Lodging a visa application without professional assistance may seem attempting as it may appear saving some money in the short term, but there are hidden risks and costs right there people need to be aware of.
In this article, we will be discussing how a migration agent can assist you with your visa application and consequently overcome some of the complexities involved in the process, and the potential benefits that may result from engaging their services. Being informed about what a migration agent can do to strengthen your application will place you in the best position to decide how to proceed in this regard.
Our aim in this article is to provide you with this information so that you can make the decision that is right for you.
1. What it takes to be a Registered Migration Agent
Migration agents are qualified migration law professionals who have met required competency standards by law to register as Migration Agents. They are regulated by the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) and are listed on the Register of Migration Agents, which is held by the OMARA and which can be accessed here.
Migration agents must abide by a Code of Conduct as they carry out their work. They must also keep their knowledge of migration law and procedure up to date by completing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities, and they must re-apply for registration annually.
2. Public Immigration Information vs. Registered Migration Agent
One common misunderstanding is that public information on the Department of Home Affairs’ website is the safest and best practice guide for a visa application. Please bear in mind that the Department’s website provides a general guide only and not migration law. Simply following the guidelines on the website does not at all provide any guarantee or assurance that visa application will be successful.
Furthermore, the Department of Home Affairs hotline does not provide any specific advice, except general information (mostly public information on the website). Please do not take such public information as a personalised guide on whether you meet the requirements and how to make an application.
In fact, when people call the Department of Home Affairs, they are advised by the Department to contact a Registered Migration Agent instead.
3. Access to Migration Agents’ Experience and Knowledge
Migration Agents can provide you added insight into the things that can make your application stronger, which is not always widely known. An example of this is the documentary evidence requirements. Even though document checklists are available publicly, migration agents may supplement the base evidence with certain documents which they feel, based on their professional skills and experience, are required in order to add support.
Migration Agents often prepare detailed written submissions which include relevant legislative and/or case law references to supplement certain aspects of the application. Some visa requirements do not have a black and white answer and presenting persuasive arguments can help get your application over the line. These subtleties can mean the difference between a successful outcome versus a refusal.
Furthermore, Migration Agents have access to restricted content, which is not publicly available, and which can be very beneficial for your application. One such example is Departmental policy, which sets out how Immigration interprets and applies the migration law in deciding visa applications. This is an extremely valuable source of information for migration agents when advising clients and preparing applications.
It is often the case that there are many facets involved in compiling, preparing and lodging a visa application. The application form itself is just one part of the process and it is often the case that a number of additional aspects are required for visa grant. A migration agent will advise you about any such requirements that apply to your application and provide instructions on how to obtain them. Therefore, knowing this detail is vital to the success of your application.
4. Experienced Migration Agents Can Help You Save Cost. Yes, Save Cost!
The Australian visa system is very strict and the requirements are very complex.
Self DIY visa application without fully understanding the legislation may pose a great risk of visa refusal. And the cost of rectifying a visa refusal are often very high which can be around $5k-$10k just in running appeal applications, or in fresh visa application fees. In many cases due to the refusal (section 48 bar), the applicant may have to leave Australia in order to be allowed to re-apply for a visa which of course drives up the cost even further.
Sometimes the real risk might not be complexity itself but the fact that people thought they know how to make the application.
Furthermore, delays caused by uncompleted self-lodged applications may mean that the eligibility for other benefits are delayed as well, such as stamp duty concessions on home purchases, university fees as domestic students, Medicare, Centrelink benefits and much more. This is even before we start considering the emotional toll that visa issues can cause to applicants and their loved ones.
In some cases, not being fully informed about the requirements can also lead to more serious consequences for future visa applications (for example, the Department can impose exclusion periods of between 3 and 10 years if it is determined that you have breached certain public interest criteria). Not being aware of these provisions can prove disastrous to your application and potentially your ability to apply for a visa in the future.
If the the above might sound a bit scary, we are happy for you as that means you have not encountered such challenging circumstances, but over the years we have seen so many people coming to us the last minute seeking help to rectify the issues they had in their own applications.
It’s the things that you don’t know that can often pose the greatest risk.
Experienced Migration Agents can ensure your visa application has the highest quality and success rate. This can save you cost.
Book in with a Registered Migration Agent today!
We have outlined how registered migration agents can assist you with your visa application and the benefits that may arise from engaging the professional services. We hope this article can guide you in making an informed decision for your immigration matter.
Contact Ausdirect Migration today to safeguard your pleasant immigration journey!
Our team offers a full range of in-depth migration services below. The quality of these services does not come from books but from our solid migration law practice all these years.
- Skilled Visas
- Family Visas
- Employment Visas
- Business and Investment Visas
- Studying in Australia
- Visiting and Holiday Visas
- Citizenship Application
- Other services such as Status Resolution, AAT etc.
We believe no cases are simple and every single case is unique, and also that migration services should never be a volume based standardised product. For all our clients, we provide uniquely tailored strategy and execution plan for each engagement which ensures the best quality of our migration services.