Should I lodge myself or through a Registered Migration Agent?
The single most commonly asked question in our consultations with first-time clients is whether there is any benefit to lodging their visa through a Registered Migration Agent rather than lodging it themselves.
Now I’ll be honest here. The fact that you are reading this on a migration agency’s website may make you think that Australian Skilled Migration has a vested interest in telling you how scary the world of migration law is and how you should only trust your application in the hands of a qualified registered migration agent. However, under most circumstances, that is not far from the truth. It is important to note, that a registered migration agent cannot and should never guarantee the success of your application. What they can do however is to give you well-informed and extremely focused advice that makes the visa application simpler to understand and easier to lodge.
A registered migration agent – before they are licenced to practice – spend almost a year of their lives going through an extremely gruelling course that is designed to make them prepare for and expect any immigration eventuality. From lodging a simple student visa to requesting Ministerial Intervention, they study, practice, read and prepare for everything migration law can throw at them several times over. Before they can pass their course and even begin to think about applying for a licence, they have already studied everything there is to know about several of the most common visa types including 457 visas, Partner visas, Student visas as well as a host of other visas like the Working Holiday visa and even obscure visas like the Resolution of Status visa.
A registered migration agent then specializes in a certain range of visas to a point where they lodge similar visa applications day in and day out. After doing this for a few years, there is very little that can stump them and this is the experience they bring to you and charge for.
It is not a surprise then that the more extensive the visa application, the higher the rate for visa lodgement through registered migration agents. The latest data available shows that in the first quarter of 2016, “registered migration agents lodged 73 per cent of the total 457 Temporary Work (Skilled) visa applications, 83 per cent of Employer Sponsored visa applications, and 62 per cent of Business Skills visa applications.”
This shows that individuals and organizations that have a lot of money and time invested in their visa application outcomes, largely prefer to lodge their visa application through registered migration agents.
Now reading this, you are probably wondering how this affects you. The key takeaway is that if a visa application is important to you, it is always advisable to consult a registered migration agent before lodgement as a set of experienced eyes can point things out to you that you may have missed or not even have thought of. In the end, it is highly worthwhile to do your own research but if you have any doubts or second thoughts about how to structure your application, know that qualified Registered Migration Agents are here to help you out in any way that they can.
 Migration Agent Activity Report – <https://www.mara.gov.au/media/440332/MAAR_Jan_Mar_2016_Web.pdf>