By | Migration Agent Sydney | 22 Apr 2015
We have no doubt in our minds, there are many highly experienced migration agents and immigration lawyers in Sydney for your to choose from. As a consumer, what do you have to rely on to determine the level of experience your immigration agent or lawyer? Claims to high levels of experience frequently arise by many migration agents and lawyers on their company websites and marketing materials. I do not doubt these claims at all, however my intention in writing this article is provide you as the consumer a very simple method to determine how many years worth of immigration experience your migration agent or lawyer can bring to your case.
Each and every registered migration agent shares one common defining attribute - their MARN, which stands for 'Migration Agents Registration Number.' Registered Migration Agents in Australia and overseas are required by law to provide their MARA registration details on all advertising material.
Clause 2.11 of the Migration Agents Code of Professional Conduct states that 'A registered migration agent must, when advertising: (a) include in the advertisement the words “Migration Agents Registration Number” or “MARN”, followed by the agent’s individual registration number';
You should expect to see on every migration agents website a 7 digit registration number.
My Migration Agents Registration No is 0851787 and you will see this digit published on every page of this website. This is a requirement by law and if you do not see a MARN on your migration agents website, chances are you are dealing with a fake agent with no real experience to bring to your case.
The first two digits of a migration agents or immigration lawyers MARN (Migration Agents Registration Number) represent the year they were first registered. My MARN starts with '08' which means I was registered in 2008. At the time of writing this article am able to provide my clients with nearly 8 years full time experience in dealing with Australian immigration law from the very first point of contact.
As a potential client, you may not need the services of a registered migration agent who can bring nearly 8 years worth of immigration law experience to your matter. You may only need a junior agent who has been recently registered, in which case a Migration Agents Registration Number starting with 15 or perhaps even 14 may be more appropriate. Alternatively, you may feel that 8 years is not enough and you would like to deal with a migration agent or immigration lawyer who is more experienced than I am. Either way, as a potential client you should be aware of this information.
Should you be too concerned with the level of experience of your registered migration agent? The answer to this question isn’t simple and there is no one right answer for everyone. To see what the answer is for you, consider the points below as issues that may affect your decision:
1. FACT: 75 percent of migration agents DO NOT renew their MARA registration after their first year of practice. Given this key fact, please take into account the expected processing time for your visa application. Is it for more than one year? You do not want your representative to be there one day and gone the next.
2. How long has your migration agent or immgiration lawyer been in business? This has nothing to do with migration agents or immigration lawyers in general, but the facts are that 33 percent of businesses fail within the first 6 months, 50 percent within two years and 75 percent within 3 years. As a potential client of a migration agent or a immigration lawyer, you are going to want a representative who has overcome the commercial challenges of starting a new business and is firmly grounded in their daily activities.
3. How complicated is your case? Is it relatively straightforward or will you require a migration agent or immigration lawyer who has successfully completed a similar Australian visa application in the past? For example, I have limited experience with student visas and I advise all student enquirers that these are not cases I am able to deal with. These potential migrants are better served approaching a migration agent or an immigration lawyer with more experience in this field than I am able to offer.
Don't settle for claims of 'experience'. The proof you need is in your representatives Migration Agent Registration Number that will tell you with a 100 percent degree of accuracy how experienced your migration agent or immigration lawyer really is.