Become an Agent
Working as a Registered Migration Agent (RMA) can mean assisting clients in making one of the most important decisions of their lives: helping them migrate to Australia.
Australia’s strong economy, world class higher education system, multicultural society and stable governance makes it a highly attractive destination for migrants, and in an increasingly interconnected world, demand for the services provided by RMAs has never been higher.
The Migration Act 1958 and its associated Regulations govern Agents’ registration requirements and Code of Conduct, while the profession itself is regulated by the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA).
Practicing as a Registered Migration Agent (RMA) is challenging and rewarding and suits detail oriented professionals with good people skills and the drive to develop and maintain requisite legal knowledge within an ever changing legislative and regulatory field.
New agents can find employment with an existing organisation or strike out on their own as sole practitioners, and while there are large migration firms, most Agents work in a small business.
RMA incomes vary widely, with the majority of practitioners reporting annual earnings between $50,000 and $80,000.
Becoming an RMA
Under the Migration Act 1958, anyone who uses, or purports to use, knowledge of, or experience in migration procedures to provide advice or assistance to a person wishing to obtain a visa needs to become registered as a migration agent.
Registration is governed by the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority, with requirements including:
- Being at least 18 years of age;
- Being of “good character”;
- Holding Australian citizenship or permanent residency, or New Zealand citizenship with a special category visa; and
- Holding a current Australian legal practicing certificate or a Graduate Certificate in Australian Migration Law and Practice.
To find out more about about the process of becoming an agent, the requirements or the Graduate Certificate in Australian Migration Law and Practice, we recommend you visit the website of the MARA.
Costs of becoming a RMA
The fees commonly accrued when entering the migration advice profession include:
- Graduate Certificate course fees of $7500 - $9000
- An initial registration fee of $1760
- Building a professional library costs from $420 (not for profit) and from $730 (commercial agents)
- Professional Indemnity Insurance for a minimum cover of $250,000 which costs about $400, along with
- costs for CPD courses, as well as the normal costs associated with running a business.
Agents should also be aware of the ongoing costs required to maintain their registration, which is required to be renewed annually with the MARA.
The Practice Ready Program (PRP)
The Practice Ready Program (PRP) is a practical course for agents in their first year of registration, designed to enhance the knowledge and professionalism of the migration advice profession.
All applicants for initial registration with the Office of the MARA after 1 September 2011 will be required to complete this course prior to repeat registration, with exemptions available for agents holding valid Legal Practising Certificates (LPC) or membership with a recognised professional accounting body.
In its initial offering, the PRP will be delivered by by the MIA and Fragomen Australia and will be worth eight CPD points and include agents' first year mandatory requirements. The MIA's PRP will cost $1995 and include membership.
For more information on course delivery, cost, availability and assessment, please visit the MIA's dedicated PRP page as well as the PRP section on the MARA website, which also includes an information sheet and FAQs.
Immigration Essentials for Lawywers
Immigration Essentials for Lawyers is a two and a half day workshop covering essential topics for lawyers wishing to provide migration advice. Immigration law is complex and constantly changing. Lawyers aspiring to incorporate the provision of immigration advice into their practices will find this course a detailed overview of significant case law, Government policy and procedure and the most common visa classes and Subclasses.
Taught by Specialists and experienced practitioners, this course is the most comprehensive overview of immigration law and policy for lawyers.
Course participants must hold a current Legal Practising Certificate or be in the final stage of a law degree. No prior knowledge of immigration law is required.
The course is $799 for Students, $999 for Members, $1199 for Non Members, and includes 10 CPD/CLE Points, a hard copy compilation of all course materials and catered breaks.
*CLE points allocated will be subject to acceptance by your State or Territory licensing body.
The MIA is the peak body representing the migration advice profession representing over 2000 Members and supporting the profession through a broad range of services designed to assist Agents and promote the profession in general.
The MIA provides assistance to those studying for the Graduate Certificate through an online Student Forum, the publication of a number of useful texts and subscriptions to a selection MIA services free of charge.
Services and benefits are available to full Members include an active Member Forum, discounted CPD costs, regular information sessions and social functions, high level liaising with governmental and industry bodies, weekly news bulletins and legislative and regulatory changes alerts as they happen, a database of useful governmental and community contacts and much more.
Click to join the MIA today.
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Migrating to Australia
Do you want to visit, work, study or live in Australia? The following information will be of value to you.