Who can help with your Australian visa application?
In Australia, there are a number of visas available for people seeking to visit, work, study or immigrate. There are strict guidelines and processes for all visa applications and it’s not simply a matter of having a friend help you with your application.
The type of assistance you are seeking will determine who may be able to assist you. For example:
- Anyone can help you to complete a form.
- Anyone can advise you that you need to apply for a visa.
- Anyone can pass on information from a third person, without adding any comment for further explanation.
Are you looking for advice regarding your visa application?
To provide someone with immigration advice and assistance, a person needs to be either a Registered Migration Agent (RMA) or an “exempt person”. This is designed to provide protection for visa applicants because RMA’s are regulated and have a strict Code of Conduct that they must abide by.
It is illegal for anyone else to provide you with immigration assistance, even an education agent (unless they are also an RMA).
The Australian government lists the following people as “exempt persons” in relation to authority to provide immigration assistance:
- A nominator;
- A sponsor or close family member of the visa applicant;
- An official giving assistance as part of their job;
- A parliamentarian;
- A member of a diplomatic mission, consult post or international organisation;
- A person providing free help to prepare a submission to the Minister.
Penalties apply for providing immigration assistance when not registered to do so
It is an offence to provide immigration advice or assistance unless you are a registered migration agent or an exempt person. Significant penalties apply to anyone committing this sort of offence; up to two years imprisonment.
If a service fee is charged, the penalty could be up to ten years imprisonment.
Don’t risk your visa application and the substantial government charges you will pay by seeking immigration assistance from someone who is not qualified to provide it and who could quite simply get it wrong!
What does provide ‘immigration assistance’ include?
Immigration assistance includes someone using knowledge of, or experience in, migration procedures to assist with visa applications and other visa matters including:
- preparing, or helping to prepare, a visa application or other document;
- providing advice about a visa application or visa matter;
- representing in, or preparing for, proceedings before a court or review authority regarding a visa matter.
We’ve assisted a wide range of clients seeking visas in the following areas:
- Family (including Child and Parent);
- Employer sponsored;
- Prospective marriage;
- Working holiday;
- Business investor;
- Recent graduates; and many more.
If your visa application has been refused, we can assist with review applications through the AAT and along with Ministerial Intervention applications.
For advice or assistance, get in touch directly with our Registered Migration Agent, Leanne Taylor.
This article relates to Australian law; either at a State or Federal level.
The information contained on this site is for general guidance only. No person should act or refrain from acting on the basis of such information. Appropriate professional advice should be sought based upon your particular circumstances. For further information, please do not hesitate to contact Hall Payne Lawyers.