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?
MARA Agent Doing Paperwork
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…
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{ 390 comments… add one }
  • jim erwin March 23, 2017, 9:22 pm | Link

    hi Bob

    Its clear that you are an advocate of the MARA service. You mention that one of the readers posted they refined there check to two favourable MARA agents in Uk who do part of the service for free. As a strong advocate of MARA are you able to provide me with this post or a link, you mention it but I cant find it anywhere buddy, thank in advance receipt of your advices

    Jim Erwin MBA ba (Hons)

    • Mark March 24, 2017, 8:36 am | Link

      Hi Jim I answered you in another post I seem to remember you have something that might not be straightforward, To be honest I dont think anyone’s application is probably straightforward, maybe I am wrong. The free bit I mentioned and the free bit mentioned in here is a bit like calling a ‘accident no win solicitor’. The will see or talk to you and decide if there is a case. They only take the ones on they feel they can win. now that doesn’t mean giving up if that solicitor says no, a lot of them want easy. “yes I hit the gentleman with my car m;lud whilst reading the paper and eating a Mars bar” Now the reason I explain that is a decent paid for Solicitor will likely get more. The previous will take the first or second offer, a paid for one would ask for nuisance £ value as well … The MARA agents are arguably not that much different. they will asses you for free and yes take you on as its almost ‘we have a duty to get the visa now we have said we can’. They will then charge you… So unless you cant provide degree paperwork or they discover you were part of the Brinx Mat raid on a police check you will I feel get a visa. They dont tend to take you on otherwise. That said, and like our no win solicitor there is undoubtedly folk, some MARA have said no to who have succeeded. I know that as fact. One of them is writing this. We had less than 9 months to a significant birthday and they said we would not be successful, It was a guarantee visa or fee refunded outfit I then found another one to be paid for that said they could do it if we co-operated fully and returned docs post haste. I was pleasantly surprised they also turned out to be no visa, money refunded. I have no experience of Bob’s man on hear Simon Earl so cant really recommend him but of the few years I have been floating around this website I’ve only read one bit of criticism about him and that turned out to be wrong, so squeaky clean sheet. (Sorry Simon if you read these there is a compliment hidden in there). Added to which he is a solicitor so can hack the awkward issues. I have just googled No visa no fee and through our UK server and five or six have come up True Blue came up second, I know folk who have used them successfully. I wont send you to the one we used as the lady we used left by the time we had arrived and they hadn’t told us. We got an email from her later and It just would not feel right to recommend them. Bit of falling out maybe!
      So if you have a regular ‘ish’ case talk to any of them. Give Simon Earl a go If you have an oddball case still talk to one of them. Put it this way It was one of the best £2500 I have ever spent. Well OK my companies money was spent. It can be a fraught waiting process and they take some of that away.

      • BobinOz March 24, 2017, 6:39 pm | Link

        Jim, if I could point you to the comment that you said I’ve made, I would, but I don’t remember making that comment and have no idea where it might be. I think I have over 40,000 comments on this website at the moment, so it would be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

        Free assessments really won’t get you very far, they just let you know whether you possibly might or possibly might not qualify. You will then be asked to pay a consultation fee to find out for sure. The only MARA registered migration agent I highly recommend is obviously my own, through my Visa Assessment Service.

        Believe me, it’s money well spent.

        I work with Simon very closely on a daily basis, so I know him well and trust him. He is certainly a very decent and hard working guy, you won’t go far wrong with him. Good luck, Bob

      • Jim Erwin March 25, 2017, 12:02 am | Link

        visa application / expression of interest

        Hi

        Currently trying to emigrate to Australia (anywhere) to work.

        My wife has qualified as an ACCA Accountant in January and transferred in same month to CPA.

        She also has completed IELTS with 8,8,7,(7.5)

        I currently work in a bank as a relationship manager assistant in business and commercial banking over last 7 years.

        I also have worked paid part time as a football coach/manager at Motherwell FC over the last two years and for over 10 years before then at Hamilton Academicals FC in same role although it was voluntary.

        Looking for advice around best direction to take next in respect to visa application etc and options.

        Currently we will arrive in Australia in August this year and we are finding barriers everywhere we turn in respect to invite quotas, work experience not counting pre ACCA accreditation etc etc

        Thanks in advance receipt of your advices

        • Mark March 25, 2017, 6:54 pm | Link

          Hi Jim It looks like your struggling on the skills wanted list which in fairness I know little about these days. I am guessing your MBA is not something you use in the banking sector. Have you had an agent say they cant help you, Sorry for more questions but it all helps. It may be another agent is not going to help if others have been unable to find an opening. Where do you both score without the jobs…Age etc etc… There are many easy free tests for points scores just to give you an indication. Its my experience you need to score 60. I am guessing with a name like Jim James you are somewhere 35 to 45 but a degree helped us on points. You say your arriving in August… This I assume is to try and find job and sponsorship whilst here. That’s always an opening. I am assuming its not for a look round only?. Have you looked for anything close to your job on the skills list. or even regional. Have you an area you are aiming for. Its still likely going to be an agent that will find the answer for you by answering all these question in as positive a way as possible for a visa. Its evident your passionate about emigrating and keep that with you. It may be you need some more experience or rather your wife. NZ may be an option as well.

    • Mark March 24, 2017, 7:10 pm | Link

      There you go Jim. If Bob says he trusts him, Simon that is, then give him a go. I had no idea he works with him on a daily basis but that looks like a very genuine recommendation from Bob. I to dont think you’ll go far wrong with him either now.

      • BobinOz March 27, 2017, 6:30 pm | Link

        Ha ha, yes, ‘daily basis’ is probably a bit of an exaggeration, but we communicate very regularly and I can contact him any day of the week and he will get straight back to me. He lives less than half hour away and we meet regularly in a cafe for a catch up.

        That’s probably a better description.

        Jim, you appear to be still looking for advice, only MARA registered migration agents are legally allowed to give specific advice on visa types, so you really should speak to a qualified agent whether through my service or by some other means. Good luck, Bob

  • PURNO LAL ROUTH March 23, 2017, 12:49 am | Link

    Hi i am purno routh from bangladesh , i have complet in BBS DEGRRE And i have working in 5 year exp: sales manegar . I am singl parshon . Pls any works visa processin help me

    • BobinOz March 23, 2017, 9:05 pm | Link

      Yes, the visa processing help comes from MARA registered migration agents, as the above article explains.

  • Jeanette Hankert February 16, 2017, 8:20 pm | Link

    Hi. My family is in contact with a MARA agent, who recommend us the apply for Skilled Nominated (Permanent) work visa (s/c 190) due to my husbands marketing background.

    We are a family of 4 (mom, dad, and two kids at 10 and 11). The MARA agent´s fee is the total of 5.200 AUD. We think this is a little high, and we have looked at Simon Earls webpage, but cannot see if his fee is about the same. What do you think of 5.000 AUD?

    • Mark February 16, 2017, 8:33 pm | Link

      Ouch I think its high too I am not sure whether there is a regulatory code for pricing as I have not looked but if Bob doesn’t mind as its an Australian government site. have a look at this https://www.mara.gov.au/using-an-agent/working-with-your-agent/agent-fees/ Grab another quote or two. I dont think it really matters as to how many of you there are to that degree, yes it does matter but in the grand scheme the main applicant is the centre of the work.

      • BobinOz February 17, 2017, 8:52 pm | Link

        Hi Jeanette

        Whether or not this is too high a price depends on exactly what your MARA agent will be doing for you. I spoke to my agent, there are three parts to this particular kind of application.

        If you only need assistance with, when invited, the visa application review, preparation, lodgement and collation of supporting documentation, then my MARA agent would charge $2850 plus GST (@10%).

        If, on the other hand, you also need help with EOI (points review, preparation, lodgement and state nomination) and skills assessment, and if this other agent’s quote does include assistance for that, then his price is about right. Can you tell me exactly what this agent is going to do for you?

  • Olowoniyi bamidele peter February 14, 2017, 7:05 am | Link
  • Ashleigh Fairfield February 12, 2017, 12:58 am | Link

    Hi, I have previously asked a question regarding emigrating from the U.K. To Perth Australia. Thanks for your previous help. I have another question, my husband is a joiner and qualified in 2008 (passed his skills test). Since then he has less than 3 years work experience as a joiner. We were hoping to get a subclass 189 as my husband as the main applicant as a joiner. If he has less than 3 year experience but can still get more than 60 points for the visa would that still be acceptable for the emigration office?

    • Mark February 12, 2017, 9:07 am | Link

      You really need a specialist Mara agent for the real intricacies, mainly as its breaching the rules for anyone none qualified to give advice. Experiences are Ok but advice a No No. When you say passed his skills test do you mean he has recently passed his Skills test for Australia or passed his skills test by way of qualifying in UK in 2008…What I can say you would, or rather you husband would likely be tested on his skills by Australian accredited testers and if with IELTS, Pearsons (language) and so on you have the required 60 points then you have every chance. If the 60 points are without the skills test then you have no concerns either though not sure how you have done that .. You really need a MARA agent they are worth the money. Im not sure many people in general (Not talking about Mara or Australia and emigrating now) just Joe public or me would call him a Joiner. Just like me I am qualified in a field but only practice it as little as once a week whilst doing my job, .So I am not called by it generally but my company have me shall we say ‘on the books’ as it. As an example say your husband is working shopfitting in the other 6 or so years 2008 2017 minus 2.5 years then he is shopfitter that does some joinery as he is qualified to. If the business have him down as the joiner then he is a joiner if though say he is running a supermarket then he is not really a Joiner. He is qualified as one but he is a supermarket manager. As emails (forum messages) sometimes dont come over correctly. Please dont take that as any criticism in anyway just trying to be helpful with what others may see.

      • BobinOz February 12, 2017, 8:54 pm | Link

        As Mark has said, you really must speak to a MARA registered migration agent about this. I believe there are rules in place about recent and relevant work experience, and only a MARA agent is legally allowed to advise.

  • Kaur February 4, 2017, 10:54 am | Link

    Hi sir i want to know me nd my sister family citizen here my mother , fater nd brother in india my brother is 25 yr old is any way my brother can come here even work visa or pr in any state of australia plz reply

  • Desy January 29, 2017, 8:21 pm | Link

    Hi
    I have husband and he is australian citizen and we already have baby as australian citizen by descent.
    I just want to ask you about visa which match for me (i’m malaysian citizen). Because to apply for spouse visa is really expensive and we trying to find other visas for me which cheap.

  • d mari selvam January 6, 2017, 3:17 am | Link

    I finished only school education here I am a truck driver my age is 38 if possible I get a job in Australia please guide for me

  • Nduanusi Victoria Chidiebere January 2, 2017, 4:10 pm | Link

    Hello Bob, I am Victoria a Nigerian graduate of Medical laboratory Science since 2011 with few years of work experience. Please I will like to apply for skilled visa. I will need your professional guide by working with you to achieve this. Thanks

  • GANDHARVA RAJ December 26, 2016, 4:45 pm | Link

    Dear bob ,
    Im willing to migrate to Australia through MARA registered consultancy.

    Approximately how much cost it will take..???

    Waiting for reply

    • BobinOz December 28, 2016, 10:15 pm | Link

      Moving to Australia isn’t cheap, but if you’re talking purely about MARA agent fees and visa costs, then you would need to get those directly from the MARA agent you decide to use and they would be able to tell you after they know which kind of visa you will be applying for.

      There are many additional variables, like how big is your family? If you are using my MARA agent then his fees and the government fees are all given to you in writing as part of his assessment report which you receive after going through the Visa Assessment Service.

      Then, of course, there are the flights, removal expenses, cost of selling your house, medicals etc….

      As I’ve said, it’s not cheap.

  • Charles Abifarin December 24, 2016, 6:25 pm | Link

    Bob, my name is charles Abifarin. I am a graduate in english language. I need clue to job sponsorship in australia.

  • Dickson Nacolinks Ibom December 22, 2016, 11:12 pm | Link

    Hello Bob,my name is Dickson Nacolinks Ibom,I am from Nigeria, looking for a job in Australia. then I would be pursuing my musical career too.(DIPLOMA in MUSIC)But I need labour job.please can you help me search for a job in Australia.Could you please let me know?How can I get work permit VISA before traveling to Australia? What is the requirement to apply to work permit VISA.Hope to read from you soonest.

    • BobinOz December 23, 2016, 9:30 pm | Link

      All the stuff you want to do, I’m afraid, is very difficult. All the advice I have on these matters can be reached from my page called Migration Advice. I am not able to help people individually.

  • Furqan October 30, 2016, 2:15 am | Link

    Dear Bob,

    Good Day, could you please guide me that if I do Online MBA from any Australian University so I could increase my score as I am a professional engineer with 6 year full time experience. My age is 30 years so may be I would get ITA easily??

  • Namneet October 15, 2016, 10:07 am | Link

    Hi,

    I would like to migrate on Australian PR from India. Request you please mail me the proposal for migration services which your organization is offering including all fee structure. Will appreciate your response as I’am willing to get your services rather than local consultants available.

    thanks,
    Namneet

    • BobinOz October 17, 2016, 5:31 pm | Link

      The way our service operates is fully described on my page about the Visa Assessment Service.

      Once you have been through the assessment you will receive a written report which will detail in full the complete fee structure. Good luck, Bob

  • CHRIST FALA MIKWARI October 10, 2016, 10:02 am | Link

    Thank

  • Pallavi October 2, 2016, 12:03 am | Link

    Dear Sir,
    I am, Ms. Pallavi, I have completed my Bachelor of Arts in 2009 in Bharathiar University, Coimbatore. I am having 5 years’ experience in ICT sales representative. I have to apply for Australia immigration through your agency. So please let me know the scope for my profile in Australia.
    1.

    • BobinOz October 2, 2016, 11:13 pm | Link

      I’m not sure I fully understand your question, but if you would like my migration agent to help you with your application you would first need to pay for the Visa Assessment Service and then complete the questionnaire you will receive and return it to my migration agent.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Rahmat September 26, 2016, 6:06 am | Link

    I want go Australia for job please help me

  • Frimpong Emmanuel September 24, 2016, 12:42 am | Link

    My name is frimpong from Ghana I am 24yrs of age can I get a company to sponsoring me to get all my documents so that, I will come and work for them

  • mark September 14, 2016, 11:11 pm | Link

    Hello Bob,
    i appreciate you must get lots of questions but would you mind giving some advice. Me and the family would like to move to Australia to live. We’ve looked into the visa situation but are not sure which route to take. Also i currently work in banking and considered trying to get a job first from the UK in order to get there, would you have any advice on this ?
    Most grateful
    mark.

  • M.prakash September 9, 2016, 8:35 pm | Link

    Respected sir, my name is prakash I am indian form chennai i am looking for packing jobs in WA parth. I am 36 aged my qualifications is +2, and diploma in music 2years, 2ed grade keyboard, photography one year diploma. But i need labour job. So please surching for job for me. Thankyou

  • Ernest September 6, 2016, 10:48 pm | Link

    Hi I am permanent resident of Australia I whant to sponsoring my brother and sisters on Humanitarian visa
    Could I get some to help me to preparing forms if I using Mara agent?

    • BobinOz September 7, 2016, 1:05 am | Link

      If you are using a MARA agent, they should help you with completing the forms.

    • fikar December 2, 2016, 12:05 pm | Link

      I looking for sponsor ..be help me n i pay fee when i working in ausy

  • Tuseef August 29, 2016, 9:38 pm | Link

    Hi
    My name is Tuseef, i am looking for job letter in Tasmania, are you able to help me with that.

    Thank you

  • Maria August 29, 2016, 4:29 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,

    Thank you for all the information. I have been following you at length and it has helped me throughtout the assessment process. However there is some information I can not find, hence asking.

    My question is that: Could I change my agent without filling in the form 956? This is used for both requesting or changing an agent. We havent filled that out yet as we only applied to Vetassess for our assessment and our agent did ask the fill the above form.

    I have a postive skills assessment but have not applied for an EOI yet as I am not satisfied with the agent I have.

    Hope to hear from you soon. Thank you.

    Maria

    • BobinOz August 29, 2016, 6:49 pm | Link

      This isn’t a question I can answer, but if you Google ‘Australian visa form 956’ it does explain in great detail who should you use the form. If you’re not happy with your agent, then yes, you should change at the earliest opportunity.

      Do make sure that whoever you choose to use going forward is a MARA registered migration agent, as explained here. Good luck, Bob

  • Kamal Sekhar August 19, 2016, 9:50 am | Link

    Hi, I am from India Currently working in UK. I am in IT Professional with more than 9 Years of Exp. I would like to migrate to Australia along with my Family. Could you please help me what kind of visa I should refer for and how to get job before going to Australia. Please help me.

  • Rams August 11, 2016, 1:52 pm | Link

    Dear Bob, I am from India. Could you please let me know can i get 457 work permit visa before travel to Australia? What is requirement to Apply to work permit visa?

    Thanks

  • CHRIST FALA MIKWARI August 7, 2016, 7:33 am | Link

    I need provide Mara number?

  • Akshay pratap singh August 1, 2016, 5:28 pm | Link

    hi I am akshay from India I am looking to get student visa to Australia for course of personal trainer .. can I get permanent visa after completing my course in Australia??

  • chombe July 27, 2016, 4:13 am | Link

    Dears,
    Kindly advice me to immigrate Australia as a skilled immigrant from Ethiopia, more than 15 years experience as a telecom Technician/Engineer .

  • Kamlesh July 24, 2016, 5:41 pm | Link

    Help to work in Australia

  • CHRISTOPHER ORTIZ July 16, 2016, 1:34 am | Link

    Good day Sir/mam,
    Currently i’m here in saudi riyadh,i want to ask how and where i get anzco certificate…any agent here?….and i want to asked if anzco and vetassess are the same?

    thanks…
    christopher

    • BobinOz July 18, 2016, 2:08 pm | Link

      There are no agents here, if you need professional assistance with your application you can use the information on this page to select an agent to act on your behalf. Good luck, Bob

  • harpreet singh June 7, 2016, 9:04 pm | Link

    i had worked for 4 year in austriala on student visa but can not finish my studies but i hav got experice of 4 year working as baker in austrialan garlic factory on tax is their any visa i can apply on my experice working in austriala as labour in bread factory kindly tell the way

  • Rama May 28, 2016, 8:56 pm | Link

    I am looking to travel Australia .. Pleae help..

    • Sanjeev July 15, 2016, 12:37 pm | Link

      Hi Rama, you need not to go for any agent for the same. you can choose from the website regarding the Visa and processing system. which visa are you thinking to come on ? may be I can get someone to help you for the same.

      • Rams August 11, 2016, 1:37 pm | Link

        Hi Sanjeev I am looking for 457 work permit visa. How can i get it.? What it needs to apply it.-Thanks

  • shivani arora May 28, 2016, 7:38 pm | Link

    I want to go Australia on tourist visa with my family

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