Would you want to move to another country? Whether you intend to go on a holiday, to work or attend school, the immigration process can be complicated. Migration agents are individuals licenced to provide consultation services to people that intend to immigrate or emigrate.
The extract below provides some tips on how to get the best out of your migration agent.
Conduct some research on the reputation of the agent or agency. Online reviews and testimonials from previous clients are a good starting point. You could also seek referrals from friends and family who have consulted migration agents in the past.
The agent you hire must be qualified and licenced to practice. In Australia, migration agents must have a licence from the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA). Affiliation to professional bodies such as The Migration Alliance is an added advantage.
Below are some of the services that migration agents provide:
- Consultation services to help clients understand the minimum requirements they must meet to visit foreign nations.
- The agent will organise your paperwork and help apply for your visa.
- Advice regarding visa revocation. Criminal activities, using fake documents and overstaying in the host nation could lead to visa revocation.
- Experienced migration agents might also refer you to travel and employment agents to ensure you have an easy time abroad.
During your first meeting, ask the migration agent to provide you with a quote for the services he or she will provide. Agents with years of experience in the industry may charge a bit higher than those who are starting out. You may want to compare quotes from a few agencies before making your decision. Additionally, ask about any extra costs you might accrue during the consultation process.
To prevent conflict during a consultation, the agent must inform you of his or her obligations. For example, the agent may not be in a position to fast track or influence the outcome of your visa application. Therefore, do not blame your agent if the visa takes too long or if it is declined. If you no longer wish to engage the agent, he or she should return your documents within seven days. Most agents will provide you with a standard contract detailing the terms and conditions of the consultation process. If the agent acts in an unprofessional way, do not hesitate to report him or her to MARA.
A migration agent helps ease the migration process. However, you must conduct due diligence to ensure the agent's reputation and licencing. Preferably, work with an agent who has a fixed pricing mechanism.