Attempting to get permission to stay in Australia on a visa can be a difficult and stressful process. There is a myriad of steps in the process of becoming approved which require intense attention to all of the details that must be met in order to be successfully granted the right to remain in the country.
While it is possible for students and others to complete and submit their applications without assistance, there are some very good reasons for engaging the services of a migration agent. First, it is important to choose an agent that is properly certified. Therefore, you should begin by investigating the agent of your choice by determining if they are registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA). An agent that is MARA registered will have the following qualifications and be able to provide the following services;
- They will have completed a 12-month educational course in the process and laws of Australian migration
- Provide advice on visa requirements
- Will be aware of the different options available to meet your needs
- Act on your behalf with the Department of Home Affairs
- Inform you as to the proper information you must gather for a complete application
- Assist you in completing the application in its most acceptable form
- Watch for errors and correct them prior to the submission of your application
- Be actively involved in the submission process
- In the event that your application is denied, they can assist you in the administrative appeal process
During the course of choosing an agent, it is imperative to remember that there are some things even a certified MARA agent cannot promise you. These things include;
- Fast-tracking your process
- Guaranteeing you particular results
- Influencing the final decision of the tribunal
Oftentimes applicants feel they cannot justify the cost of using a registered migration agent. However, in the long run, the use of an agent can be financially prudent. To begin with, agents will be in a stronger position to assess your suitability for the type of visa you are applying for. It is important that you possess all of the qualifications for the type of visa you are seeking to secure. A registered MARA agent will understand the various qualifications for the different types of visas and make sure that you are a suitable match for the visa you are applying for.
The legal requirements for immigration applications change frequently, and occasionally drastically. Agents who are certified have access to information and knowledge of the various changes in the law that can affect the final outcome of an application. By knowing the changes in the law, a registered agent can prevent you from making errors that could be costly and cause your application to be denied. If your application is denied, the cost of appealing the decision can be quite high. In addition, you might find that you need to re-apply in which case the fees you have already paid will be lost to you and you will need to pay application fees again.
In addition, the Department of Immigration can be cumbersome to navigate. In this day of electronic applications and automated answering systems, it is often almost impossible to get a person on the telephone to answer a simple question. A great deal of time and energy can be lost when attempting to clarify a confusing aspect of an application, or in trying to gain better insight into the requirements of the process. A registered MARA immigration agent will most likely have more immediate avenues open to them for getting small questions answered or for additional options available to an applicant.
Of equal importance is the lessening of the psychological and emotional stress that is inherent in the visa application process. By using a certified MARA agent, you can take advantage of having someone on your side who is;
- Knowledgeable in the law
- Familiar with the Department of Home Affairs system
- Capable of professionally interacting with immigration agents
- Available to answer your questions
- Provide you with expert guidance to move you more smoothly and more successfully through the process
By carefully investigating and choosing a registered migration agent, there are many obstacles and pitfalls that can be averted as you move through the process of securing a new home in Australia.
If you find yourself in need of assistance with this or any other legal issue, please contact the law offices of Owen Hodge Lawyers. At Owen Hodge, we are always happy to assist clients in understanding the full ramifications of any and all of your legal needs. Please feel free to call us at your earliest convenience to schedule a consultation at 1800 770 780.