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What is MARA in relation to Australian Migration

The Australia Migration process is extremely complicated and layered with hazards that could cause you to fail your visa application, even if you are actually eligible for a visa. It may be a simple mistake on your form, or you may have applied for the wrong visa. If you have decided to emigrate to Australia then there’s a few things you need to consider but the question most people will come up with is What is MARA? And once you know what it is, why is MARA important?

What is Mara?

MARA stands for “Migration Agents Registration Authority”, which is an office of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. The official name is “The Office of Migration Agents Registration Authority” (OMARA). You can find out more about MARA on their website here at www.mara.gov.au. And you can find out more about the Australian Government Border Protection agency here at www.border.gov.au.

MARA’s key functions are to regulate Australian Migration Agents and bodies who offer services related to Australian Immigration.

Here’s a summary of MARA’s main objectives as noted on their website.

“Our main objectives are to ensure that:

  • clients needing migration services understand their rights
  • registered migration agents understand their obligations
  • only suitable people are registered as agents and that unsuitable people are refused registration or re-registration
  • agents maintain the knowledge and skills needed to provide accurate and timely advice to their clients
  • agents are monitored for integrity of conduct and quality of immigration assistance
  • clients of registered or formerly registered agents have an effective way to complain
  • we handle complaints efficiently.

 

We have an extensive probity framework to address concerns about potential or real conflicts of interest.”

Why is MARA important?

MARA is important because it ensure Migration Agents are acting responsibly. When a Migration Agents signs up to the MARA register they are agreeing to carry out work following to a Code of Conduct.

What is Code of Conduct?

The Code of Conduct for Migration Agents is ‘is set out in legislation to regulate the conduct of registered migration agents”. It explains the obligations they have to their clients and ensure fair practice. Here we have taken an extract from the official mara.gov.au website which summarises the “Code Of Conduct and practice guides. The Code of Conduct is a “Provision for a Code of Conduct for migration agents is set out in Section 314 of the Migration Act 1958 and is prescribed in Schedule 2, Regulation 8 of the Migration Agents Regulations 1998.Code of Conduct for registered migration agents (419KB PDF)”

What are the Migrations obligations under this official MARA Code of Conduct?

“Under the Code of Conducts Migration agents have a range of obligations covering:

Their interactions with clients

Fees and charges, record keeping and financial management

Responsibilities toward other Migration agents

Responsibilities for their employees

Requirement to respond if a complaint is made against them to MARA

Another obligation is to prominently display the Code in your office and client waiting area. And they must also provide clients with a copy of it to keep if they ask for one.

You can find the contact details for Overseas Emigration team and our MARA approved Migration Agents here.

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