Planning on moving to Australia on a work visa, to study or maybe even live permanently? Then you are one of many, longing to settle on the fab continent. Thousands of hopeful migrants apply for visa to Australia annually, hence your application needs to stand out and be – perfect! The best way to ensure success is to apply for your Australian visa via an experienced Australian migration agent; here are some tips to choose the best.
Avoid Sales or Commission Motivated Agents
There are some migration companies that hire individuals to work on a commission basis by bringing in new business these individuals have their best interest at heart, not yours. If you are being pressurised to sign an agreement with a migration agent, even before evaluating your suitability, it’s a clear sign the agent is only thinking of clocking in another sale. There are many cases where the visa fees were paid by clients whose application was rejected as they did not qualify for the required visa; this happens when clients are pressurised to pay-up without checking out their suitability for the type of visa applied. Remember that although you pay the fees for the type of Australian visa you require it is no guarantee that you will be granted the visa; that is based on eligibility and a good migration agent will evaluate your suitability before asking you to pay any fees. Besides, fees paid for any rejected applications before signing a proper contract are not bound under any regulation and could even be thought of as a fraudulent practise by the visa agent.
Avoid all this hassle by seeking out an Australian visa agent registered with MARA (Migration Agents Registration Authority) www.mara.gov.au Agents registered with MARA are bound by strict regulations and are under constant evaluation, thus protecting their clients as well. These agents are bound by a ‘Code of Conduct’ www.mara.gov.au/Code_of_Conduct_April_2017 plus clients have the power to report any bad conduct by the agents to MARA.
Select a Migration Agent with Experience
Experience makes a huge difference in how the agent handles your application, it is an invaluable tool in the industry as a migration agent with experience is well versed in what Home Affairs www.homeaffairs.gov.au officers look for in an application and know which angle to push for success. Legislations and fields of migration are constantly changing and it is wise to go with an agent who has experience and is keeping up with changes in immigration laws, rather than a newcomer to the business. Hence a migration agent with at least 5 years of experience will have a good knowledge of all legal requirements pertaining to your application, thus guaranteeing a higher success rate.
An experienced agent will cost more than a newcomer to the business and you may be restricted by budget allowances. While trying your best to go with an experienced agent, make sure any new agents you hire are not charging you the same rates as experienced agents.
Research Customer Feedback
Customer feedback is always a good way to evaluate the performance of an agent you are considering hiring. Delve into those company media pages, reviews on Google and website testimonials for a personalised rating of the agent’s performance. You can also check the MARA website for any information on the agent you are reviewing.
Ensure Your Migration Agent is Registered
The one golden rule you should follow is to ensure your migration agent is registered. If you need more convincing look at the pros and cons listed below.
- No CPD (Continuing Professional Development)
- Not committed to report to any authority
- An annual CPD is mandatory
- Must report to a relevant authority
- Is continuously observed, is held responsible and must face consequences of actions
The best way to check if your migration agent is registered is via the MARA website. Type in the name or MARA number of the agent and review the details which will appear in the registered list, thus proving your agent is legit and registered.
Make Sure the Charges are Accurate
Fees you pay will depend on the type of visa you are applying for; additionally, your migration agents experience and your personal circumstantial facts too will be factors taken into consideration when setting a fee. Hence your fees will be based on emigration consultation price and consultation charges.
A start-up fee to initiate discussions and evaluate your options is often charged varying from $5 to $ 300, which is, as discussed, based on the agent’s experience. A well-established Australian agent for migration will have a range of packages and discounts on offer, take your time and choose the best based on experience and past results rather than letting budget dictate your choice, do keep in mind that even an extra few dollars for an experienced agent will help you reap beneficial results in the long run.
Services Covered by a Professional Agent
Professional agents will use their knowledge and experience to put together the most impressive application for a high rate of success. Minute details are looked into to ensure the Home Affairs case worker is given just what they are looking for.
These services include:
- Getting together and reviewing documents
- Offering professional advise
- Communicating with the Home Affairs case worker
- Offering instructions
- Keeping you up-to date with your applications progress
- Getting ready a detailed application
- Evaluating personal aspects of each application, offering advice and researching circumstances of each visa
Other Factors to Consider
Response time – As part of a migration agents Code of Conduct, it is necessary they respond to clients efficiently. Any agent who takes too long to get back to you cannot be considered professional, especially in a situation where visa rules can change overnight.
Interpersonal Skills – You must feel comfortable talking to the agent, likewise, they should be accommodating to your specific needs
Read through the terms and conditions – all companies have these and it is in your best interest to read the fine print.
Look up free online assessments – if you are playing around with the idea of migrating to Australia, indulge in a free online assessment to know where you stand.