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?
Man-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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And for those looking for professional assistance…
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Visa Assessment Service

 

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{ 431 comments… add one }
  • tanvir November 19, 2013, 8:56 pm | Link

    Hi Bob

    I have submitted my EOI and waiting for the invitation. I have applied for subclass 190 as my migration agent advice it. Currently i have job experienced about 7 years 10 months. i need another 2 months for getting 8 years job experience point. without this point it will not be subclass 190 , it will be subclass 489 . Do you think my agent is right. As he told me EOI need 2/3 months to receive my invitation. With in this time 8 years will be completed. so no problem to submit subclass 190. Is he right or wrong .In assessment accepted 5 years job experience. Plz help me.

    • BobinOz November 20, 2013, 8:44 pm | Link

      I’m not a MARA agent, so asking me is like asking somebody waiting for a bus to give you a second opinion on what your Doctor has just told you 🙂

      In other words, you need to trust your migration agent, I assume he is registered with MARA? If he is not a MARA registered agent, then maybe you should get a second opinion from somebody who is.

  • Arif November 10, 2013, 7:50 am | Link

    Hi There,

    We applied for an EOI(Expression of Interest) and got the invitation 10 days before we received the course completion date from College. After discussion with DIAC customer service team, we proceeded with the sub class 189 application mentioning the scenario in the cover letter. The office contacted us, once the file opened and informed that the application can not be processed since we received the degree completion certificate 10 days after we received the EOI invitation. We tried to convince her however she refused the application on 5th of November 2013. Unfortunately, we were in bridging Visa and now we are under section 48 bar. We did apply apply another EOI meanwhile and invited to apply the next PR application before 19th of December. My wife is also eligible to apply for the visa 485 by 28th December, however due to this bar we are not planning to proceed with any application by our own. We have been blessed with a new born baby on 6th November(just a day after the refusal of our 1st PR application) and she needs special attention from the hospital.
    We are seeking your advise and it would be helpful if you can help us to apply the next EOI as well as 485 on time.

    Regards,
    Arif Aman

    • BobinOz November 11, 2013, 1:39 pm | Link

      Congratulations on the birth of your baby, I hope she is well.

      If you need assistance with your next application, it can only be provided by a MARA registered migration agent. I recommend my guy, see my Visa Assessment Service.

      Thanks, Bob

  • FG October 9, 2013, 4:45 am | Link

    I’m 27 and currently live in Boston, USA. I am not particularly fond of living in the States, and have been interested in moving to Australia for a while. I’m determined not to spend the rest of my life in this country. I’m currently a student, but I’ll have a BA degree (from a high-ranking US university) come next year. I have some paid work experience – mostly doing digital design work – although as I’m still a student it’s not as extensive as an older person’s would be.

    This is all very initial thinking, because migration of any sort takes an extensive amount of planning and organisation, so I wanted to know whether you or anyone else had some advice about getting started. I’ve done a bit of reading about the required points and some of the process, but it’s all still a bit overwhelming at this point.

    I’d like to start the process relatively soon, but I wouldn’t go there straight away; my plan is to try to get there in about two years. Would it make more sense for me to try to get the Working Holiday visa (I probably would try to do it for a few months, rather than the full year available) before I turn 30, or should I try for one of the others and apply for work in Australia (and get a sponsor for a state or territorial visa) while still in the USA?

    • BobinOz October 9, 2013, 2:54 pm | Link

      Hi FG

      It’s one of those things that you can’t overly plan for because the rules change every year and what might get you in today, might possibly not work in a years time. Skills shortages change, the points required can change, that sort of thing. So it’s impossible to tell you now how to plan the something you hope to do in a couple of years.

      The best you can do is see if your skill is on one of the current lists, and make sure you get the best qualifications and experience in that skill that you can. I would wholeheartedly recommend you come here on a WHV, although it might interest you to know that you can qualify for that whilst you are still age 30, it’s when you turn 31 that it’s no longer an option.

      I believe the WHV is a great way to get to see this country first so you can find out if it really is worth all the effort to try and get here permanently. Good luck, Bob

  • Anoop September 6, 2013, 7:08 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,

    We (me and my wife) have been toying with the idea of General Skilled Migration and were shopping around for agents who could assist us or lead us. However, feedback we got varied from bad to horrendous about the agents available in Middle East and India. Then we stumbled upon your website and found the same quite amusing… well, and useful too.

    We had couple of questions to be raised to the referred MARA consultant that you were referring to. Before we sign up to the assessment service, would like to poise the same to you or to the consultant. Could you please give me an email so that we can communicate?

    Regards,

    Anoop

    • BobinOz September 9, 2013, 9:45 pm | Link

      Hi Anoop

      Yes, you do have to be a bit careful who you select, I have heard some horror stories myself. If you have specific questions you would like to ask my MARA agent, you can either ask them online as a comment if they are not of a personal nature or you can direct your comment to me via my contact me page, the link to that is in the above navigation menu.

      Just to clear up, should you decide to go ahead with the assessment service you do get immediate access to Miki via email and can then talk to him direct.

      Look forward to hearing from you, Bob

      • Anoop September 10, 2013, 2:37 pm | Link

        Hi Bob,

        Well, the querries cannot be termed entirely as private, but nevertheless it could be construed as private by few.
        In any case, my querries to Miki are listed:-

        1. What are the services provided by you? Do you have any post landing assistance being offered?
        2. What are the fees that would be charged by you? If different modes of payment are there, please do explain
        3. Could you also provide an expected timeline of different phases the application will go through?

        You could either reply here, or via email.

        Regards,

        Anoop

        • BobinOz September 10, 2013, 8:12 pm | Link

          Hi Anoop

          At the moment we don’t offer post landing support, although it is something we are looking into for the future.

          Your other questions have been asked and answered elsewhere, so I’d like to redirect you to some other comments and replies which I’m sure you will find do answer your questions. Please click here and here.

          Hope that helps and good luck.

          Bob

          • Anoop September 10, 2013, 9:12 pm | Link

            Dear Bob,

            Thanks for the info, especially the links.

            I can understand that it might be bothering you to answer the same question again and again, but at the same time, it could/would be equally hard for a visitor to dig out the pertinent information. I believe I spent some time on your website and could not land up on those comments till such time you extended me that olive branch in blue!!!

            Any way, thanks and I will revert.

            Meanwhile, how about adding an FAQ?

            Regards,

            Anoop

            • BobinOz September 10, 2013, 9:45 pm | Link

              Hi Anoop

              It was no bother at all, I really don’t know why you think it was. I am working on an FAQ as well, it’ll be live very soon.

              Cheers

              Bob

  • shaileshnvadhaiya September 3, 2013, 1:04 am | Link

    i am indian. my passport is g.6875338.i have applied for the work visa in australlia by
    agent. my agent says that he has done my application by mara. i have got your sponser
    letter. my job setting in reed construction company. his office in 41 mclean street sydney
    north. so, can i now whether the sponser letter from australlia is issued or not ?
    please give me answer.

    • BobinOz September 3, 2013, 8:28 pm | Link

      If I could give you an answer to this one, it would truly be a miracle.

      But I can’t, so it’s not.

  • Juma khan hazara August 29, 2013, 9:26 pm | Link

    Hi
    I AM JUMAKHAN in quetta pakistan
    please help me that i go to australia to safe my life
    You know that quetta is a terror place and terrorist are killing our people
    I want to go australia to safe my life
    thank you

    • BobinOz August 30, 2013, 1:24 am | Link

      I do hope you find a way to escape from your current environment, but I am not in a position to help you with this. Australia is a very difficult country to get in to, but I don’t hand out the visas.

      Stay safe, Bob

  • Mililhmc August 25, 2013, 8:53 am | Link

    Hi Bob,
    I was wondering if you could inform me if we need to use any specific template for employers reference or will the information as detailed in booklet 6 will suffice?

    • BobinOz August 25, 2013, 10:11 pm | Link

      These aren’t questions I am qualified to answer Mili, but if you do need help from a MARA registered migration agent, then maybe you should consider using my assessment service, the link is in the above article.

      Good luck!

      Bob

  • Mililhmc August 25, 2013, 8:45 am | Link

    Hi All,
    I am soon going to out my EOI for 189 visa.
    If I claim 5 years experience then I am getting 60 points:
    Age : 25; English: 10, experience: 10 , education: 15

    However I do have 7 years 3 months experience in UK with all payslips/ tax statements and will be able to get the work reference too.
    Also I have further 3 years experience from India as well , although I may be able to get the employer reference , I do not have the pay slips or tax statements for them.

    Then I have 9 months paid maternity leave in UK too ( over and above 7 years 3 months experience in UK )

    1) Will the visa office accept my Indian experience if I do not have pay slips/ tax statement forIndian experience ( although letter headed reference will be there) this will then take me to 65 points

    2) Could I use my maternity leave period in my continuity of employment?I was still employed and I do have pay slips for this period, it is also counted as continued employment in UK.
    If I can use this then I do not need to use my Indian experience(to make for total of 8 years experience).
    Please advise!
    Many thanks

    Mili

  • Chris Spoors August 17, 2013, 10:57 pm | Link

    Hi, myself and my wife (43-40respectively) are both employed as General Mangers for a huge branded restaurant/pub company in the UK. We are both ALPH lisence holders and my wife has over 20 yrs customer relations/office experience and I have ran pubs for over 20 yrs. We are looking to migrate and find it difficult in our experience. I could really do with advice on how to go about migrating with these skills and I am having no luck with agencies in the uk? Any advice would be hugely appreciated chris

    • BobinOz August 19, 2013, 2:00 pm | Link

      My best suggestion for you is to go through my Visa Assessment Service. It is very thorough, and if there is a way for you and your wife to move here my agent will find it. It’s not a free service, but worth every cent and at the end of the assessment my agent will give you a written report detailing any or all of the options you might have.

      Good luck

      Bob

  • Natalie August 16, 2013, 8:30 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,

    I’m writing this as I’ve found your forum really helpful with other questions I’ve had and always had good responses, but I’ve been unable to find any info about the following…..

    We want to ditch our Migration Agent, but our worried about the reprocussions it could have on our application. From the very beginning he has caused us problems and untold stress, and made mistakes in our application etc. I won’t go into details, but we are at a stage now where we really can’t take it anymore and want to continue our Visa Application ourselves. We also don’t want to pay him his full fee as he will not have completed the work and because we don’t feel he’s earned it anyway!!

    However, we are worried that if we don’t pay him he will try to jeopardise our application and also that he won’t pass on all the relevant original documents which he currently has. We have never signed a contract with him – everything was simply discussed and agreed upon over the phone.

    Can anyone offer any advice on this? Is it possible that he can contact our CO and tell them that we shouldn’t get a Visa for whatever reason he decides to give?!

    We have Sponsorship from ACT for a Skilled Migration (perm) 190 Visa, which we were told was the biggest hurdle. On 11th August our agent lodged for our Visa and I have a Client Number (not sure if that’s relevant?!), but are right at the beginning of this new part of the process and actually know nothing about it or how to move forward on our own.

    Please help!

    • BobinOz August 19, 2013, 12:45 pm | Link

      Hi Natalie

      Sorry to hear you are having problems, but I can’t really offer you any specific advice on this as I really don’t (and could never) know the full situation. This really is something that is between you and the agent.

      From what you have told me, it sounds as though your agent has successfully lodged and you have been offered sponsorship from ACT, on that basis it would appear he has done something. If you no longer want to use this agent, then you should pay him for the work he has done to date, and he should return your original documentation.

      That’s not legal advice for you, I can’t do that, I’m just saying what I would do if it were me.

      Other than that, I really can’t answer any of your other concerns, but I do hope it all works out for the good.

      Cheers, Bob

  • francis June 26, 2013, 5:50 am | Link

    hi my name is francis,
    I have been working as a bartender for the past four years from wich two years ive been working for pno Australia on the cruse ship ,is ther any chances for getting a PR or also a work permit to live in Australia.what do I have to do to get a job in Australia or live there … thank u bob …

    • BobinOz June 26, 2013, 4:40 pm | Link

      That’s not something I can answer, but my MARA agent could tell you exactly what your chances are if you were to give him your full information via my visa assessment service, there are links to it all over this page. Good luck!

  • VD May 22, 2013, 4:20 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,

    I applied for Skill immigrant Visa (189 Subclass) in February,2013.

    My Medical health checkup details have been referred to MOC for further investigations around last week of April,2013.

    My CO said that currently MOC is clearing backlog of January 2013 and she will not do any further communication with me unless she has any updates from MOC. She agreed that no any other documents required from my side now.

    And I don’t think i have any of the severe disease like HIV, Cancer, T.B…..i only had gone through 2 Surgery of Inguinal Hernia in year 2006 and 2010 repectivly.

    Can you tell me what time it will take them to revert?

    ~ VD.

    • BobinOz May 22, 2013, 9:30 pm | Link

      I’m afraid I can’t VD, I have heard of this somewhere before, a massive backlog in processing and, unfortunately, all you can do is sit and wait. Sorry that is not what you want to hear and no, I can’t give you a time scale.

      Anybody else got a clue?

      • VD May 23, 2013, 2:57 am | Link

        Hi Bob,

        Just after writing to you, i checked my mail and hurray……i got mail from my CO that my medicals are cleared from MOC. and she suggested further course of action.

        • BobinOz May 23, 2013, 1:25 pm | Link

          Wonderful news VD, it looks like they are clearing the backlog 🙂

  • Corpuz May 3, 2013, 4:12 pm | Link

    Hi! Appreciate your site, I find it very helpful. I just recently got in touch with an agent from Visas Simply. I want to make sure they’re legit. Have you heard of them? Would you know how to check if they are indeed registered with MARA as they claim?

    • BobinOz May 3, 2013, 9:58 pm | Link

      I have never heard of the company of which you speak, and I only recommend one agent at the moment, that’s because I know him and I trust him implicitly. He is MARA registered, that means he has a MARN number and is registered with the Australian Government. If you want to look into what he provides through my website, check out my Visa Assessment Service.

      As for checking out the company you are talking about, in the article above underneath where it says “What is MARA?” You will see a link to a government website called mara and if you go there and click on where it says “Find an agent” on the right hand side you can search for the company to see if they are registered.

      I already have searched, given that I only have the information that you have provided, but I could not find them as registered. If a company is not MARA registered, I would strongly advise that you avoid them.

      Good luck!

  • muhammad touseef April 9, 2013, 11:02 pm | Link

    hi how are you bobinoz.i need your help with registered maras agent here in perth australia.so i need your email address discuss something important.

    • BobinOz April 10, 2013, 1:57 pm | Link

      I only recommend one MARA agent at the moment, you will see a link to his service in the above article.

  • a mother March 26, 2013, 8:01 am | Link

    Thanks for this interesting page, Bob. One of my children went to medical school in Australia, graduated with her MBBS so is a physician, has done her internship in Australia, and is now doing her specialty training in Australia, too. She has been living with her Australian by birth fiance, in a house they bought together, for the past 2 years. They are getting married this summer. She has a work visa for her specialty training, of course, but would now like to proceed to permanent resident and ultimately citizenship as this is where she will live and have her family. She got a bit of bad advice about when to apply so is beginning to look into this now. Can you suggest whether she should apply as skilled migrant or through her partner?

    I’m just confused as we have a son in our home country here who has sponsored his wife and things seem to be proceeding smoothly. It had been suggested to our now Australian daughter that going the partner/husband sponsored route was not the way to go – odd to me.

    Many thanks
    Her mother

    • BobinOz March 27, 2013, 12:42 am | Link

      It sounds odd to me too, but I don’t know the ins and outs of her case and, on top of that, I’m not qualified to answer these kinds of questions anyway.

      My MARA agent could probably sort this out, but he would obviously charge a fee. Let me know if you want an intro.

      Cheers

      Bob

      • a mother March 27, 2013, 1:12 am | Link

        Many thanks – Does your agent do a preliminary free consultation? May I e-mail you directly once I’ve spoken to her a bit more and in the event she wants an intro?

        • BobinOz March 27, 2013, 8:02 pm | Link

          Yes, speak to your daughter first and then email me directly explaining the exact situation in full. I’ll pass that on to my migration agent to get his opinion and to see if he can help.

  • Brad Brown March 8, 2013, 2:30 am | Link

    Bob,

    I am a secondary teacher and my wife is a nurse. We have one son. Would we both apply for the migrant worker visa? If so…..will we both end up paying $3000 each…..or is it one application for the whole family?

    Thanks,

    Brad

    • BobinOz March 8, 2013, 4:30 pm | Link

      I will pass on this one, the government fees change on a regular basis and I don’t want to mislead anyone. Watch the video on my page Visas and you will see how to find out the costs of each visa.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Jasveer March 7, 2013, 10:05 pm | Link

    Hi I am on 485 visa as a cook.Is it possible to apply 857 visa if so what are the requirements?

    • BobinOz March 8, 2013, 4:29 pm | Link

      Sorry Jasveer, I’m not sure about that one.

  • hala February 18, 2013, 5:03 pm | Link

    Hi Do you know of any migration agent in Lebanon,beirut..My husband and I would like to migrate to australia with our children..thanks

    • BobinOz February 19, 2013, 10:13 pm | Link

      No, I don’t, but do understand that you can easily use a migration agent based anywhere, many documents are now sorted electronically. So if you can’t find one, I do recommend my agent who is based here in Australia.

  • jk January 28, 2013, 1:20 pm | Link

    Hello,
    You mentioned that “So, if somebody is not MARA registered, they cannot charge you a fee to help you submit your application”. Is this a law? Could you elaborate further please? I am looking for a partner visa from the Philippines to Australia. I was wondering about the cost and the time it would take.
    Thank you.

    • BobinOz January 30, 2013, 10:04 pm | Link

      I’m pretty sure it is law here in Australia, but it probably doesn’t cover people trading from other countries. I would strongly advise choosing only a MARA registered agent though, whichever country you are from.

      Cost and time is impossible for me to say, but you might be interested in my Visa Assessment Service which is performed by a MARA registered migration agent and would certainly give you precise costs and a good guess at the amount of time involved. It’s not a free service, but worth every cent.

      Cheers

      Bob

  • Becky January 9, 2013, 9:01 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,
    Myself and my partner are planning on moving to Australia around about August 2014 (giving us time to save up the funds to do it, we reckon approx £20,000?). I am a Qualified Nurse (degree level) specialising in theatre Recovery, so believe an hope I will have no problem getting a job. My other half is a Rugby player development officer, so again should hopefully be ok for a job. My Sister lives in australia and works for the armed forces. So we would be able to stay with her initially while we get ourselves set up. From reading above posts, the cost of visa’s do not sound as straightforward as I thought. Do you think our budget of £20,000 will be enough to pay for visa’s, medical, flights and getting a vehicle on arrival (basic). Another question I have is, given that I want to obtain a permanent residency visa should I aim to get a job, before moving or get a job when we get there? And finally, I have a mild back complaint (I have not ‘touch wood’ had to take any time off sick for over a year due to this complaint as I manage it myself quite well) do you think this would be a problem when it comes to the medical? Or as my job is on the SOL would they be likely to not be too fussed? After what nurse doesn’t have a bit of backache?!
    Thankyou in advance for any advice
    Kind regards
    Becky.

    • BobinOz January 9, 2013, 11:53 pm | Link

      Hi Becky

      If you read Moving to Australia – Part Three you will see a breakdown of how much it cost us to move to Australia. Since then a few things will have gone up, certainly the Australian Governments fees, but ours includes bringing our dog as well. Based on what it cost us, I think £20,000 should just about cover it for you.

      Second-hand cars are expensive here though, so you probably won’t get much for what you have left over.

      Always better to get a job before you arrive if you can, but that’s not always easy to do. If you can do it, I would, if you can’t then just wait until you get here. As to your back, no, I’m pretty sure that will not cause any problems with your application, only serious, expensive and or contagious conditions are those that worry the Australian Government.

      Good luck with your plans,

      Bob

      • Becky January 10, 2013, 9:33 pm | Link

        That puts my mind at ease thanks Bob!

  • James Henry December 20, 2012, 1:34 am | Link

    I used a company called *NAME REMOVED* for my application, my only advice is STAY WELL AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY! sorry to shout Bob but they charged me £3000 and did absolutely nothing. I have never recieved a visa, or had a IELTS test or skills assesment. Just a bunch of crooks that I will be taking to court, just thought I’d warn anyone out there.

    • BobinOz December 21, 2012, 12:22 am | Link

      Hi James

      Firstly, I really do apologise for having removed the name of the company that you included in your comment, it’s a company I have heard many complaints about before and I’m sure I’ll hear more complaints about them again. Unfortunately, they also take legal action against anybody who publicly describe some as a bunch of crooks or whatever, and as this is my website, it would be me that they sue.

      Sorry, I can’t afford it.

      So I have (sadly) removed their name.

      I don’t know how this company gets away with doing what they are doing, but you should try to track down their MARA registration number. I’ve checked, they do have one, although it is held in an individual’s name not the company name. Once you’ve tracked it down, register a complaint with their governing body. I’m not sure if they can help you get your money back, but I do believe that if this company get too many complaints then the person whose licence they are using will lose that license. Whether this company would then operate under somebody else’s license, I don’t know, but I do believe it’s worth making the complaint.

      Whilst I can’t be absolutely sure about all ofthe above, I do trust my migration agent (MARA registered of course) 100% and I know he would not rip anyone off and I also know he is very good at what he does, as well as being very conscientious. Anyone looking for a migration agent, check out my Visa Assessment Service, I guarantee it.

      It’s not a free service, like the visa assessment offered by the company you are complaining about James, but it is a genuine service that gives excellent value. Sorry if this seems like a blatant plug, but actually I’m more interested in preventing more people from getting ripped off like you were, it’s simply shouldn’t be allowed to happen.

      Good luck James, I hope things work out well in the end.

      Bob

  • Christina November 28, 2012, 12:01 am | Link

    Hi Bob,

    So i have recently downloaded your skilled assessment form and i am looking for a general skilled migration visa. My De-facto partner has just recently moved to Western Australia (working holiday visa) and I am to join him on a tourist visa as i have already used my working holiday visa in 2009. Will there be any inclinations when i arrive into Oz on a touist visa whilst applying & in the for a general skilled migration visa. I am only in Australia for a 3 month period on holiday and was wondering how long it takes the process. I have a degree and a masters in HR and was wondering if its hard to also get an employer sponsored visafor Pilbara Western Australia. At the moment i have no employers in mind or offers yet.

    Many thanks

    Christina

    • BobinOz November 28, 2012, 1:07 am | Link

      Hi Christina

      Yes, I’ve just seen that you have purchased an assessment, Miki will look after you for sure. I can’t see any problems with you being here on a holiday visa or it having any impact on your application for the general skilled visa. I’m also pretty sure the process of your application will take longer than three months, if it is shorter than that though, I believe you will be asked to leave the country when the decision is announced. This is normal practice. But as I say, I really can’t see it being processed that fast.

      Can’t help you with what your chances are of getting an employer sponsored visa though, maybe my MARA man will help out more on that one if he can.

      Good luck with your application.

      Bob

    • MARA Miki November 28, 2012, 9:45 am | Link

      Hi Christina,

      I’ve received your email and sent the response

      Miki

  • KB November 16, 2012, 7:54 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,
    I’m looking for an german or austrian expat who works
    as an migration agent in Australia.
    Thank you in advance for your help !
    Kai

    • BobinOz November 16, 2012, 10:25 pm | Link

      Hi KB

      I have a Hungarian expat who is an excellent MARA migration agent, any good?

      Bob

  • rima jaiswal October 3, 2012, 6:19 pm | Link

    im looking for mara agents in dubai who would help me with australian immigration.thnks.

    • BobinOz October 4, 2012, 12:04 am | Link

      Sorry, can’t help with that one, I have no contacts in Dubai.

  • Mark October 2, 2012, 12:41 pm | Link

    Hi Bob, today I have a very interesting question for you:

    I am 25 years old guy from Germany, I am working for a company in Perth. It s a very small factory: dad, son and mum work there. In this company I do a lot of things, I work as factory hand, I translate documents from english to german and from next year I ll do a welding course in Polithecnic of WA to become a welder for my company. In Germany I worked as insurance agent for 2 years and I am an accounter but I don’t have a degree, it s the first time that I work in a factory!
    I have the IELTS certificate (score 6). Now I am here with the WHV, but I can t apply for a second WHV. But my company wants that I keep going to work for them.

    How can I do?

    I CAN T APPLY FOR A SECOND WHV
    STUDENT VISA I CAN WORK ONLY 20 HOURS PER WEEK
    SPONSORSHIP???? I DON T HAVE A SKILL

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH !

    • BobinOz October 2, 2012, 4:06 pm | Link

      I think you should talk through your situation with a MARA migration agent, it’s the only way to truly find out your options.

    • chris October 2, 2012, 9:07 pm | Link

      Hi Mark,
      I think also for a company to sponsor you they have to have at least 10 (i think) employee’s and meet a lot of other criteria, check out this link
      http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/skilled-workers/ens/

  • vimal September 24, 2012, 4:39 pm | Link

    I have finished bachelorof IT and post graduate certificate in IT in ECU so can i eligible for TR?

    • BobinOz September 24, 2012, 6:24 pm | Link

      I really couldn’t tell you vimal, there is far more to take into account than just that. If you want a serious and way more accurate answer, you would have to provide pages of information. Check out my Visa Assessment Service for professional help.

  • fikile moyo September 13, 2012, 6:31 am | Link

    i would like to visit my girl friend in Australia Brisbane she is at school,i would like to apply for visa which type of a visa to apply.

    • BobinOz September 13, 2012, 2:17 pm | Link

      Sounds like you need a holiday visa.

  • anil karki July 31, 2012, 3:00 pm | Link

    IF THERE IS SURE CHANCE THEN REPLY…

  • chris July 21, 2012, 9:34 pm | Link

    Hi Melissa, i know what your going through! its frustrating! all our agent did was chatt a lot of nonsense and told us to be patient whilst all our other options were closing.
    Seemed friendly and helpful until he had our money then it turned very clinical and with attitude.

  • melissa July 19, 2012, 2:04 am | Link

    G’day Bob! G’day all!

    Right in a bit of a pickle about the MARA thing so all thoughts on the subject would be appreciated 🙂 so here goes……..
    We are already with an agent (MARA registered) the changes to the SOL list on 1st July ment our vetassess would be worthless because hey presto……. office manager is now off the list! Total buma! So after alot of cursing and panicking we got intouch with the agent for info and the agent told us this is a mistake and to wait for the vetassess to come back before doing anything, the list will be corrected soon and they were a bit blunt and dismissive about our concerns. we got intouch again after doing our own research and finding that this was accurate that office managers are off the sol, and agent came back with basically ‘didnt i tell you all this before just be patient and wait’.
    Back in January we were going to go with an agent that was really cool knew his stuff but the decision swayed when we found the agy he worked for only had one lady who was MARA reg for NZ. no knowing if this covered our backsides we went with the mara reg one that we are still currently with. Just as an inquiry we emailed the guy we were gonna go with in jan to see if he could give us any confirmation on the SOL lists. He did and also went above all expectation sending us indepth info on what our options are and giving us a few different visa pathways, id really like to sack off the mara reg agent and go with this guys company as hes provided more info in the last 2 emails than our agent has in the last 4 mths and not had an attitude! Question is then whats the risk of going with a company who’s only mara registered for NZ are they ok to do Oz immigrants from the uk too? confused aint the word sorry if ive battered all your heads! any info would be a help! ……….and i thought this was all going swimmingly!

    cheers melissa xx

    • BobinOz July 20, 2012, 1:02 am | Link

      Hi Melissa

      Yes, what a pickle!

      I’m not sure what you mean by “MARA reg for NZ”. My head is all in a spin now as well 🙂 I would check to see if this person is on the register of MARA agents, there is a link in the above article to their website.

      Good luck though, whatever you decide to do.

  • elisi mc veigh July 18, 2012, 7:59 pm | Link

    hello agen, in vehicle refinishing i no how to do everything from start to finnish but i do not have a qualification in this, i have pictures of my work, which i have done on my own. would i deffinatly need qualifications to get a job or could i prove what i am capable of and get my qualifications over in australia? thanks elisi

    • BobinOz July 18, 2012, 8:48 pm | Link

      Pictures probably won’t cut it I’m afraid, it’s qualifications that count.

  • chris July 12, 2012, 10:35 pm | Link

    Avoid (name removed)! Took thousands off us and never delivered what we paid them for! I am here in oz now but no thanks to them. Thank god for the internet!

    • BobinOz July 13, 2012, 2:15 pm | Link

      Yes, there are some dodgy companies out there, buyer beware. I highly recommend anyone who gets bad service to complain to the governing body for MARA agents here.

      Again Chris, sorry but I have had to remove the specific name of that company, I don’t want this comment thread to turn into a list of dodgy agents as it will almost certainly end up with me being sued! Afraid I just can’t afford that.

      I think everyone should be aware though that there are some untrustworthy agents about, always try to find agents that come recommended. And yes, search the Internet for the company by name and maybe add the word “complaint” or “problem” to see if anything turns up.

  • martin June 23, 2012, 11:21 pm | Link

    Hi, We have just wasted 10mth of our time and alot of money through a visa agent who guaranteed that we would be able to get a 176 visa to Auss.After a lot of leg work from us and alot of broken promises by them I have got nothing. I need some advise about what is my next best move.
    I went over only last year, I was in Melbourne after been offerd a job on a 457 visa in the catering trade, but for family reason I did not take the job. On return I got in contact with (name removed) who sold me the big one and netted me.

    Any advise would be good.

    Thanks.
    Martin

    • BobinOz June 25, 2012, 10:41 pm | Link

      Well, I highly recommend my bloke, check out my Visa Assessment Service. I know how you feel, we wasted three months with the first agent we chose.

      Sorry I have had to remove the specific name of the company who let you down, my lawyer has advised me against allowing people to name and shame these dodgy agents publicly on my site.

  • XY June 7, 2012, 11:00 am | Link

    Why immigration to Australia if you have good job and education in your country?We also took migration visa from Dubai . We resigned from our precious job and came australia with all the belongings. We stayed in a hotel for 3 month and search for an accomodation. People won’t give rented house as we r not working here. After 3 months of searching ,the real estate agent told that we should show our bank details so that the owner should know we r financially fit to rented a house.
    Finally we got a house and searching for jobs as we both hus and wife are Engineers. The Australian Companies wanted Australian experienced persons or Australian territory qualified people. People in Australia told us that we should work in some hotels or factories till we enter in our own field.
    The Government of Australia has given skilled migrant visa as per our qualification and experience it is the duty of them to help us. The Government is giving free education and Central link money to all refugees coming to Australia from in boat.
    For people like us, who developed our career in other countries fall into the hands of immigration agents and now re pending to be here!

    • BobinOz June 7, 2012, 10:24 pm | Link

      Well, no, it is not the duty of the government to help you find a job. That’s down to you. I have been asked hundreds of time by people what I think their chances are of getting a job. I always say “I have no idea”

      To get a job, you have to impress the interviewer, AND have the skills. Part of that is being able to speak English fluently. With respect, from your email it doesn’t appear that you can do that. I’m not criticising, I understand that English is your second language and you can certainly speak it way better than I can speak any other language, so hats off to you for that. I’m just saying, that’s what you’re competing against.

      I’m sorry that Australia hasn’t worked out for you both.

  • Md. Nasir Uddin June 2, 2012, 2:17 pm | Link

    I gave document for assessment from Engineer’s Australia, but they sent the doc to Engineer’s Australia after one month which frustrated me. For them, possibly, I can not apply in DIAC by this month. I want to get out from them.

    Please give me advice how will i can out from their trap.

    • BobinOz June 3, 2012, 10:10 pm | Link

      I’m afraid you have completely lost me with that one.

  • Md. Nasir Uddin May 17, 2012, 9:04 pm | Link

    I have enganged MARA agent for migration to Austalia purpose. They promised to send my CDR to Engineer’s Australia for assessment on 16 March 2012. But now I heard from them that they sent the doc on 29 March 2012. I became surprised about their committment. Now I want to get out from Mara agents trap. Is it possible ? How will I go forward.

    Nasir

    • BobinOz May 19, 2012, 8:39 pm | Link

      I assume you have already paid them some money? As annoying as it is when someone does something later than they said they would, it may be quicker in the long-run sticking with them than starting all over with another agent elsewhere.

      At least they have sent your document.

  • sandeep pal May 12, 2012, 3:53 am | Link

    Hi Bob,

    I’ve applied for the skilled migration visa subclass 176 for Australia, I’m primary applicant and my wife is secondary, All my documents are submitted and met the criteria. Problem came when they asked for the medicals, I did’t have any problemand status on website says Health requirement finalyzed, But my wife came positive withT.B, and MOC doc have asked to undergo 6 Months T.B treatment. so it will take another 8 to 10 months to grant visa if treatment is succefull.
    My question is: is it possible that while my wife is undergoing treatment they can process my VISA , and after her treatment is over she can come and join me Australia.

    • BobinOz May 14, 2012, 8:07 pm | Link

      Sorry to hear about that setback sandeep, I hope your wife recovers quickly. Not sure about your question though, I think your best bet is to ask the question to your case officer, I’m not sure.

      Good luck!

  • Lucy Crawford May 1, 2012, 6:12 am | Link

    Hi Bob,
    My husband and I are at the stage where we have paid for and been assessed by an Emigration Company. They seem very good and thorough and have said that we have enough points (65) for a state sponsored skilled worker visa if my husband passes a skills test that will cost £2000 and an english speaking test!!… The company has estimated nearly £5000 fees to help us and another £4-5000 for the actual costs of visas, tests etc… We can obviously appreciate the actual visa costs etc but are really struggling with such a large fee but understand that it will make things a lot more easier to get through. However….is there a way of doing it yourself? Do you know of a concise website that could tell us exactly what we need to do and how to do it? Long shot but worth a shot! I’m a 37 year old special needs teacher, my husband is 40 and an electrical engineer. We have 2 young children and another on the way. We have a house to sell and would like to move to Perth (or the surfers coast QLD thanks to your writings!!!).Loving the website etc!
    Thanks for any advice you may be able to offer, Lucy 🙂

    • BobinOz May 2, 2012, 10:57 pm | Link

      Wow! That really does sound a lot. You can do it yourself, but obviously you will still have to pay the fees that go to the Australian Government and the fees required by the assessment organisation. I am not aware of a website that is set up to help you. Sorry about that, I know the paperwork isn’t easy.

      If you want to, you can send me, via email (see my contact me page) a full breakdown of your quote and I could ask my MARA registered agent what he would charge, maybe he would be a lot cheaper than the people you are using.

  • ramon April 28, 2012, 1:09 pm | Link

    hi bob,
    Im really grateful i can ask someone about my case,please give me some advise.
    my present address is muswellbrook new south wales,36 years old,Filipino citizen and holding a 457 visa. My employer is very much willing to help us,for i want to bring my partner and our 5 month old child here in australia. According to my employer they should have been included in my visa application before as a secondary applicant but we are unaware of that during my visa application.
    my partner and child are based in the philippines. I really miss them a lot and we dont wanna waste time not being together when we even have the opportunity to not suffer.
    please help us
    we really dont know how to start, i am really grateful to my employer and he gave us the guarantee of helping us in every way to bring my family here., i just dont wanna abused his kindness of even asking him how or what steps must i undertake now.
    Please help us.

    • BobinOz April 30, 2012, 9:30 pm | Link

      Sounds a bit of a mess, ramon, one that I do not have the skills to sort out for you. You do need to talk to a MARA migration agent, I do have one here on this site.

      Check out my Visa Assessment Service. If you decide to get assessed, it will cost you a small fee (credited to your account if you use our agent to represent you) and simply by filling in a six page form my agent will be able to tell you if and how you can get your family over here to Australia.

      I hope everything works out well.

  • Viraj April 23, 2012, 7:52 pm | Link

    HI,
    This is Viraj from India. I would like to apply for GSM. Request you to suggest me a good and reliable MARA agent in Melbourne as ny brother is statying there and would help me in co ordinating the same.
    Thanks
    Viraj

    • BobinOz April 24, 2012, 12:28 am | Link

      Hi Viraj

      Sorry, I don’t know any MARA agents in Melbourne, my guy is based here in Brisbane. He does everything online and by telephone, if you’re interested in his services. Otherwise maybe your brother can track down someone in Melbourne?

      • Viraj April 25, 2012, 7:52 pm | Link

        thanks for the suggestion. Can you provide me the contact details of that Brisbane’s agent. will expore a bit.
        thanks again… Viraj

        • BobinOz April 26, 2012, 4:16 pm | Link

          Sure, I’ve sent you an e-mail.

          • Indu July 12, 2012, 8:26 pm | Link

            Can you please send me your MARA agent details to me as well. Thanks

            • BobinOz July 12, 2012, 10:10 pm | Link

              Hi Indu

              The details are all on this page…

              Visa Assessment Service

              everything you need to know is on that page, but if you have any questions, please let me know.

              Thanks

  • Paul Medcalf February 24, 2012, 10:01 pm | Link

    Bob,

    This is a really great helpful site, thankyou! Me, wife and 2 kiddywinkles are in the UK and have lots of family in Melbourne. I serve in the royal Navy as an IT specialist and my wife is in Marketing. I dont believe that our jobs are on the SOL, but we could apply for state sponsorship. Would you bother with a MARA agent or would you advise us to try and apply directly?

    Also do we need jobs out in oz before we emmigrate or can you just get out there and apply once your out there?

    Paul.

    • BobinOz February 25, 2012, 1:14 am | Link

      Personally, I would use a MARA agent if I wasn’t sure which was the best route in. Under these circumstances, a MARA agent can guide you to go in the right direction. I would have given a different answer if, for example, you were a doctor with a recognised qualification specialising in an area that was in high demand.

      I have someone who can help, check out my Visa Assessment Service.

      It’s always nice to secure a job before you come out here, but the reality is it’s probably easier to get one once you are here with your permanent residency visa in your hand.

      Have a look at Getting a Job or a Sponsorship.

      Thanks

      Bob

  • Cecilia February 11, 2012, 9:22 am | Link

    Hi everyone 🙂
    Thank you for posting such useful information, and of course thank you BOB for this wonderful idea, of sharing with others your experiences.
    I am from Romania ( as Adrian) and with 10 years ago I tried to migrate to Australia.
    Now ,I will try again hopping to be Ok this time.

    all the best for you all

    • BobinOz February 13, 2012, 1:41 pm | Link

      Thanks Cecilia, and I hope your new application goes well.

  • V January 31, 2012, 2:38 pm | Link

    Hi Bob

    Not sure if you can help me but I found your website through looking for info about migration agents and I’m still undecided about one because I’m completing a Prospective Marriage Visa and it doesn’t feel hard but all the evidence/documents that is required aren’t very clear in what is needed.

    My question is about getting certified copies of current and previous passports. Do you know if I need the entire passport i.e. pages with the stamps, certified as well as the personal information page or just the personal information page? Why I’m lost with this is that there is a section which ask for past 10 year history on countries travelled to so I’m wondering whether they need evidence for this hence needing previous passports.

    Thanks for you help in advance

    • BobinOz February 1, 2012, 1:20 am | Link

      I don’t know the answer, but I’d be inclined to photocopy every page of your current and previous passports, there can’t be that many pages. Better to send too much information than not enough.

      • V February 1, 2012, 2:13 pm | Link

        Thanks for that Bob

    • MARA Miki February 4, 2012, 2:26 pm | Link

      Hi,

      You need a certified copy of your passport bio-page only.

      With regards to what countries you travelled/lived in: It is “significant amount of time spent in a country”, i’s day if you lived/stayed in one place for longer than 3 months.

      Best Regards

      Miki
      Principal, Registered Migration Agent

      • V February 5, 2012, 9:10 pm | Link

        Thanks, that makes it easier.

        Sorry another question I was hoping someone could help me with the personal statement requirements. The instructions say that you can either use ordinary writing paper or the statutory declaration form provided. Since using the statutory declaration form provided requires a witness from a specific background for the signing does that mean that if I was to use ordinary writing paper I would still require a witness also?

        Thanks

        V

  • Chris November 9, 2011, 5:56 am | Link

    sorry Adrian, it was tss, have you found it?

    • Adrian November 9, 2011, 4:18 pm | Link

      Thanks a lot Chris. Madalina is indeed that agent. I remember now. Hope your link is the fist step for a new life.

      Best regards
      Adrian

      • BobinOz November 10, 2011, 1:00 am | Link

        Looks like I got here too late 🙂 Good on ya Chris! And good luck Adrian.

  • Chris November 9, 2011, 5:54 am | Link

    Hi Adrian,
    try this company they are a multilingual company and one of the agents ‘Madalina Phillips’ is Romanian so I am sure they will be able to help you.

    kind regards
    Chris

  • Adrian November 9, 2011, 2:51 am | Link

    Hi Bob!
    I am from Romania
    Me and my wife decided, some weeks ago, to try immigration in Australia, but we don’t know sure how starts this. After some websites visits I find a list of registered migration agents. In that list I find an agent (women) who is from my country and now live in Australia and work like migration agent, but somehow I forget about the that site (misteriously disappear from bookmark list) .
    My asking is: you can help us to find in Australia an migration agent (romanian at origine)? Or at least help us to find a list with these agents and I pick out the agent who I need.
    I think is most usefull to contact first an agent who speak my motherlanguage.
    Thanks and I wait for your answer

  • christopher myers October 10, 2011, 8:11 pm | Link

    Good Morning

    I am just looking for any employer who is willing to employ my brother on permanent skilled migration options such as the regional sponsored migration scheme (RSMS) and employer nomination scheme (ENS.

    He is 46 yrs of age and done his apprenticship in the railways in India as a Fitter/Sheetmetal Tradesman and is currently working in that trade for the last 10 to 15 yrs.

    Please advise if there are any options for that trade.? If any info is required regarding CV and other Certificates I got copies of them and the same can be forwarded for Assessment.

    You can also please E-Mail me at my work E-Mail address : christopher.myers@qr.com.au

    Warm

    Regards
    Chris (0405320693)

  • Graeme August 3, 2011, 11:34 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,

    My wife and I are considering migrating to OZ, we both have family over there, and hopefully we have decent skill to enable us entery, however here is the sticky wicket my wife has a bad back, are the Aussie doctors that strict, I only ask because I can not seem to find any criteria for the medical,

    • BobinOz August 4, 2011, 6:12 pm | Link

      I did do some research into this, and my bet is your wife will be okay. The sorts of medical problems that would put Australia off are anything that can become a major problem to Australia, like tuberculosis, and any condition that they think may cost a lot of money over a long period of time.

      The indication that I found, and I have no source to back it up, was $20,000 within five years as per current rules at today’s date. I think that was just some kind of rule of thumb, so don’t quote it.

      Google “Australian health requirement” and you will find the government’s fact sheet on this matter, you will then know as much as I do.

      Good luck with your application.

  • hemant June 22, 2011, 2:32 am | Link

    I want a MARA agent in Gujarat (INDIA)

    • BobinOz June 23, 2011, 12:53 am | Link

      I want to be happy for the rest of my life
      I want to die but not by the knife
      I want to sleep all afternoon
      I want to rise at night with the moon

      Department S

      • Chris June 23, 2011, 8:33 am | Link

        Hemingway?

        • BobinOz June 24, 2011, 8:53 pm | Link

          No, definitely Department S. Click on the link for a bit of 80s nostalgia. Unless, of course, you’re saying Hemingway is a migration agent in Gujarat (INDIA)?

      • Mandeep singh punia June 6, 2015, 3:18 pm | Link

        Hi bobin ..im mandeep singh punia from haryana india ..i do not find any link or our contact ..i wNt to go australia for my further study or any job ..but nobody suggest me that how i go there or apply visa ..i want to contact u plz give me ur contact ..+91 9872201165 its mi contact ..plz reply me thanks

        • BobinOz June 8, 2015, 7:57 pm | Link

          There is no point in contacting me, I cannot help you get a visa to go to Australia, you need to speak to a MARA registered migration agent if you need professional assistance with this.

          Or you can go through my Visa Assessment Service which is a service offered by my resident MARA migration agent or you might like to check out my page about Student Visas.

          Good luck, Bob

          • Isaac Phutunile Sitoto September 23, 2015, 12:09 pm | Link

            Hi my name is Isaac in South Africa am looking for the job in Australia i have firefighter qualifications with the international certificate and Ambulance Emergency Assistance can you please help me

    • Arvinder Singh January 14, 2012, 1:56 am | Link

      Hi Hemant,

      Did you get a MARA certified agent for yourself? I am in Bangalore and want a MARA certified agent.
      Any help???

      Arvinder.

      • BobinOz January 17, 2012, 2:30 pm | Link

        Yes, I used a MARA agent. I am in the process of setting up the exact help you need on this website. Leave it with me and I’ll get back to you when it’s done.

  • Chris June 4, 2011, 2:57 am | Link

    Hi Bob,
    My family and I decided we would use a migration agent when we first started the process. We did a little research and decided on a reputable company which regularly advertises in a certain magazine. Initially they were quite helpful and we had a direct debit set up with them and our 175 visa application was lodged, however when the CSL and SOL list were all changed my case became a little more complicated and was told it could be a 3 year wait for my 175 visa to be granted and to be patient. End of.
    At no point after this did he give us any advise on other options i.e state sponsorship, RSMS, employer sponsorship etc.
    So not being happy to wait 3 years i took it upon myself to do a lot of research into other options and took a trip out to Queensland and managed to secure myself a job from a company who were willing to sponsor me on an ENS.
    On my return back to the UK i contacted my agent several times for advise on how we go about an employer sponsored visa as neither the company or I had any experience in the matter, but every time i spoke to my agent i was just met with negative advise time after time. I asked them to work out a fee to help me get the sponsored application lodged, which they did and it was a lot, when i asked could i set up a direct debit i was told “no, it has to be paid in one go”.
    As we did not have the funds to pay it in one go my wife and I decided to do it ourselves. I contacted them and asked for some documents of ours to be sent back to us to use on the sponsored application to which i was told they no longer had them and they had been sent back to me 12 months previously (strange really as i had only sent them off to them 7 months previous!). Prior to this my wife had spoken to the agents assistant and was told yes we have them. This obvious lack of organisation and communication with his assistant aggitated my agent and i promptly received an email informing me that “they no longer wished to represent us”.
    Fortunately we have managed to get our ENS application lodged and are now just awaiting the outcome.

    My advise to anybody looking to take on the services of a migration agent would be to phone around as many as you can, ask about there method of being paid, fire questions at them about different types of visas and really test them to see if they know there stuff (just because they are registered and have glossy adverts it doesn’t mean they are any good and paying top end prices does not mean you will get good advise). just being HELPFUL and FRIENDLY is a good start!

    One agent i WILL reccomend is a lady called Susan from “name removed by administration, see Welshdrummer’s comments a couple below” who gave me some excellent advise and all for free! very helpful and friendly.

    Ok rant over 🙂
    Thanks Bob

    • BobinOz June 6, 2011, 2:56 pm | Link

      Nice rant though Chris and sound advice for anyone looking for a migration agent. As with any trade, there is good ones and bad ones. You clearly got a bad one.

      As I have mentioned above, I think the good ones do not need to take large fees upfront and anyone who asks for such, remember you do have a choice. As you say Chris, pick up the phone and phone around. There are plenty of MARA migration agents around.

      Thanks for the advice and tips and I hope your visa comes through OK and we see you here in Australia soon.

      Cheers

      Bob

    • rochdi July 28, 2012, 11:06 pm | Link

      thank you chris for your littre . please send the Susan e-mail or eny migration agent e-mail who know , because i insiste to go and to live in australia , and i don’t care about the money or how much to pay , i have my money , and i can to pay from 1 to 100.000 usd$. thank you

    • Welshdrummer September 1, 2015, 3:22 am | Link

      WARNING
      PLEASE AVOID the last named company in Chris’s post. They (she) put us through 16 months of visa application hell. Eventually she issued us with a visa which we later discovered was FAKE. We were devastated and it left us, as a family, in one hell of a mess. It emerged that she had never even submitted our application. No plausible explanation was ever offered. All documented. PM for details. For your own protection, stick with a MARA registered agent.

      • BobinOz September 1, 2015, 4:03 pm | Link

        Thanks for posting this, I didn’t know the advised agent wasn’t MARA registered, I’ve now removed the reference from the comment.

        Thanks, Bob

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