People from all over the world migrate to Australia for many reasons, most prominently to seek education and work opportunities. To do this, each immigrant must apply for and receive a visa from the Australian government, which allows them to move into the country for the allotted period of time.
There are many requirements to be fulfilled in order to qualify, which is why many applicants turn to migration agents. These are people who are versed with Migration laws and requirements for different categories of immigrants and can help with your application. However, it isn't uncommon for unscrupulous individuals posing as true agents to take advantage of immigrants. Below are some mistakes you should avoid if using an agent to lodge your application.
1. Not confirming agents' credentials
All legitimate migration agents should be registered with MARA, the office that regulates their activities. In addition, it isn't enough for an agent to show you registration credentials; membership is supposed to be renewed annually, and so there are agents that might display lapsed credentials.
The surest way to confirm their credentials is to go to the MARA website which lists all registered agents. If their name is missing, they may be unregistered or sanctioned for improper conduct or their membership may have expired. Do not use such agents as they you are not protected in case they contravene the rules. In addition, agents outside of Australia are not bound under MARA, and hence you should conduct your own background checks before using them.
2. Believing guarantees offered in advertisements
An agent's job is only to offer assistance in lodging your application with the government's immigration department. They are not government officials and therefore have no authority to guarantee you positive feedback or hasten the response time of your application. Be wary of agents who offer such guarantees in their websites and other advertising channels in exchange for higher payments/fees.
Essentially, you can lodge your application yourself, but using an agent makes application easier since they know exactly what the laws and regulations require. It is only in this way that they offer assistance, but they have no say in what happens once the application is submitted.
3. Trying to use agents to circumvent requirements
Using an agent will not get you a visa if you do not meet the requirements relevant for your application. An agent can only help you put in your application once you fulfill all requirements. Do not think that you can use the agent or pay high fees to circumvent legal requirements you don't fulfill. This will only result in loss of your time and money to an unscrupulous agent.