Using a Migration Agent

According to Department of Immigration statistics, in 2006 as many as 14,397 migration visa applications were refused. Some of the reasons were:

  • the forms used were out-of-date (DIAC forms are subject to frequent change)
  • the fee paid was incorrect (DIAC fees change regularly)
  • one or more of the required "supporting" documents were missing or inadequate
  • the evidence provided of the applicant's business background and experience did not meet DIAC's strict requirements
  • the applicant's score on the IELTS Test Certificate did not meet the English language requirement
  • the applicant did not have the Points Test score required for the particular visa applied for
  • the applicant had provided the wrong type of police clearance.

It is not unusual either for the decision on a visa application to be delayed. Some of the reasons are:

  • the applicant misunderstood the visa requirements
  • the applicant had difficulties in obtaining proper supporting documents
  • the documentation and presentation were poor or inadequate
  • there were unanticipated health issues
  • there were complications to do with the criminal or security status of the applicant or dependants
  • the Visa Processing Office required additional supporting information

as well as, of course and inevitably, priorities, staffing shortages, workloads and backlogs in DIAC's Visa Processing Office - which are largely beyond the control of the applicant (and the Migration Agent).

Submitting a visa application is a complex business. And it is expensive. To maximise their chances of success and minimise problems and delays, many people therefore engage the services of a Migration Agent, whose job it is to make sure that you apply for the most appropriate and most favourable visa category and that your application fully meets the Department of Immigration (DIAC)'s requirements. The Agent's fees represent an additional cost, but given the risks, many people find it a worthwile investment.

If you think your visa application is straightforward and you are prepared to proceed on your own, all the information, documentation, as well as all the forms you need, can be found on the Australian Department of Immigration And Citizenship (DIAC) web site -

If you do decide to use a migration agent, the advice from the Department of Immigration is "to use a Registered Migration Agent", i.e. a migration agent who is registered with the Australian Migration Agents Registration Authority (The MARA). In fact, in Australia it is illegal to practice as a Migration Agent without MARA Registration. Registered Migration Agents must:

  • pass character tests,
  • have the necessary Immigration Law qualifications,
  • comply with MARA's Code of Conduct,

all of which means that you will be in safe and competent hands, with a guarantee that your case will be handled professionally.

The cost of using a Migration Agent will vary depending on the type of visa and your individual circumstances. Details of current Migration Agents Fees are available from the Migration Agents Registration Authority's web site.