Considering hiring a Migration Agent in Sydney?
I have been a Registered Migration Agent in Sydney for more than ten years. As a result, I am familiar with the consequences that poor visa decisions have to visa applicants and their families.
Recently, I was asked by a potential client to prepare a false employment reference. I provided this person with an ethical alternative to the fraudulent request. Unfortunately, my recommendation was declined.
It is a matter of time before I hear from this person again. This is common practice when it is inevitable that poor visa decisions fail. Poor visa decisions are linked with tales of hardships, money lost and false expectations that were never met. In the past, I have encountered individuals who were charged with a criminal offence, in jail and banned from Australia!
Wrong decisions can be costly. All registered migration agents are required to abide by the law and to act in your best interest. Visa applicants should avoid unregistered agents. You must choose the right Migration Agent in Sydney with experience in cases that are similar to yours.
How many Migration Agents are there in Sydney?
Most people can’t answer this question.
If you require immigration assistance, the total number of Registered Migration Agents in Sydney would be the least of your concerns.
I have never been asked this question in my career as a Registered Migration Agent. In my career, I have never considered the relevance of the question until today, when I was researching the best way to improve my service, and discovered a very surprising fact.
There is an army of 1,372 Migration Agents in Sydney who love their job and welcome the opportunity to help you succeed.
To find out how many Migration Agents there are in Sydney, I used the ‘Find an Agent’ service on the website for the Office of the Migration Agents Authority.
Migration Agents are highly qualified skilled professionals. I know many Migration Agents who operate at different levels of experience. My colleagues all have different interests, capabilities and areas of expertise.
You must decide between 1,372 Registered Migration Agents as your representative. Your Registered Migration Agent in Sydney must demonstrate sufficient experience to help you succeed.
Your RMA must have the desire to help you succeed.
Without desire, your case will be ‘another sale’ or a ‘lead’ to your Migration Agent in Sydney.
I enjoy helping clients who face difficult circumstances. In particular, I am interested in those cases that present issues that seem impossible to overcome.
Some of my recent success with the Partner visa include –
- APPROVED: Partner visa on De Facto Grounds for a couple who never lived together.
- APPROVED: Partner visa on De Facto grounds for a same-sex couple (Yes – I’ve done this TWICE) who never lived together.
- APPROVED: Waiver of the 8503 No Further Stay visa condition for a South African client. The waiver approval created a pathway to a valid onshore Partner visa application.
- APPROVED: Onshore Partner visa approved for a client who did not hold a substantive visa for more than 28 days before their application was made. This required the client to satisfy a complex requirement under schedule 3 of the Migration Regulations.
- APPROVED: Onshore Partner visa approved for a client who became unlawful after he failed to renew his student visa.
Your RMA must be experienced in the entire visa journey.
Partner visa applicants should be aware of Migration Agent experience levels and how this could be relevant to visa processing times.
The current processing time for the Subclass 820 visa is 21 – 25 months. whereas the processing time for the second stage (Permanent) visa is 19 – 39 months, and
Your entire visa journey could take more than 5 years to complete. This statement is made on the presumption that any of your visa applications aren’t refused!
(Note – the timeframes quoted above are based on processing time data published by the Department of Home Affairs on 25 January 2019. You can verify current processing times at any time for yourself by visiting https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-processing-times/global-visa-processing-times)
It is recommended that your Migration Agent demonstrates experience in visa applications that are similar to yours.
Easily identify RMA experience.
Registered Migration Agents are identified by their MARN, which stands for ‘Migration Agents Registration Number.’ A migration agent is required by law to provide their MARN registration details on all advertising material.
You can locate a 7 digit registration number of any migration agents website or advertising material. This 7 digit number is the Migration Agents Registration Number.
The MARN which has belonged to me for more than ten years is 0851787. You can verify my registration details on the website for the Migration Agents Registration Authority.
Why is the Migration Agents ‘MARN’ relevant?
The first two digits of a Migration Agent’s MARN (Migration Agents Registration Number) represent the year the agent was first registered. The MARN linked to my registration starts with ’08,’ which means I was first registered in 2008. More specifically, I was first registered as a Migration Agent in September 2008!
Today, I have more than ten years of experience as a Registered Migration Agent where I have –
- Won cases in the Tribunal that were previously refused because of the client’s DIY effort.
- Dealt with onshore cases. I’ve lodged offshore applications to the UK, Middle East, Europe, Asia, and the Americas.
- Served clients who have been married, divorced and have sought my help TWICE within this period.
- Provided assistance with the removal of a visa applicant from immigration detention.
- Helped clients return to Australia after being deported.
- Participated in the IAAAS scheme, where I provided my service to detainees in immigration detention facilities around Australia.
- Assisted a diverse range of clients who individuals businesses in Australia and abroad. These include visa applications for celebrities, sporting professionals and public companies.
Why all of this matters?
I wanted to know how many Registered Migration Agents in Sydney have less than ten years of experience. I did not want an estimate, I wanted an exact figure.
It did not take very long to find an answer to my question. The Register of Migration Agents allows you to search for an agent using their ‘MARN.’
If you insert 18 in the field titled ‘Migration Agents Registration Number (MARN),’ the search results provide you with the details for all Migration Agents who were first registered in 2018.
I’ve replicated this process for MARN’s beginning with 08 – 17. My findings are summarised in the table below –
This data suggests that 62.5 percent of RMA’s in Sydney have less than 5 years of experience.
You don’t have to hire any Migration Agent in Sydney with at least ten years experience (including myself). The purpose of this article is to provide you with information about registered migration agents. However, partner visa applicants should consider whether their migration agents experience is equal to the processing time for their subclass.
Nationwide, the MARA search results confirm that 65.19 percent of Migration Agents have less than ten years of experience. 48 percent of Migration Agents have five years of experience or less.
Why do Junior Migration Agents outnumber their Senior counterparts?
The visualisation of publicly available Migration Agent helped me understand the demographics of the migration profession.
The visualised data confirms –
- There was a decline in the number of Migration Agents since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.
- There was a slow increase in the number of Migration Agents until 2017, followed by another decline. The Subclass 457 visa was abolished in 2017.
- The implementation of the Subclass 482 (Temporary Skills Shortage) visa in 2018 resulted in consequences Migration Agents in addition to those suffered Australian businesses and their sponsored employees.
In response to the visualised data, Roz Germov (Barrister and Registered Migration Agent) has said that – ‘we work in a jurisdiction that is not a level playing field – where normal admin law rights have been truncated and the system is designed to be unfair to applicants. The constantly changing goalposts and the making of policy on the run for some short term political gain which unfairly impacts on our clients are infuriating and disheartening’.