From 21 September 1992, anyone who uses knowledge of migration procedures to advise, make representations on behalf of, or complete application forms for applicants for entry permits, visas or refugee status must register. This includes Done by your own free will. See also community treatment order (CTO). workers and those who provide migration advice free of (1) A statement giving the details of a crime an accused person is claimed to have committed. (2) A personal property security. (3) A judge’s directions to a jury at the end of a case., although these people A document that sets out what a person wants to happen to their money and other property after they die. normally be exempt from paying the registration fee (currently $1760 per year for commercial agents).
Migration agents must obey a Code of Conduct, which outlines the ethical standards and competencies expected of migration agents, as well as the penalties for non-compliance. The code must be prominently displayed in the agent’s office. Agents who disobey the code can be suspended or deregistered by the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA).
On 9 February 2009 the OMARA took over from the previous Migration Institute of Australia (MIA) and the (privatised) Migration Agents Registration Authority, which in turn had previously taken over from a federal government-appointed Migration Agents Registration Board. In other words, the wheel has turned full circle and the new discipline body for agents (the OMARA) is now, once again, a federal government body (see www.mara.gov.au).
The Office of the MARA is led by a Chief Executive Officer who reports directly to the Secretary of Home Affairs. It is supported by an Advisory Board that includes a diverse range of interests, including a (1) A person put forward as a candidate for an elected position. (2) A person chosen to act on behalf of someone else. See also agent. from the MIA, a nominee of the Law Council of Australia (LCA), a community representative and a Under the Australian Consumer Law, a person who buys goods or services for less than $40 000 or for personal or home use. advocate.
Criminal penalties of up to 10 years’ imprisonment and fines of up to $60 000 apply to individuals who practise as agents without being registered.
The only people who do not need to register are offshore agents, parliamentarians and their staff, and public servants who give migration advice as part of their duties. Other exemptions apply to staff of foreign missions and international organisations in Australia who are covered by the Privileges and Immunities Statutory rules made by parliament or by bodies the parliament delegates power to, for example a local council or a registration authority. See delegated legislation; statute..
Australian lawyers who provide direct or indirect assistance in the completion or lodgment of a A permit that allows a person who is not a citizen to stay in a country on certain conditions, for the length of time stated in the visa. application, or make direct or indirect representations for an application, or in the preparation of any proceedings before the AAT, must register. However, lawyers do not need to register when acting in the course of their profession in preparing cases for, or in proceedings before, a An independent body that hears legal claims brought by parties and decides between them. Serious cases are heard by a judge and jury, or just a judge. Less-serious cases are heard by a magistrate.. (Note that the AAT is not a ‘court’ for this purpose; see ‘Other merits review bodies’, above). Note that Australian lawyers have recently persuaded the government that they should not be subject to ‘dual regulation’ and the government has agreed to remove them from any requirement to register with OMARA. However, the legislation has not yet been presented to parliament.
Victorian immigration law specialists
The Specialisation Board of the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) has accredited specialists in immigration law. These solicitors (as well as being registered migration agents) must have at least five years experience practising law (with three years substantial experience in immigration matters) and must pass LIV’s Specialisation Board examination that tests their knowledge of immigration law. Their names and addresses can be obtained from LIV (see ‘Contacts’ at the end of this chapter).