Some visa applications and other migration procedures are relatively simple and can be completed by many people without assistance. If a visa applicant decides not to use a migration adviser they should carry out as much research as possible using reliable sources.
A number of points which applicants handling their own applications should take into account are:
- migration law and policy constantly changes so do not delay in lodging applications;
- the rules and time limits regarding visa applications are strict – if a client fails to comply with what seems to be a minor requirement, or misses a time limit, the visa application may be refused; and
- Departmental policy plays an important part in decision making and if a client does not have access to these policy guidelines it may be difficult to determine whether a visa application will be successful.
If applicant is not sure about his immigration options or the visa application is complex using the services of a good migration adviser can mean the difference between success and failure.
The work of a migration agent requires a detailed knowledge of migration law and practice and the ability to use this knowledge to assist clients in a wide range of situations. Any person who provides migration advice in Australia needs to be registered as a migration agent.
Consultation with migration agent
At the consultation it is important that the client provide the migration agent with as much information as possible together with all relevant documents. Providing the migration agent with a written summary of the matter in which a client is seeking advice will assist the migration agent to understand the issues involved.
It is also a good idea for a client to prepare a written list of the questions that the client wants answered.
At the consultation the client should ask the migration agent to:
- Provide answers to questions the client has and to advise as to what action the client should take;
- Advise as to the time the procedure is likely to take; and
- Advise as to the migration agent’s fees and other costs.
Immigration assistance and representation – what is it?
Migration agents are able to assist a client by:
- Preparing, or helping to prepare, a visa application, cancellation review application or citizenship application;
- Preparing, or helping to prepare, a document indicating that the other person nominates or sponsors a visa applicant;
- Advising the other person about nominating or sponsoring a visa applicant;
- Advising a person, a visa applicant or, a cancellation review applicant;
- Preparing for proceedings and representing a person before the AAT in relation to a visa or citizenship application or cancellation.
- Representing a client communicating with the Minister, a member of the Minister’s staff, or the Department on behalf of a visa applicant about the application for the visa.