Australian Immigration: The Importance of Agency
As a registered migration agent and lawyer, it’s all very well for me to tell you that hiring an agent can be integral to the success of your Australian visa application. Of course I would say that, I’m running a business! But the truth is an immigration agent can make the difference between a smooth application process and one that is drawn out over many years.
The volume of migrants arriving in Australia – not to mention the overwhelming media attention to asylum seekers – has seen something of a backlash against immigration amongst Australian citizens.
This reluctance to accept migrant workers is not necessarily a reflection of underlying racist attitudes in Australian society, but is a reaction to a population boom and strong urbanisation. Although Australia may appear to be sparsely inhabited, in major cities population growth is skyrocketing with some areas recording a growth rate higher than four per cent.
Resources in these areas are often scant and the lack of available housing, transport and employment can be especially frustrating for those suffering from the increased cost of living.
The reaction to these issues led to a tightening of immigration policy by the Australian Federal Government. In July, 2010 a new Skilled Occupation List (SOL) was released, significantly altering which occupations received priority when it comes to employing foreign workers. Changes were also made to the skills points test, prioritising language proficiency and employment experience rather than young.
For most prospective foreign employees, it is a language barrier that proves most troublesome when completing visa applications.
Tourist and even Working-holiday visas have relatively simple application processes. However, Temporary and Permanent Skilled Working visas are less manageable and this is where agents can be extremely useful.
Australian immigration law is rarely an issue for Australian citizens. They already live here so why would they need to know about it? As a result, even if a company or business is committed to sponsoring your migration, managers and human resource professionals are often in over their heads when it comes to the visa application process.
Registered migration agents are experts in their field. They know policy inside out and are notified immediately when legislation changes are made. They essentially provide a service to gather and collate the precise personal information needed to see their clients successfully employed in Australia.
It goes without saying, migration agents are quite expensive. The average cost of hiring an agent to assist with Temporary visa applications is between $400 and $2,500, while Permanent visa applications can cost anywhere between $1,000 and $10,000. On the other hand, the actual applications also attract large fees. The real question is whether or not you are willing to risk submitting an application alone and, ultimately, pay for an unsuccessful attempt.
An additional problem with unsuccessful applications is that if you remained in Australia on a Bridging visa whilst waiting for your application to be processed, you cannot re-apply or submit an application for a different visa. In order to ensure your visa success, it is vital that you include all the necessary detail in your initial application and this is of course where a migration agent comes in handy.
To maximise your chance of successfully gaining an Australian visa and to ensure your personal privacy, do some research before you agree to hire a particular migration agent. Australian law prohibits individuals from working as agents unless they are registered. If you can’t find an agent on the Migration Agent Registry Authority (MARA), he or she may not be trustworthy. The MARA website includes a search application for prospective foreign employees to find agencies close to their work area.
Approach your visa application with care and consult with an expert before you choose your best option. The knowledge and experience of a migration agent may be the difference between embarking upon a new journey and stagnating at home.
Australian immigration lawyer directing an agency in Melbourne – Global Immigration Services. I specialise in business immigration, working alongside companies to brings the best and most committed employees to Australia from around the world.
For all your Australian immigration needs and information, check out our website at: http://www.globalimmigrationservices.com.au/index.html.