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Expert Migration Agents – Worth the Investment?

5 Feb 2018 / Ken Hunt

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Expert Migration Agents – Worth the Investment?

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When you make the decision to apply for an Australian visa, the choice to use a migration agent to lodge your visa application is a personal one. From start to finish, the migration process can be confusing and complicated, but is it really worth the additional cost of using a registered migration agent to handle your application?

Let’s take a closer look at why you should think seriously about using an expert migration agent to help with your visa application. 1. Expert Insight Can be the Key

The main advantage of using an Australian migration agent is that they know the country’s migration laws and procedures inside and out. They manage applications daily, which means they are familiar with all potential hurdles and can spot a mistake in your application with their eyes closed.

A migration agent will be your guide, providing support throughout the entire process. They will do everything within their professional power to make certain your application is a success by inspecting all documents and lodging the application on your behalf.

For example, a student may choose to lodge their application for a Graduate Temporary Subclass 485 visa themselves without understanding how complex they can be. As a result, they fail to get the outcome they expect; some select the wrong stream and end up with either a denied application or a visa which is too short. Others don’t satisfy key requirements at the time of application, and these omissions can’t be fixed once the application has been lodged.

Engaging the services of an expert migration agent will ensure that your visa application is lodged correctly the first time. Our agents also operate with a comprehensive pre-lodgment checklist to ensure that essential requirements are not missed at the time of lodgment.

2. Migration Rules Are Constantly Evolving

It’s necessary for agents to stay up-to-speed with any changes in legislation relating to visas. As anyone who applied for a 457 visa this year will know, a significant number of changes were introduced impacting both employers and applicants. Occupation shortage lists can also be altered overnight, meaning that one day you could be eligible for a visa, and the next you may not be so lucky.

Throughout 2017, we saw a number of changes:
  • Major changes to the Skilled Occupations Lists for General Skilled Migration, 457 and Employer Nominated Scheme
  • Much higher points scores required for SkillSelect invitations for Skilled Independent Subclass 189 visas
  • Several states have made significant changes to their State Migration Plans (e.g. Tasmania, ACT, Queensland, Victoria)
  • Partner visas now must be lodged online with paper applications no longer being accepted

You agent will be across of all of these changes so you don’t have to waste your own precious time trying to do so.

3. Get it Right the First Time

If you make a critical error on your visa application not only could it result in rejection, it’s also possible you’ll be thousands of dollars out of pocket, because in most cases your application fee is non-refundable.

Many people who didn’t get it right the first time then turn to a migration agent for help to ensure their second application stands a better chance of success. Time and money could have been saved if they elected to use their services from the jump.

Having your visa application rejected can be a major hold back, and the process can be stressful enough, without having to go through it twice.

There may also be more significant ramifications such as:
  • Refusal on the basis for false or misleading information can result in a 10-year ban on visa approvals
  • Onshore refusal can result in a Section 48 bar – this would prevent you from lodging further visa applications from within Australia
  • Some visa applications must be lodged within a certain timeframe for you to be eligible – such as the Graduate Skilled Subclass 485 visa
  • Your age can be an important factor in many skilled visa types
  • If the migration rules change after you lodge, you may not be able to re-lodge your application
A capable migration agent will thoroughly comb your application before lodging it, so that a simple error will not risk your immigration future.

4. It’s All in the Details…

Your migration agent can help your employer through the process should you be applying for an employer sponsored visa. The agent will check that your employer’s documents are in order and all the information provided is correct, while helping to take the pressure off them too.

In addition, an agent can certify your documents, which can actually prove beneficial in saving you time and money along the way. 5. Have a Plan B Just in Case

We already mentioned how quickly the migration landscape can shift, so it’s advisable to consider all relevant options rather than only seeing one avenue ahead. Professional migration agents will be able to counsel you on all available pathways. They will be proficient in identifying the one which is best suited to your situation, and make sure that you keep your options open as long as possible, just in case changes to migration rules mean that the main option is no longer a possibility. Having access to a dedicated migration agent to lead you through the rollercoaster of the migration process can be a great relief, plus it improves your chances of a successful outcome.

Conclusion

Hunt Migration’s expert agents have many years of experience and are ready and able to assist you to achieve your migration goals, but remember that an agent’s services don’t come without a fee.

Yet, know that the expense is worthwhile, and we never take on a client unless we believe we can help. If you would like an assessment of your visa eligibility, then we encourage you to contact us to book a consultation with one of our migration agents today.

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Kenneth Hunt

Solicitor & Migration Agent