Using a Migration Agent

Using a Migration Agent can reduce the stress involved in a life-changing process.

Taking the step to move you and possibly your whole family to a new and unfamiliar country is exciting and at the same time potentially very stressful. There are so many things to think about, and getting your permanent visa is the essential first step. What we aim to do is to ensure that getting your visa is something you really shouldn't have to worry about, knowing that you have an experienced and caring professional by your side the whole way through. We will provide frank and honest advice about your prospects right from the start, full disclosure of fees, advice on your situation and if we will be solution focused to get you to where you want to be.

Professional Registration

Migration Agents are registered with the office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA).  A registered migration agent must:
  • Adhere to a strict code of professional conduct in the practice of Australian migration law. It is a criminal offence to provide migration advice or assistance in Australia unless you hold current registration with the OMARA.
  • Complete continuing professional development to ensure  up-to-date knowledge on all aspects of migration law, policy, practice and procedure.
  • Maintain access to a professional library.  This means that when you use the services of a migration professional they will have access to all the current law and policy that relates to the visa you are applying for.

How a Migration Agent can help you

Whilst the criteria for a particular visa application may often appear simple on the Department website, it is worth considering the following:
  • The actual visa criteria are only briefly covered,  and there is a extensive policy guidance on every regulation used by Immigration case officers in deciding your application (over 16,000 pages of policy guidance in total). 'Common Sense' does not necessarily prevail and a misinterpretation of the criteria can be fatal to your application.
  • There are a very limited range of circumstances where you can have your visa application charges refunded if your application was to fail, and visa charges have increased enormously in recent years. For a family of four, once you include police checks, medicals you can be looking at $10,000 or more in costs for a permanent residency visa.
  • Having an experienced agent assess and manage your application will ensure that all the necessary documents are included the first time, reducing frustrating time delays with the processing of your visa. An experienced agent will identify any problem areas or documents that take time to obtain early in the process before they cause issues.
  • Having a thoroughly prepared and well presented application with an adequate and complete range of evidence that specifically addresses the visa criteria increases the chance of your application being successful and can reduce the processing time.
  • Migration can be an emotional roller-coaster. Often there are pressures and concerns from many angles and having someone who is knowledgeable, trustworthy and who genuinely cares about obtaining a successful outcome can really help with the emotional aspect of the migration process.

It can get complicated

If you are in Australia without a visa, have breached your visa conditions or are at risk of cancellation, things can becomes quite complicated. In these types of cases it is essential to get the advice of a knowledgeable and experienced migration professional. Often the actions that you take now can have significant impacts on your ability to apply for and obtain permanent residency in the future. Below are some common situations of things going wrong for applicants.
  • A genuine couple lodge a partner visa application with limited evidence. They think they will get to it later but 1 month later the case officer refuses the application without requesting any further information from them. They are forced to go to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and wait 18 months for a hearing with no certainty of a successful outcome;
  • A skilled visa applicant lodges an expression of interest (EOI) before obtaining a skills assessment. They are invite to apply for the visa and the application is refused as the skills assessment is dated after the date they lodged their visa application;
  • A family who adopted a child overseas failed to appreciate the specific criteria for the child visa process complete the adoption process legally overseas. However on bringing the child back to Australia are unable to meet the criteria for the visa, therefore they have to rely on the Migration Review Tribunal or potentially intervention from the Minister for intervention. If unsuccessful, they may have to move overseas or put the child up for adoption;
  • A couple lodge a partner visa where the overseas applicant has minor children from a previous relationship. The ex-partner refuses to allow the children to go for medical exams and the application takes over two years to be finalised as the issue was not considered and a strategy established prior to lodging the application;
  • A 457 visa holder leaves their employer for an alternative offer of employment and 457 sponsorship. The new employer usually does their own visa applications but due to changes in law and policy that they are not aware of fail to address and cannot meet the criteria. The application is refused and the worker is left stranded with their visa liable to cancellation by the Department of Immigration.
  • New Zealand citizen on a 444 special category visa is married to an Australian citizen but never considers applying for permanent residency. She separates, and finds herself with no financial support from her ex-partner, unable to find work or obtain any social security support, despite having lived in Australia for over 10 years.
All these types of situations are generally completely avoidable through seeking professional advice and assistance at an early stage. It is absolutely key to know what the issues are and planning and preparing evidence to address these issues before even starting your application preparation process. At Small World Migration, you will have an experienced agent working on your application and available to you the whole way through. We are absolutely committed to honesty, timely communication and properly researched and planned migration application processes. We believe in this because this is the recipe for a successful and low-stress visa application process. Contact us today for a free initial assessment of your migration options.