Choosing a MARA Registered Migration Agent

Migration agents.

You do not have to use a migration agent to get a visa for Australia, you can do it yourself. But we did use one. Why?
Although my wife’s skill was on the Skilled Occupations List, she did not have a recognised qualification for it so her skill had to be independently assessed before we could take our application further. I was over the maximum age limit, so with those two factors combined, we felt our application wasn’t straightforward.

Engaging a migration agent to help us gave us the comfort of knowing that our application, when it was finally sent off, was sound and did have a good chance of success. This is because any MARA registered migration agent has a duty to ensure that all applications they send to the Australian Government have a realistic chance of approval.

In fact, I believe that if any MARA registered agent continually submits poor applications, they will find themselves in danger of having their licence taken away from them.

Can you recommend a MARA registered migration agent?

Yes I can. I have now been working closely with MARA registered agents on this website since the beginning of 2012 providing personal and professional visa assessments. To find out more about this service, please visit the following page for full details…

What is MARA?

“The Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority is an office attached to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). We are based in Sydney and operate nationwide.” That’s a quote taken directly from the About Us page from the official site, which you can visit here…

All migration agents in Australia must be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA).

So, if somebody is not MARA registered, they cannot charge you a fee to help you submit your application, they would be breaking the law here in Australia if they did. But whether you are looking to use an Australian-based agent or an agent from anywhere around the world, it is essential you choose to work with only MARA registered migration agents.

More information can be found by visiting the governments MARA website mentioned above, but if you are looking for professional assistance, I do highly recommend my agent who is MARA registered and Australian-based. There is no need for face to face meetings these days either, everything is done over the Internet and by telephone.

How much will an agent cost?

MARA has a page on their website with a guide to fees…..

How much did my agent cost?

We were charged £1,213.25 including VAT by our MARA registered migration agent, but in addition to this we had to pay £675 including VAT for my wife’s skills assessment. We came over on one of the General Skilled Migration visas. The exchange rate at the time (2007) was around 2.4 to 2.5 AUD to the pound, so we paid something like $3000 to our agent and around $1500 for the skills assessment.

This was excluding government fees.

Looking at the governments price guide, what we paid back in 2007 is pretty much the average of what is currently being charged now by migration agents.

Government fees

In addition to the fees and charges made by your MARA registered migration agent, should you choose to use one, there will be a fee payable to the Australian Government for your visa.

These fees vary but the government has a page on their website with the details.

Unlike the migration agent fees, the government fees have gone up massively since 2007. Back then we paid a total of $1990 for my wife, myself, and our young daughter. Right now (February 2017) we would be charged $3600 for my wife, $1800 for myself and $900 for my daughter, totalling $6300.

Please bear in mind that these government fees are non-refundable, if your application is declined, you lose all that money. A professionally prepared application lodged through a MARA agent will minimise that risk.

MARA Agents: Payments in advance

Some migration agents ask for quite large and substantial upfront fees before they even look at your details or your situation. This should not be the case and there is no justification for any agent requesting such fees and you should treat any such requests with caution.

Other services offer a “free” assessment, but this is usually just an automated process that takes some basic details and calculates your points. If you score the requested number of points, you are then asked for a sometimes quite substantial sum in advance before they will help you further, again I suggest caution.

Never pay large sums in advance to migration agents, a reasonable deposit, 20% to 40%, should only be paid after the agent has looked at ALL of your details and has informed you, in writing, which visa or visas you might qualify for and the exact costs of applying for those visas, including the agents fees.

With our Visa Assessment Service, you will pay a small fee, but my agent will spend something like a couple of hours looking through all of your information, deciding which options are best for you, putting it all in writing and fully explaining all the costs.

If my agent feels you would not qualify for any visas, he would advise you of what YOU can do to improve your chances of success and, if possible, suggest ways you can achieve a higher points total. My agent would not take on your case if he felt you would not be successful with your application.

Should you decide to use my agent to represent you, your assessment fee is added to your account as a credit towards your costs.

If, for any reason, you are unhappy with the service, I will personally refund your money, I guarantee it.

Here’s one BIG final tip

Google is your friend. No, really! If you are considering using a specific MARA registered agent or company and you want to check them out, simply search for the name of that company followed by the word “reviews”.

You will be amazed by what might come up.

I have been contacted by several disgruntled readers who have paid good money, sometimes a lot of money, to supposedly reputable agents and they’ve received nothing but disappointment.

For each one, if these people had simply Googled the reviews about those companies they would have surely seen the opinions of many disgruntled clients and stayed away.

I suggest you Google first, pay later.

Important: Please read before commenting…

And for those looking for professional assistance…

Visa Assessment Service
{ 435 comments… add one }
  • claudclare August 4, 2020, 12:54 pm |

    I am unable to read any of the comments provided in your notifications, I seem to be receiving the same email advising ….
    435 comments, add a comment
    As well as comments from ….
    Hacking & Keshav
    Not sure why I am unable to see the other 435 comments. Thanks

    • BobinOz August 4, 2020, 8:48 pm |

      I can see all the comments clearly from the front-end from where I am, can you try again? Pants and co with their one or two word comments happens to be some sort of spam bot that is best ignored, I delete them as soon as they come through.

      Please let me know if you can see all of the other comments now, and if anyone else is having problems, I’d love to hear from you as well.

      If you can’t see the comments on this page, it would be great if you can see if the same is happening on other busy pages as well, it would help me sort out the problem.

      Many thanks, Bob

  • Keshav November 28, 2019, 4:11 am |

    Please mention your services along with fee structure.
    I want to apply under 189/190/491 visa along with my wife and 3.5years old child.

  • Pamela Lawlor July 29, 2019, 9:53 am |

    I submitted my application for a Contributory Parent Visa to Australia in April 2015. I was given a Reference Number, and in May 2017 asked to have a Medical Examination, Police Clearance Certificate, fill out a Form 80, and my son submitted all the necessary information regarding him being my Assurance of Support. In August 2018 I was asked to send an amount of money to Centrelink, which I did.
    I am becoming very anxious now, as you can imagine, that I have not been advised any further, and it is now going on 5 years since my Application. I have been told that an Officer will be in touch with me, who will then either request further information, or tell me that my Visa has been successful, but that was in May 1917, and to date I have still not had this happen. I would really appreciate some help finding out exactly when I may be able to hear from the Home Office, one way or the other. Thanking you.

    • BobinOz July 30, 2019, 6:58 pm |

      Firstly Pamela, I removed some of the personal information you provided at the end of your comment, as I don’t think it is a good idea to make these sort of details public.

      Anyway, I can’t help you specifically with this, but I do understand your concern with how long it is all taking. I think you have every right to telephone the immigration department to ask for an update on your case, it really should not be taking this long to sort out.

      I would get onto them straight away, it sounds to me as though something has gone wrong somewhere here. Good luck, Bob

  • Raj July 17, 2019, 7:11 pm |

    Visa assistance

  • Anna Lee Gayongan June 16, 2019, 7:45 pm |

    I am a Philippine national and currently working here in United Arab Emirates as an accounting professionals ( assistant accountant). I want to migrate and work in Australia, can you help me how to apply visa and what`s visa do i need to apply.

    • BobinOz June 17, 2019, 5:16 pm |

      No, I can’t help you, but my MARA registered migration agent can. You can read about what he can do for you on my Visa Assessment Service page.

Leave a Comment

If your comment doesn’t get answered, find out why…..
FAQs and Comment Policy.