Before anything else, what exactly is the job of an Australian migration agent? What are their job responsibilities and how does one go about becoming a migration agent in Australia? These are some of the questions that this article aims to answer.
To start off, an Australian migration agent has a very serious and important job. Their responsibilities also range far and wide. For instance, it is the job of an Australian migration agent to assist clients in the processing of their applications to achieve immigrant status. It is part of their job responsibility to ensure that all requirements are fulfilled by applicants and that all supporting documents are submitted and forms have been completed.
In accordance to the law, a legitimate Australian migration agent needs to undergo registration at the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority prior to formally engaging in their job. It is the job of MARA to regulate migration agents, and the responsibility of agents to ensure that they are up to speed on the immigration processes of Australia. Any person who is found guilty of providing immigration assistance without the proper credentials as required by the law will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
1. Verify that you meet all requirements of MARA for prospective migration agents at the time of your application. You cannot be younger than 18 years old. You also need to be either an Australian citizen or a permanent resident.
2. Secondly, an Australian migration agent also requires possessing an Australian legal practicing certificate. If you do not have one, you will need to enroll in either: The Australian National University, Victoria University, Murdoch University, or Griffith University. At these universities you will need to study Australian migration law and earn a certificate.
3. The third step towards becoming a certified Australian migration agent is to take the IELTS or International English Language Testing System. You can also opt to take the TOEFL instead (Test of English as a Foreign Language). The purpose of taking these tests is to verify that you are able to comprehend and communicate in English at the standard required by the government. IELTS results need to be at least 7.0, while subtest scores should be 6.5 at the minimum. On the other hand, a minimum score of 100 should be achieved for the TOEFL, and 22 for subtests.
It is important to note that this step is only applicable to those who do not yet have a current Australian legal practicing certificate, or those who otherwise possess a college degree from a native English speaking country.
4 .Become familiar with legislation in relation to the process of becoming or acting as a migration agent. Some acts that are relevant include: Migration Act 1958, Migration Agents Regulations 1998, Migration Agents Registration Application Charge Act 1997, and Migration Agents Registration Application Charge Regulations 1998.
5. Purchase professional indemnity insurance worth at least $250,000 (AUD) in compliance with Section 292B of the Migration Act 1958.
6. Request a police check from the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
7. Download and fill out the M01 form. Collect all the supporting documents required to support your application.
8. Pay the corresponding application fees via BPAY, check or money order. Contingent upon your choice of registration — commercial or nonprofit — the fees will vary accordingly. For nonprofit, it’s AUD160 while commercial is AUD1760. Proceed with delivering your application to MARA. Wait for the results.