Advice, assistance and representation

You can deal with us directly or you can appoint someone to represent you and act on your behalf in relation to your application. If you choose to appoint a person to represent you, this person is known as the representative. A representative can communicate with us on your behalf; forward written submissions and written evidence to us; request access to documents in relation to the application; and accompany you to a hearing. You must inform us immediately, in writing, if you change your representative, cancel your representative’s authority to act on your behalf, or if your representative’s contact details change.

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Multilingual advice

Registered migration agents

With limited exceptions (such as if given by a close family member, a visa nominator or sponsor, a parliamentarian or a public servant in the course of their duties) immigration assistance can only be given by a registered migration agent. Under the Migration Act 1958 a person provides ‘immigration assistance’ if that person uses their knowledge or experience in migration procedure to provide advice to or represent an applicant before the AAT. By law, all persons acting as migration agents in Australia must be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA). The OMARA’s website is www.mara.gov.au. Only registered migration agents may receive a fee or reward for providing ‘immigration assistance’.

Registered migration agents must meet competency standards, keep their knowledge of migration law and procedure up to date by completing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities, and abide by a Code of Conduct.  Registered migration agents must have the Code of Conduct clearly displayed in their offices and make a copy of it available on request.

We do not endorse or recommend any service provider. You should be cautious in seeking immigration assistance and confirm that the person you appoint is a registered migration agent or is otherwise legally able to provide assistance.

Registered migration agents are listed on the Register of Migration Agents, which is a public record maintained by the Office of the MARA.

‘Immigration assistance’ providers may also be listed in the Yellow Pages directory under ‘Migration Consultants and Services, ‘Immigration Law’ or ‘Visa Services

Agents receiving correspondence when no longer representing an applicant

If the applicant has given written notice to the AAT and you are authorised to recieve documents in connection with the review on the applicant's behalf, you are regarded as the applicant's "authorised recipient".  The AAT is obliged to continue to give review-related documents to you until such time as the applicant confirms a change of authorised recipient or withdraws the notice of authorised recipient.  If you are no longer acting for an applicant and you are continuing to receive correspondence, you should contact the applicant immediately and ask them to inform the AAT of any new arrangement.  Form MR5 should be used to appoint a new representative and or a new authorised recipient.  Form MR6 should be used to change address or contact details or to cancel an authorised recipient.

Support organisations

There are a number of organisations which may be able to provide information, assistance, or referrals for applicants, their families and friends who may be in need of support.