I read an interesting transcript from a speech made by a chap called Andrew Metcalf.
Andrew Metcalf is the Secretary for the department of Immigration and Citizenship and he made his speech during an address at the Migration Institute of Australia 2007 conference last Friday.
The national conference, held on the 19th of October brought together Migration agents from both inside and outside of Australia.
His speech highlights a number of concerns which everyone looking to utilise the services of a registered migration agent should be aware of whilst doing their homework.
I don’t want to make anyone paranoid when it comes to choosing an agent but being honest some of his comments left me feeling pretty perplexed by some of the going-ons’ within the industry.
Thankfully though; both the Government and the migration advice profession are very aware that there is still work to be done to raise the overall level of professionalism amongst registered migration agents’ so steps are being taken to address some of the issues.
A few particularly concerning points raised during the speech include:
- Instances where DIMA receive a very basic inquiries from some registered migration agents’ highlighting a lack of training and basic knowledge of the migration environment’ it seems that for some reason, some agents are still getting through (the graduate certificate) without appropriate knowledge’.
- Concerns about the English Language Skills of some registered migration agents. Although many folks have to take the IELTS exam to prove they can speak and understand a good level of English there are some agents who are clearly struggling with the basics of the English Language’
- Instances of migration agents who flagrantly breach the Code of Conduct, others who disregard it and those who simply give it lip service’.
Although we didn’t use an agent ourselves when we migrated to Australia, from my perspective there are many excellent Migration agents out there.
They are not all rouges and you shouldn’t be put of from using an agent if you really need their help.
I guess the thing to take from Mr Metcalf’s address to the Migration Agent Industry is do your homework.
Ask for personal recommendations on our forums and if you’re already looking to engage with a particular agent then ask for references.
I know a number of registered agents read our Blog so I’d really appreciate your input / comments on this. Do you guys have any further suggestions on identifying a good migration agent?
Visa and migration decisions can be life-changing, significant decisions. An agent can really help make your dream of a life in Australia a reality just make sure you don’t get stung along the way.