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In Australia there are strict rules about helping someone with their visa application or giving advice about migration. If you are a Migration Agent you must be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA)

People who practice as unregistered migration agents in Australia are breaking the law and may be subject to fines of up to $6,600AUD or imprisonment for up to 10 years.

Education agents must not provide immigration assistance.


Negotiating Australia's complex and dynamic immigration laws and policy can be a daunting task. With over a 100 visa sub-classes for temporary visitors to Australia, in addition to various pathways to permanent residency, it is important from the outset to get the right advice in the migration process. We at Cathay Ind, have the experience of advising an eclectic clientele, although we specialise in certain specific visas. We have a track record of success in most visa categories. Including ofcourse Migration Review Tribunal(MRT). It goes without saying that we try harder!

What is a Migration Agent?

A Migration Agent is a person who can:

  • advise on Immigration matters
  • help you to prepare and lodge an Visa Application
  • deal with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC theDdepartment) on your behalf, usually for a fee.

Migration Agents operating in Australia must be Registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA).

Why use a Registered Migration Agent?

Australian Registered Migration Agents are required to:

  • have a sound knowledge of Migration Law and Practice
  • act professionally and in a timely manner
  • abide by the migration agent's Code of Conduct
  • have appropriate Public Liability Insurance
  • pass Character Tests (including Criminal History Checks - Australian Federal Police).

Why shouldn't I use an unregistered person?

Unregistered people may:

  • be unaware of current legislation and procedures
  • provide incorrect advice
  • make false claims about your chances of success.

Unregistered people are breaking the Law and Penalties of up to 10 years Jail can apply.

To report an unregistered person telephone 1800 009 623 (free of charge). Information provided will be treated in the strictest confidence.

How long should I expect to wait before I hear something from a Case Officer?

Generally you should be contacted within 18 calendar days of lodgement.

How long does it take to finalise cases that are certified as 'decision ready'?

The bulk of 'decision ready' cases are finalised within two to four weeks of receipt. Although 'decision ready' ensures early allocation and assessment it does not necessarily mean a quick decision. Although the reality is most do end up being decided quickly, it may be the case that the case officer determines that further enquiries are necessary.

Here are some current DIAC figures:-

Grant rate of ALL Student Visa applications decided in the 3 month period between 1 July 2011 and 30 September 2011

India Offshore 50%
Nepal Offshore 70%
Thailand Offshore under 80%
Vietnam Offshore under 80%
Pakistan Offshore 50%

Why risk trying to do it yourself, forfeiting your DIAC Visa Application Fees and getting it wrong?

Why not talk to an Australian Registered Migration Agent about your eligibility and consider all your Visa options and see how cost and time effective it is to have it done Professionally for you?