienced the services offered by migration agents.

It is recommended that before engaging with I migration agent that you view the following video, which gives a real life case of a visa applicant who lost all her money and ended up with no visa.

Remember to check your agent’s credentials before progressing with them.




MARA registration

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Check your agents MARA registration.

If your migration agent is located in Australia and provides immigration service’s for obtaining Australian Visa they must be registered with the Migration Agent Registration Authority. The MARA is a part of the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship group.

The MARA was born in 2009 from the recommendation of the 2007-2008 “Review of Statutory Self-Regulation of the Migration Advice Profession “where it was found that a self regulation of migrant agents was not working properly and that consumer protection was lacking.

Warning: If your agent is located outside of Australia they don’t have to be part of the MARA or have to adhere to the MARA code of conduct.

It is strongly advised that you check your agent’s MARA registration details with the MARA before commencing with contract negotiations.

Agents can fall into four categories:

1.       Not registered

2.       Registered

3.       Registration has lapsed

4.       Sanctioned Agent

To determine if your agent is registered with the MARA, go to the MARA website and select Consumer Information


To download the MARA code of conduct go to

Mara code of conduct