A common question asked by prospective clients when they are considering lodging a visa application is “why should I use a registered migration agent?” It is not a requirement that you use a registered migration agent when lodging your visa application, however, you will find they can offer a variety of benefits.
Benefits of using a Registered Migration Agent
There are a variety benefits outlined below which can assist with your Australian visa process and applications. These include:
Knowing Australian Immigration Laws
Visa processes are very much law based and immigration laws and regulations are generally complicated and hard to understand. Registered Migration agents not only have a stronger understanding of these laws and how they apply to your visa application, but they also have access to policy information not available to you. An agent will be able to explain complicated laws or regulations to you, and make sure your visa application is within these laws and policies.
Provide up to date information
While the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) website is a good place to start for visa information, the website is not always up to date. By using a registered migration agent you are ensuring your questions are receiving answers that are current and up to date. Knowing current policies, requirements and the never-ending changes to visa applications will increase your chances of lodging a valid and successful application. Providing old forms or following processes that are outdated could result in you submitting an invalid or incomplete visa application, which may lead to your visa being refused or processing delays.
DIBP fees are non-refundable
As you probably know, DIBP visa application fees are quite costly. If you lodge a valid application with the Department they will take the relevant fees. However, if your application fails to meet the criteria for that visa and it is refused, you will not be entitled to get back the fees you have paid. Seeking the assistance of a migration agent can reduce the risks of you lodging an application that doesn’t meet basic criteria.
Visa refusals can affect future applications
If you lodge a visa application and it is refused, there are regulations that will limit your ability to lodge a future visa application onshore. For more details about these limits please see our blog titled ‘Have you had your visa application refused or visa cancelled?‘ Using a registered migration agent will help ensure you do meet all of the regulations and criteria relevant to your visa and improve your prospects of success.
Not everyone who has a visa application refused can lodge an appeal to the Migration Review Tribunal (MRT)
The Migration Review Tribunal (MRT) has very strict criteria on who can apply to have their visa decision appealed. A registered migration agent can help assess your visa application and guide you through the whole process to give you the best chance of lodging a valid visa application that will be granted. This will avoid you having to pay extra fees and dealing with extended waiting times with the MRT. For more information about the MRT please see here.
Less stress for you
Lodging a visa application can be an extremely stressful and confusing process. You are not obliged to use an agent, however, you will find that their knowledge and expertise in immigration will make the whole process less stressful and overwhelming for you. An agent will be able to direct you with exactly what to do. Using a registered migration agent does not in any way guarantee the success of your visa application – they will however improve your prospects of success and make your life a lot easier!
If you are looking at visa options or would like assistance with any visa matters please feel free to contact our migration team.