What is a MARN?

What is a MARN?

What is a MARN?

So, you’re all set with your decision to go to Australia.

By now, you probably know what Visa you are applying for and have read about the Visa application process on the internet and maybe from word-of-mouth of family and friends who are already in Australia.

Along the way, you’re thinking – can I DIY my visa application or is it better to consult a Registered Migration Agent? Only certain people can legally give immigration advice and assistance. You don’t have to use a migration agent to apply for a visa, but if you do, the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) registers to find a registered migration agent.

In short, a MARN is a 7-digit registration number for those registered other than lawyers to give migration law advice. But it is so much more than that.


Is hiring a Registered Migration worth it?

Yes. Registered Migration Agents can advise you on the most appropriate visa to use, prepare documents, lodge visa applications, and act as intermediaries to legally represent clients during visa processing and before review bodies.

While a registered migration agent cannot fast-track the processing period and guarantee you a visa, the registered migration agent can give you a higher success rate than regular applicants. This is because of the up-to-date knowledge of the immigration law, visa processes, and expertise that registered migration agents bring to the table. They also follow a Migration Agent’s Code of Conduct and are obliged to act in the best interest of the clients they’re representing as every agent must follow strict guidelines and Codes of Conduct to ensure that all advice is provided to intending or current migrants (and their potential employers) in an ethical, honest and professional manner at all times.  Migration Agents must also clearly display the official MARA Code of Conduct information in their place of business so that it is in full view for reference at any time.


Reasons to hire a Registered Migration Agent

  • Doing your visa application may result in refusal – Migration Law is complex and it’s better left to the hands of the experts, especially if you cannot gamble and risk refusal which can result in not being able to apply for another Australian visa in the future.
  • Extensive knowledge of Migration Law and Rules governing Immigration – While there is information online and in publications regarding Australian migration laws, it still takes an expert to shed light on the intricacy of the law and the pathways that are available for the applicants. Migration Agents also have access to information, that is exclusive to their ranks, which can increase the chances of visa approvals, especially in preparing nomination documents that should be aligned with the requirements of the Department of Home Affairs (DHA).
  • Avoid Unnecessary Delays – Consulting a Registered Migration Agent is especially necessary when the applicant is facing a roadblock in the application. These migration experts can better deal with the review bodies and solve your issues promptly. Aside from lengthy delays and the stress that comes with the uncertainty in your visa application, hiring a registered migration agent can increase your chances of a successful outcome to your application.


Where to find Registered Migration Agents?

So, to be sure that you are dealing with a registered migration agent, you just need to visit Mara.gov.au and scroll down a little bit and click the search for registered migration agent section.  The register includes registered migration agents working outside Australia.

The MARA stands for the Office of Migration Agents Registration Authority. The MARA website has information and fact sheets about how to choose a migration agent and different tools there as well, but also about the complaints process. If you go to find out about a prospective migration agent you’re going to work with, it’s a huge red flag if they’re not searchable on this website. So, it’s searchable by first name, surname, and searchable by the name of the business as well. Very important you make sure that anyone who’s giving the migration law advice that they’re registered with OMARA.

The MARN is the Migration Agent’s Registration Number. So, every migration agent should have a 7-digit MARN number, and it should be in all their advertisements, it should be in their email signature, and it should be on their website as well. And you can tell what year your migration agent was registered in by looking at the first two digits in their MARN number. So, for example, if a migration agent was registered in 2020, their MARN will start with 20.


Be Wary of Unregistered Agents

In episode 6 of the Journey to OZ podcast, there was a talk about the process of becoming a registered migration agent and an interesting story about dealing with non-registered agents. So, a migration agent must be registered with the office of the MARA if they’re practicing within Australia, but they don’t have to be registered if they’re outside of Australia. There are registered migration agents outside of Australia who choose to become registered, just to give themselves more authority with their clients, but there are plenty of non-registered agents overseas who deal with applicants outside of Australia.

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