Australia attracts thousands of visitors every year. With an abundance of natural wonders and a bustling city life, it’s no wonder why people from all over the world dream of travelling (and even settling permanently) on Australian soil.
Visiting Australia usually starts by securing a visa. This is a crucial step that would determine whether or not you are allowed to set foot in the country. That’s why hopeful travellers must carefully understand and obey migration rules in order to ensure entry to the Land Down Under.
While some are able to process their travel documents independently, others may still need some aid in knowing their way around. And here’s where Australian migration
consultants come in to help. These knowledgeable individuals offer services to applicants who have limited knowledge about the requirements, or little capacity to apply for a visa on their own.
Others simply elect to hand over the process to someone who is experienced and able to guide them through the entire process.
However, not all migration consultants are the same. So, how can you make sure you are choosing a competent and reputable migration consultant who would do their best to help you with your visa application to Australia
- They are MARA-approved
Only Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) registered agents are allowed to provide immigration advice and manage your visa application. MARA is a government office in charge of regulating the Australian migration advice industry. MARA provides all approved agents with a registration number and carries out other regulatory processes. Make sure to ask for your agent's MARA number before progressing further with them.
- Genuine offices and contact details
Personal documents, which are part of the visa process, should be dealt with in a secure location. Any migration company or agent that you are considering must have a registered office address (even if they are working from home) and clearly listed contact details.
- No outrageous claims
Migration consultants cannot guarantee you an Australian visa
nor issue it to you. Their only promise should be to provide you with a detailed understanding of the process and to offer assistance in the preparation and lodgement of a valid visa application. Only the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has the ability to issue Australian visas. Claims such as VIP treatment and inside connections with the DIBP are warning signs about the consultant’s authenticity.
- Reasonable fees and practices
There are companies that offer free visa eligibility assessments online. They can be more practical and trustworthy choices than those that ask for payment upfront before conducting any initial evaluations. It’s also a red flag if they ask for additional fees to take shortcuts or make the process quick. Remember that most visas carry specific requirements and generally don’t get approved overnight, and the length of processing may vary from person to person, as well as the type of visa you’re applying for.
Does your migration consultant check off all marks on the checklist? If so, then it’s most likely that you’re in good hands.