Don’t Be Tempted to Use Unregistered Migration Agents

Did you know it is illegal for anyone to give immigration assistance without being a registered migration agent?

The reason it is illegal is to protect unsuspecting people from being given incorrect advice or losing their money to unscrupulous operators posing as migration advice professionals.

In Australia, migration agents must be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA). Unregistered people who give immigration assistance (even without charging a fee) are breaking the law and penalties of up to 10 years jail can apply.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) is committed to discouraging the use of unregistered migration agents. The sentencing last year of an unregistered migration agent serves as a warning to illegal operators that the risks are high and they will be caught. This man received a sentence of two years’ jail for falsely taking money to represent people in migration matters when he was not a registered agent.

Over the past few years Australia has been welcoming record numbers of people to Australia to live, visit, study or work. Our immigration programs are among the best in the world. The requirements for visas are, however, strict and the rules can be complex.

It is understandable that people may sometimes feel the need to use a migration agent to assist them but they must be careful not to be taken advantage of. If people use a migration agent, make sure they are registered.

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