The website of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection specifies that being advised by a non-registered agent can result in receiving incorrect information. Further, if you use a non-registered agent you will not have the same customer protection that comes from applying with a Registered Migration Agent.
How to find out if you Agent is Registered.
Migration agents must be registered by the Migration Agents Registration Authority or M.A.R.A (www.mara.gov.au). A registered agent will have a unique registration number that contains the letters MARN. For example, the director of VisAustralia, Nicholas Houston, is registered with the number MARN0428579. The first number in the sequence (04) indicates Nicholas was registered in 2004.
Some agents also have a profile in the website of the Migration Institute of Australia (MIA), the professional association of migration agents (www.mia.org.au). In this website you can find your agent by Name, Country, or Language. For example, you can type the name of our director in the website of the MIA and find this result: Nicholas Houston
Some migration agents are also lawyers and have many years of training and expertise that ordinary agents do not have. Nicholas Houston is a lawyer and a solicitor able to represent clients in all Australian courts.
Not all agents are lawyers, and not all agents are registered.
Get a positive result in your Visa Application
When using the services of an agent it is important to understand the level of experience your agent has in providing migration services. This experience can be the difference between a rejected and an approved application. While the final decision depends exclusively on the officer assigned to your case, an expertly assembled application will give your case a higher chance of success.
A visa application can be compared to a university essay. In order to achieve a good grade you must research the subject, understand it, and support your claims with references. In the case of a visa application an experienced migration agent with a good reputation can assist you collect the requested information and synthesize the most important and relevant information into your application. The visa application is the evidence you meet the legal criteria for a visa, and if a detail is missed or unhelpful information is provided you are inviting the case officer to refuse your application.
VisAustralia has been providing expert advice to people for over 13 years. Our experience in migration affairs is based on a deep understanding of Australian migration law and our success as migration agents can be verified by the considerable number of visas granted to our clients, who are now happily living or studying in Australia.