Whether you are planning to take a course of study or apply for any kind of Australian visa or whether your objective is to stay in Australia temporarily or permanently, you should get the correct advice. How do you know if you are getting the right one? I have had many people who got in touch with me who were led astray by their advisers (family, friends, Registered Migration Agents [RMAs] or immigration lawyers).
I have three tips on how you can check if you are getting the right advice based on your requirements.
Understand your unique circumstance and objective.
Before seeking for advice, be very clear about your objectives. Are you coming to Australia to study and come back to your home country after graduation? Are you planning to stay in Australia for good? Are you taking your family with you?
You should also understand what makes up your application profile (age, job role, work experience, qualifications, English level, etc.) and accept that each person’s application profile is different.
Once you have clear objectives and you deeply understand your unique circumstance, you will be able to communicate your requirements and ask the right questions for your planned application.
Check the credibility and motivation of your adviser/s.
The people who can legally give advice on Australian visas are RMAs or immigration lawyers. You first have to check if the person giving you immigration advice is registered at the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA). You can check the registration licence of an RMA or an immigration lawyer at https://www.mara.gov.au/
You also have to check your adviser’s credibility by checking how long they have been in the migration consultancy field, how many clients they have worked with and how many applications they have put forward versus the number of approvals. It would be best to work with a company that was referred by family members, friends, or colleagues who have had had successful applications with them.
Check what motivates your adviser. Is it just the money they are after or are they genuinely committed to help you become successful in your application? Honest and genuine advisers take time to understand your unique situation, give you options and explain each one of them, and suggest the best option that will bring long term benefits to you.
Validate the information you get.
A good adviser gives their client a chance to do their own research and explains any step of the application that may be unclear or can bring confusion to the applicant.
You can always ask for the source of information from your adviser, for example the exact legislation that pertains to your case or the skills assessing body requirements for your role so you can validate the advice given to you. Most of the information are available online, therefore, it would be easy for you to check if the information given to you are correct.
(Johanna Bertumen Nonato is a Registered Migration Agent (MARN 1386856) and the CEO of BridgeAus Migration Consultancy (with offices in Melbourne, Australia and Makati, Philippines). For enquiries, email email@example.com, call 0427 589 274 or visit www.bridgeaus.com.au.)