Monday, 26 July 2021
Media release

Stronger guidelines to protect migration advice consumers

Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs, Jason Wood today released an updated Consumer Guide which supports individuals seeking immigration assistance from Registered Migration Agents.

The updated Consumer Guide reflects recent amendments to the Migration Act 1958 which removed unnecessary dual regulation for legal practitioners operating in the migration advice industry.

“The protection of consumers remains a key focus for the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) and the updated Consumer Guide is another example of our commitment to ensuring a world class migration advice industry," Assistant Minister Wood said.

Now available in 34 community languages, the Consumer Guide is provided to all consumers seeking immigration assistance from a Registered Migration Agent. It outlines the role of the Registered Migration Agent, who is authorised to provide immigration assistance and how consumers can lodge complaints to the OMARA.

“Only registered migration agents and Australian legal practitioners can legally provide immigration assistance in Australia and charge a fee for their assistance —don't risk being scammed and charged for a fake service," Assistant Minister Wood said.

To find a registered migration agent, consumers should check the Register of migration agents on the OMARA website. Alternatively, further information on legal practitioners can be found on the Home Affairs website.

It is an offence for a person to give immigration assistance in Australia unless that person is a registered migration agent, legal practitioner or exempt person. The penalty for providing unlawful immigration assistance can be up to 10 years imprisonment.

Anyone with information about individuals falsely claiming to be a registered migration agent should contact Border Watch immediately.​