Whenever I get asked this question, I always end up sharing my own personal experience with Australian visa applications back in the years when I was pursuing the Australian dream as I did both DIY and registered-migration-agent-assisted applications.
For visas like student and tourist, I applied by myself since I found the rules were just very straightforward and following the procedure wasn't a struggle at all. Securing these visas gave me a feeling of accomplishment knowing that I didn’t have to resort to any visa assistance at all. This also meant I had more pocket money from not having to pay any agent fees.
By the time I was researching information on requirements I needed for my skilled visa application, I got mental! I found that the more research I did, the more information I got, the more confused I became! It was just overwhelming. The fact that it was my final straw, the make or break of my Australian dream, I didn’t want to mess things up. As someone who was not well versed with the Australian immigration law at that time, it was so easy to miss out on one minor rule and then, my dream shattered!
With my desperate attempt to make things work, I succumbed to seeking help. I used a migration agent and the rest was a walk in the park for me. My agent gave me the guidance I needed and the re-assurance that I was indeed at the right track in as far as my immigration status was concern. I had the peace of mind that I wasn’t missing out on any requirement that may have repercussions on my application.
So, in a nutshell, do you need to use a Registered Migration Agent? As an agent myself, I would say it isn’t essential but would be good if you could especially for complex applications such as skilled visas. The answer is very subjective, this all depends on how confident you are in terms of understanding and covering the whole visa application procedure. It’s like filing your tax return, you may use an accountant or lodge it yourself.
I wouldn’t advise anyone against lodging a visa application independently as it definitely can be successfully done. If you decide to choose this pathway, make sure to really understand both the procedure and the rules as even a minor oversight may leave a stain on your immigration records which may affect your future visa application. Also, it is understandable that doing it by yourself will enable you to save money but be very aware that in the process of trying to spend less, an honest mistake may actually not just cost you more money but your time as well. If that's the case, you would have been probably be better off using an agent.
If you are to use a migration agent, make sure you get one who is registered. The best way to search agents is through www.mara.gov.au – the governing body for registered agents. Using one ensures you that your agent will provide you with a professional service as required by the Code of Conduct set up by the MARA.
One thing to bear in mind when working with a registered migration agent is though they have a breadth of knowledge of the Australian immigration law and have the necessary resources to advice and assist you, no one can guarantee 100% successful outcome as doing so would be a breach on their Code of Conduct. The final decision for visa grant remains with the Australian immigration - DIBP.
What your agent can guarantee is the assurance that all rules and requirements for your visa application have been thoroughly checked and covered before a submission is made and presented to DIBP with the aim that it will generate a successful outcome. It’s like having a lawyer to defend your case, he or she cannot guarantee that you will win the case. Instead, they can only make sure to present a good case with the view of getting a favourable decision on your behalf.
Should you have any concerns or questions about visa application, don’t hesitate to ask. Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website on www.visaconsort.com and request for a call back or complete a free assessment online.
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