Giving of immigration assistance

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Giving of immigration assistance


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Old 07-06-2011, 07:04 AM
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Giving of immigration assistance

Hi Guys
May I please ask if everyone is aware that it is a serious (criminal) offense to give immigration advice without first being registered with the Office of The MARA.

Not that I intend on being a policeman. Just making sure everyone is aware of the repercussions


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Old 07-06-2011, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pressharry View Post
Hi Guys
May I please ask if everyone is aware that it is a serious (criminal) offense to give immigration advice without first being registered with the Office of The MARA.

Not that I intend on being a policeman. Just making sure everyone is aware of the repercussions
Actually no - it's only a criminal offence if you are paid or receive a gift for giving advice. Advice for free, and casual advice at that, is NOT a criminal offence.


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Old 07-06-2011, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SarahM

Actually no - it's only a criminal offence if you are paid or receive a gift for giving advice. Advice for free, and casual advice at that, is NOT a criminal offence.
Please check the information for consumers on the office of the MARA website. It outlines my point clearly.


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Old 07-06-2011, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pressharry View Post
Please check the information for consumers on the office of the MARA website. It outlines my point clearly.
From there I quote "In Australia, migration agents must be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (Office of the MARA) in order to provide immigration assistance." A person who makes out they are an agent and charges for advice would definately be illegal.

I assume you are referring to "If an applicant chooses to seek migration advice it is important that a registered migration agent is used. It is illegal in Australia to give advice about migration to Australia without being registered with the Office of the MARA. There are heavy penalties for giving immigration assistance without being registered."

You have to be joking if you think this forum is a medium for providing this sort of immigration advice. Although we don't state it in every post, each one of us that provides 'advice' would say 'this is just my opinion, I am not a migration agent'. We do not claim to be migration agents, and here we are just giving opinions and possible solutions/advice.

What's more, non-registered agents actually go through the applicant's forms, get access to personal information, and claim to have correct answers. Everyone is anonymous in this forum, and we don't find out anything personal.

In any case, nothing we are doing here is illegal - maybe you should join the police to quench your thirst for crime fighting


Last edited by SarahM; 07-06-2011 at 09:50 AM.

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Old 07-06-2011, 09:54 AM
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hey pressharry
I'm pretty sure those comments on the MARA site are directed at people giving advice in a PROFESSIONAL capacity -- in which case, yeah its illegal to give advice if you're not registered.
Discussing stuff w/ people is akin to asking a friend or someone in the street/bar about their personal experience & asking for tips. None of us are claiming to be pro migration agents. And last time I checked, we weren't Burma or North Korea with rules on what people can & can't talk about. Its Australia, we have freedom of speech & are free to talk & discuss any issues. You won't find any law enforcement agency pursuing people just for chatting about stuff! C'mon pressharry, be realistic.


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Old 07-06-2011, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theskyisblue
hey pressharry
I'm pretty sure those comments on the MARA site are directed at people giving advice in a PROFESSIONAL capacity -- in which case, yeah its illegal to give advice if you're not registered.
Discussing stuff w/ people is akin to asking a friend or someone in the street/bar about their personal experience & asking for tips. None of us are claiming to be pro migration agents. And last time I checked, we weren't Burma or North Korea with rules on what people can & can't talk about. Its Australia, we have freedom of speech & are free to talk & discuss any issues. You won't find any law enforcement agency pursuing people just for chatting about stuff! C'mon pressharry, be realistic.
Ok look...I don't know that calling me a policeman or unrealistic is really going to fix anything. I referred to the Office of the MARA website as a reference point because it was the simplest way to explain it, and not as the basis for my argument.

s280 of the Migration Act 1958 states that "a person who is not a registered migration agent must not give immigration assistance".

s276 of the Migration Act 1958 defines immigration assistance as a person using or purporting to use knowledge of or experience in immigration procedure to assist a visa applicant.

Please note what the Department of Immigration outline in its Procedure Advice Manual (not available to the public) in s8.1: "Apart from registered migration agents, the following may also give immigration assistance in Australia, provided they do not receive a reward. These exempt persons include: close family members, sponsors, nominators, parliamentarians, officials in the course of their duties and members of a diplomatic mission"

I am not trying to cause trouble or stir up any bees nests. The issue is not "whether a fee is paid". The issue is that on the basis of what someone says in this forum to advise, applicants can put their lives on the line. It just takes one angry applicant who didnt get their visa after being given advice on this forum to make a complaint to the department and I assure you the repercussions are enormous. I am speaking from having studied it in Uni and being registered myself.

If you have any other questions, please let me know. But please, I am not your enemy.


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Old 07-06-2011, 01:44 PM
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This is stupid. This forum will not close down no matter what you say, I don't even know why you started this thread. It's ridiculous to even argue, here on the forum half the time we just repeat information to people from the immi site, give each other support, chit-chat, and give opinions. No one is gonna confuse a forum with a migration agent. What a joke.

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Old 07-06-2011, 01:56 PM
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Are you a recent uni graduate by any chance pressharry..? All that theory sounds impressive, but in reality I think it falls into a grey area. There's lots of grey area in the application of law. If you've studied it at uni, you'll surely know of a court case where its been tested in practice, & within an inch of its life? (a case involving a general John Doe person, not someone pretending to be a pro migration agent). Please post the case, as I'd like to read the details & all the arguments used.


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Old 07-06-2011, 10:43 PM
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Well in reality I am just trying to be helpful. If, as you say, you will not close down for me or anyone, I guess anything I say will fall on deaf ears no matter if I quote the minister of immigration or a federal court judge. If you want bear the risk of walking a "grey" area that lands in court, that too is up to you. Not that I am advocating the closure of this forum. I actually joined to be a contributor. It just seems like, according to the comments heard thus far, that this issue has not really been thought about. If someone wants to show me something that proves me otherwise, be my guest. I am not pretending to be a pro migration agent. I am determining how far this thought process has been taken by everyone. Thus far it appears that a strong desire to be helpful is overriding reason.


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Old 07-06-2011, 11:20 PM
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Someone please put a sticky as a disclaimer! We are not registered migration agents, just people giving other people advice from our own experience.

Relax Pressharry. No one claimed to be an expert, if you read half of these forums you will realise no one has guaranteed anyone a visa, just provided links to where information can be found for one.

A lot of the time people are just reassuring distressed people sick of waiting for their visa to be processed and just linking back to the immigration website when specific information is required.


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