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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello

How do I confirm an Australian Registered Migration Agent is reputable?

I plan to apply from South Africa for the Contributing Parent Visa 143, for my husband and myself, but it's difficult to know who to make use of or whether to make application myself to save the agent's fees. Some of the fees quoted seem so much higher than others and it's a hugely expensive exercise on the SA rand!

Thanks
Caro
 

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Hi Caro -

Great question. Having an agent won't get your application processed any faster, and won't allow your application to access any special pathways, etc that may increase chances of success or processing speed. What engaging an agent does is provide you with access to the agent's knowledge, skills and experience to the extent they are useful to your visa application, and if that knowledge/skills/experience helps create a better application, that's the way an agent can help an application get processed faster - ie, by proactively avoiding various pitfalls and common issues that can affect visa applications and in some cases slow the process down.

Many agents have strong experience in a few specialty areas and less experience in others - may be helpful to seek out agents who are familiar with family and parent visas, including the special requirements of parent visas and the regulations regarding and restricting eligibility for the contributory versions of those visas. Another important factor is communications - you will likely be working very closely with your agent for a number of months, and the ease and ability to communicate as well as the access the agent provides to you via email, phone, etc will be important - there's nothing more frustrating to clients than to have an unresolved matter or question and finding there's no way to get a timely response from their agent. Communications after lodgement is important too, especially under DHA's new regime of making RFI (request for information) letters optional and reserving the right to refuse any visa without a request for further information.

Hope this is helpful in some way towards you reaching a conclusion re engaging professional assistance for your 143 visa applications.

Best,

Mark Northam
 

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A wish of a happy new year to you Mark, and a thanks for all the help you gave us. Nothing short of exceptional and often nocturnal.

I hope all is well mate.
 

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I would suggest that you do a lot of homework about the 143 visa pretend you are going to do it yourself. Gather the evidence required (that's not time limited) and find out about the process.

Then have an initial consultation with a registered migration agent you think suits you - these very from free to a few hundred $ (AUD).

This way you will get a better understanding of it being too big a risk to do it alone or worth the Rand to use a RMA.

Gee I see its almost 10 to 1 now, I spent some years in Bots at 3-1 now its 7.6 there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Many thanks for the info and advice everyone.

I think I will do more homework as suggested, also get quotes from a couple of agents.

Would you recommend I work through a South African based agent or an Australian based agent. If they are registered does it make a difference?

Thanks
 

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Any particular reason for this ?
The SA ones are also registered with MARA.

Thanks
As long as they are MARA registered, it doesn't matter where your agent is located. Most agents work via email, Skype, etc. so you seldom actually meet with them in person.
 
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While a lot of South Africans have migrated to Australia many have migrated to other countries, so migration agents in South Africa will have a broad experience in migration.

The Australian RMA's seem to mostly deal with inbound migration to Australia an have a narrow range of expertise.

I spoke with an Australian based RMA that's formally from the USA when my sister had a migration issue when entering the USA. He gave a contact of an agent over there.
 

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Many thanks for the info and advice everyone.

I think I will do more homework as suggested, also get quotes from a couple of agents.

Would you recommend I work through a South African based agent or an Australian based agent. If they are registered does it make a difference?

Thanks
The main thing to consider is that whoever you engage has the required expertise and that you are comfortable working with them and entrusting them with all your personal information and documentation.

As AMP mentioned, many overseas agencies do immigration for a wide range of countries, where Australian based agents tend to work with Australian immigration only and may therefore have wider experience and more up to date knowledge.

If you were going to use an overseas based agency, I'd look for someone who also has an office in Australia. Several Australian based agencies have overseas branches.
 
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