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How To Spot An Unreliable Migration Agent

11 January, 2014
Trying to comprehend visa requirements, forms and procedures can be extremely confusing. Finding an agent is equally as confusing because sometimes, you just don't know who you can really trust.This article will help you narrow your choice to hire an experienced, confident and professional migration agent amidst the ocean of untrustworthy migration agents.
  • They are too quick to say ‘YES’ to a sale without assessing if you are eligible for the visa

Ask yourself: “Did they request for all the relevant information from me before trying to offer me their services?”. If not, then they are not off to a good start. “Was there a legitimate assessment process?”. You want an agent that will assess the risk of your application and your eligibility upfront! Not later when your application is lodged and on the pathway to being refused.


  • They do not explain 'HOW' you are eligible (so you actually understand) for the visa

Note: If an agent doesn’t go through the details of your eligibility, and “clearly explain” how you are eligible (including informing you of any risks), then they are probably just taking your case just to make a some quick cash! Your agent should be able to explain your eligibility and the critical requirements so that YOU understand them.


  • They guarantee a successful visa grant

Fact: It is illegal for any registered migration agent to ‘100% guarantee’ a successful visa outcome. No matter how strong your case may be, there is always a degree of risk. If the agent promises success, they are being dishonest about your situation and violating the MARA ‘code of conduct’ that agents are obliged to adhere to.


  • They are unable to advocate (fight) for your case

Ask yourself: “What are you paying a migration agent for”, if not to represent your case, strategically advocate for you, and liaise with Immigration about the merits of your application. In the event that your application has a problem (eg. mis-interpreted evidence from a strict Immigration officer), you want your agent to have the 'experience', 'knowledge' and 'confidence' to fight for your case!

A good migration agent has both in-depth knowledge and strong advocacy traits. Hiring an agent is not just about making your application look pretty and simply lodging it. Hiring an agent is having the extra security that they can ensure your application meets the requirements, advise you if there are any short-falls in your application, and have the ability to skillfully liaise with Immigration to gain a successful outcome.


  • They are cheap and difficult to contact

If you have met an agent whose price seems too good to be true, then it probably is. The general rule is the cheaper it is, the less experience they have... Or they simply have a 'corporate' attitude to make quick and easy sales to make money. You want an agent that will work-hard for your case and most skilled agents will charge reasonably for their expertise.

Remember, you should be looking for an agent with experience, strategic knowledge, the ability to identify 'risks', the ability to handle problems, and someone you can easily contact! Do not hire an agent that only knows how to put together 'simple' cases.


So there you have it. These are some of the warning signs you should look out for to identify unreliable agents. Always do your research, get a second opinion and choose wisely when you hire a migration agent to help you with your visa application.

To find out HOW TO AVOID the 5 Most Common & Critical Mistakes that lead to refusals, visit

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