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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Came across a seemingly good resource for those who have opted not to use a migration agent. It is a book written by an Australian migration lawyer specifically geared towards partner visa's.

Disclaimer: I do not know the author or have any connection with it, just came up in a search and given the questions asked here, thought it could be a good resource for some.

https://www.partnervisaguide.com.au/
 

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Sooo you have to pay $87 for stage 1 and another $30 for stage 2 guides, all of which from the sample seems to be regurgitated from the DIBP website (free) and any confusion can be sorted through public forums (also free).

Meh. I'm quite a skeptical person though. Maybe someone will buy it and share their thoughts on it.
 

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While I have no doubt that this is a legitimate business, the web-site does not display the MARN, which is mandatory. It might be there somewhere, but I could not find it.

A search of the OMARA register of both the business and the principal's name gave no results. Again, this does not mean that the business is not legitimate, but as a RMA I would be concerned if my details could not be easily verified.

You can easily check both my surname and trading name on the OMARA and the MIA registers.
 
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The author of the book is an immigration lawyer. I have made enquires with the company before and was advised that as a lawyer, they do not need to be registered with OMARA. Unsure as whether this is true.

I did purchase this guide as I was not in a financial position at the time to use a lawyer or RMA. I found it to collate a lot of information as well as giving some good examples of stat decs and structures, but nothing that isn’t really available for free on these forums!

I guess it gives a step by step process in simple language.

Sort of unrelated to the above, if I have already lodged an application is there value in hiring a migration agent now?
 

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The author of the book is an immigration lawyer. I have made enquires with the company before and was advised that as a lawyer, they do not need to be registered with OMARA. Unsure as whether this is true.
Regulation of Australian Immigration Lawyers & Migration Agents
Both Australian immigration lawyers and Australian migration agents must be registered with MARA and are subject to MARA'S guidelines and regulations.


On the author's web-site, she claims to be MARA registered, so I am puzzled why her MARN is not on the web-site and why I can't find her,or her company, on the MARA register.

I know quite a few migration lawyers and all of them prominently display their MARN (Migration Agent Registration Number) on their web-sites.

As the law stands at the moment, lawyers cannot practice migration law, unless they are also a registered migration agent.
 

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I sent her a message on the FB page. I get an auto reply message saying:

"Thanks for messaging us. We're unfortunately not able to provide immigration advice. Please direct your visa questions to DIBP or an immigration lawyer. We can only provide information about the book "The Australian Partner Visa Guide"."
 

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I couldn't help myself and downloaded the sample. considering it was updated 2016 it should have the offshore price the same as onshore. states 2 years after grant you can go for the second stage. mentions the stat Dec's are mandatory.

a bit of wrong info there.
 

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I sent her a message on the FB page. I get an auto reply message saying:

"Thanks for messaging us. We're unfortunately not able to provide immigration advice. Please direct your visa questions to DIBP or an immigration lawyer. We can only provide information about the book "The Australian Partner Visa Guide"."
So why would you trust migration advice from a book written by someone who says they are unable to provide migration advice and don't seem to be a registered migration agent ?

A search of the NSW Law Society does not show anyone with the author's name having a current practicing certificate.

https://www.lawsociety.com.au/community/findingalawyer/findalawyersearch/index.htm

Legitimate operators tend to publish their credentials for all to see and check out.
 

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The author’s first name is not the same as her registered name (for both MARA & Law Society)

I have just looked at screenshots I took when I was doing some research over a year ago.

She is a registered lawyer (albeit not an immigration lawyer) and was registered with MARA until September last year.
 

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The author's first name is not the same as her registered name (for both MARA & Law Society)

I have just looked at screenshots I took when I was doing some research over a year ago.

She is a registered lawyer (albeit not an immigration lawyer) and was registered with MARA until September last year.
Then the information on the web-site seems to be incorrect...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Sooo you have to pay $87 for stage 1 and another $30 for stage 2 guides, all of which from the sample seems to be regurgitated from the DIBP website (free) and any confusion can be sorted through public forums (also free).

Meh. I'm quite a skeptical person though. Maybe someone will buy it and share their thoughts on it.
I'm just as skeptical about an RMA I've never met who wants 500+ quid to review an application. $87 +$30 is still much cheaper for some who don't have that kind of money. And digging through the DIBP can be tedious. The author seems transparent enough. So she is selling a book with guidelines and tips, an RMA is charging for their service.

Fiona is a Registered Migration Agent with the Office of MARA and has been admitted to the Supreme Court of NSW to practise law. After graduating from a top institution in Sydney with a double degree in Business and Law, Fiona began her career in one of the Big 4 accounting firms, doing consultancy work for expatriates and multinational corporations. Fiona also pursued a Masters of Law and gained extensive legal and consulting experience from working with national energy providers, mining and utilities and the NSW State Government.

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011616431087
https://www.frontiermigration.com.au/en/#about
https://au.linkedin.com/in/fionaschan/

Edit: I have emailed the firm to see if they have a MARA number, if not, then I too would be skeptical as the above quote would be a lie. And I do find it odd she does not name the "top institution" in Sydney. Most people are proud of their schools.
 

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I'm just as skeptical about an RMA I've never met who wants 500+ quid to review an application. $87 +$30 is still much cheaper for some who don't have that kind of money. And digging through the DIBP can be tedious. The author seems transparent enough. So she is selling a book, how different is that then an RMA charging for their service.
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Somebody who claims to be a RMA, but is not actually registered as a RMA is something to be skeptical about in my book...

You can simply not compare the cost of a consultation with somebody who is a Registered Migration Agent, and therefore beholden to the MARA Code of Conduct ,with the cost of a DIY book written by somebody who apparently, despite their claims ,currently does not seem to be a RMA.

Still, if it works for you and gets you the visa you're after, why not ?

As a matter of interest, both a name search and a search of the MARN quoted in the visa guides (1280473) gave the following result:

The Register of agents was last updated on 13 Dec 2017 06:13:33 PM. Your search found 0 results.

Could not find anything under former agents either, so either there is something wrong with the MARA registry or something else is wrong...
 

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I know how to change the oil in my car, so I do it. Some people don't, so they pay a professional to do it. An RMA is a professional service. Some people can do the application on their own and don't need one, others are overwhelmed by the process or don't feel like putting the effort in to understand it all (nothing wrong with that either) and so they pay a professional. Some people have complicated cases (medical issues, criminal history, children involved, etc) and can't navigate the process on their own.

Before I hire the services of any professional, I always research them, their history, and reviews from others who have used them. I don't need to know them personally to trust them with my money.

What's different between her guide and an RMA is you're not getting a service, only information that is already available for free. Her guide is not reviewing your application for mistakes, or stopping you from making one that can be fatal to your application. And seeing how it doesn't seem to be up to date and already claims false processing times in the sample, the information can be wrong. An RMA is up to date with immigration regulations and changes, future changes that may affect you, and has access to information that is not made free to the public.

That's the difference.

I don't see why someone does not want to spend "500+ quid" on a professional service but throws money at information that you already have free access to. But to each his own.

RMAs are not required, so don't spend money on one if you don't want to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I know how to change the oil in my car, so I do it. Some people don't, so they pay a professional to do it. An RMA is a professional service. Some people can do the application on their own and don't need one, others are overwhelmed by the process or don't feel like putting the effort in to understand it all (nothing wrong with that either) and so they pay a professional. Some people have complicated cases (medical issues, criminal history, children involved, etc) and can't navigate the process on their own.
By that logic, I can watch a youtube on how to change oil and figure it out. I would think there are some applicants who may not have a complicated case involving children, crime, etc., but just need a bit of a guideline and a booklet like this may be helpful. Not taking away from the services of an RMA when required.

Before I hire the services of any professional, I always research them, their history, and reviews from others who have used them. I don't need to know them personally to trust them with my money.
Not suggesting you need to know them personally, just stating that much of an RMA's service is by email (if one is offshore) and if the DIBP presents a requirement such as a Form 888, a booklet can give examples and recommendations on what to do versus what not to do in a similar manner than an RMA would suggest. Obviously an RMA will be reading your material and can make specific adjustments. But there are some applicants who get the 'jist' and may just need a slight tip, versus someone who has no clue what to write.

What's different between her guide and an RMA is you're not getting a service, only information that is already available for free. Her guide is not reviewing your application for mistakes, or stopping you from making one that can be fatal to your application. And seeing how it doesn't seem to be up to date and already claims false processing times in the sample, the information can be wrong. An RMA is up to date with immigration regulations and changes, future changes that may affect you, and has access to information that is not made free to the public.
Not suggesting a book will replace the services of an RMA. Apparently this book was somewhat generated by questions on a Reddit forum as per how I came across it. And it is time consuming to review hundreds of forum threads, so the money may be well spent, considering something as mundane as fingerprinting costs $60+ dollars. Since the DIBP changes the requirements frequently, a published document is not going to keep up to it. Incorrect information is doled out on this forum daily.

I don't see why someone does not want to spend "500+ quid" on a professional service but throws money at information that you already have free access to. But to each his own.

RMAs are not required, so don't spend money on one if you don't want to.
Not everyone wants or needs to spend the 500+ quid (not sure why you had to quote that - Brits refer to currency as quid, we're not all American). If they hire an RMA for full services, then they are in it for a lot more 'quid'. As mentioned, some people may have better things to do then spend countless hours on a forum, time is money.

Look the point of posting this here is I have quietly read these pages and those of other forums and see a lot of posts of people with simple questions, or from less wealthy areas of the world who may be struggling to scrape together enough money to pay the exorbitant fees let alone an RMA. Many questions posted here get replies from the RMA's such as "You might want to consult a professional to plan a pathway, etc." and that may be good and fine for some, but others may just need a couple of bloody questions answered. And as for the comment that the FB page disclaims any professional advice, that is no different than the signature on many RMA's replies. In fact any dealings with lawyers via email have some sort of disclaimer regarding professional advice.

There may be a third path, it's not just black and white as you seem to suggest - RMA or no RMA. It's just information, you may choose to be skeptical, but many people are suckered into using unscrupulous agents and may just need some simple assistance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Regulation of Australian Immigration Lawyers & Migration Agents
Both Australian immigration lawyers and Australian migration agents must be registered with MARA and are subject to MARA'S guidelines and regulations.


On the author's web-site, she claims to be MARA registered, so I am puzzled why her MARN is not on the web-site and why I can't find her,or her company, on the MARA register.

I know quite a few migration lawyers and all of them prominently display their MARN (Migration Agent Registration Number) on their web-sites.

As the law stands at the moment, lawyers cannot practice migration law, unless they are also a registered migration agent.
I do find it troubling that a physical address is not on their website. Also she does not state the school she attended, so I agree it seems shady. If she is a scam, then so be it, I don't know her personally or really care. My original point was that a guideline of some sort is not a bad idea - a culmination of many common questions answered. Not to takeaway from a professional as yourself, not the intention here.

I might purchase the book out of curiosity. Maybe I'll make my own guideline and make it available for free. I have seen other people on the web post their experiences such as this couple: http://www.theaussieflashpacker.com...n-partner-visa-was-granted-in-six-months.html

Or attempt to sell them such as this lady:http://halftheclothes.com/australian-partner-visa-evidence-examples/

Edit:
I found this website with a MARNA number, not sure if it is legitimate or not:https://plus.google.com/+FrontiermigrationAu
I just searched through this site:https://www.mara.gov.au/ for number 1280473 and no results come up. A search of her name comes up with an immigration scam in the US, but that may just be a coincidence as there are a lot of people globally with that name.
 

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How does this book account for changes in migration law?

Usually the problem with books like these is they become immediately out of date at the time of publishing.

Note I only skim read the above posts so I apologise if it's been covered.

Brits refer to the pound as a quid, not currency in general.
 
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