Walking The Migration Minefield
If you want to come to Australia or have arrived here on a temporary visa perhaps and fallen in love with this beautiful country and want to stay, there are many options depending on your individual circumstances. If you are not sure where to start the best idea is to find a Registered Migration Agent who can advise and guide you as well as helping you to complete your application and assemble the documents you will require. The website that will help you here is the Australian Government Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority. It is important that you choose an Agent who is registered as this protects you against being given immigration advice illegally and perhaps being given inappropriate advice which may put you on the wrong path at best and at worst cause your application to fail.
This website also provides a guide to the rates and fees a Migration Agent may charge and it is important to discuss this with a potential Agent before you sign an agreement. Make sure you ask about the Agent’s experience with the type of matter you have to deal with and ask their opinion of the likelihood of the application succeeding. A Migration Agent may speak you r language and this may be a deciding factor in your choice of Agent, however if they don’t speak your language or dialect they are required to arrange an interpreter for you.
Likewise any documents that are not in English that you intend to rely upon in your application(s) must be accompanied by a translation completed by a member of the National Accrediting Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). You can find one using the NAATI website if you are preparing your own documents and applications.
Another website that provides a great deal of information about the visa application process is the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). Although this is a good and fairly user friendly site, if English is not your first language, it may be advisable to have some help navigating your way through what is sometimes complex language and explanations for the different categories of visa and the different processes.
One of the main advantages of having an agreement with a Migration Agent for your application is that they can act on your behalf to deal with the DIBP and this often reduces the stress of the process, since often immigrants have had poor experiences in their country of emigration with Government Authorities. A Migration Agent is also able to help you prepare for review board appearances as well as Court matters and can appear and represent you during proceedings. The process of preparing and making your application may take some time and in some cases there are key deadlines that must be met when transferring from one type of visa to another. A Migration Agent can help you avoid mistakes and errors that can hold up your application or lead to it being