Ever come across "100% Success Rate" when you're on the hunt for someone to help you with your visa application? Beware when you are promised this as a migration agent or lawyer is not associated with the Department of Home Affairs. There is no way in which a visa grant can be "guaranteed".
It is important to find one who is registered with the Office of Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA). As authorised advocates for visa applicants, Australian registered migration agents are held to a high standard of professional and ethical conduct.
Applications that have not been lodged in a manner that is compliant with legal and ethical standards will not be considered favourably by the Department of Home Affairs.
What is OMARA?
OMARA is the official body that regulates the conduct of all Australian registered migration agents, and ensures that we participate in continuing professional development programs each year to stay up to date with the latest immigration rules.
Promising "100% Success Rate" is stipulated as unethical behaviour in our Code of Conduct
Australian registered migration agents who are regulated under the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) Code of Conduct are expressly forbidden from advertising in a way that "guarantees the success of an application" under clause 2.10 of the Code. This means that wording such as "100% Success Rate" cannot be relied upon as ethical behaviour and may attract sanctions from OMARA.
Registered migration agents who are sanctioned by the authorities will either be barred or suspended from practice. This information is released publicly on the OMARA website.
How do I protect myself as a visa applicant?
Ensure that you sign a client agreement with the agent or legal practitioner that you appoint. The agreement should clearly state the agent or legal practitioner's Migration Agents Registration Number (MARN). This number can be verified on the OMARA to confirm if the agent is currently registered in Australia, or is being investigated for any disciplinary issues.
Most important of all, take note of the language when your agent uses when communicating with you:
- Are they registered with OMARA?
Agents who are unregistered are not regulated under the same Code of Conduct as we are.
- Do they make claims about having personal links with the Department of Home Affairs or other relevant government bodies?
As registered migration agents, we are obligated to be the impartial third party who acts as your representative when communicating with the relevant authorities. We do not and cannot under the Code of Conduct imply any connections to OMARA, the Department of Home Affairs, or other relevant government bodies.
- Do they guarantee the success of your application?
Registered migration agents or legal representatives are skilled professionals who are equipped to give you advice on the type of visa you enquire about.
They act as a bridge between yourself and the relevant authorities (the Department of Home Affairs, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal or the courts), and are not affiliated with them. They therefore guide you in navigating the complex immigration laws, and cannot guarantee the success of your application in the same way that you are guaranteed a 100% successful operation by a surgeon before being wheeled into the operating theatre. After all, visas are applied for, not purchased.
Your best agent would be able to provide you a plan on what to do next, find answers that are legally sound to your questions, guide you along what to expect and is someone you could trust.
Disclaimer: The content on this page does not constitute legal or immigration advice. For advice on your specific circumstances, chat to one of our friendly staff to book a consultation.