Thinking about getting a visa for your loved ones to Australia, you probably think you can do it yourself like I had thought, why did I change my mind and used a migration agent?
I had enquired at a migration agent here in my home town, and had an interview with a lawyer/ agent the paper work and the process was frightening it actually gave me chills on what he had to say, the requirements the process and the waiting times could be up to 12 months. I thought wow how am I going to wait that long, but the most upsetting was he could not guarantee a proven application, the likely hood of getting a visa from an Asian country approved was thin to slim, now that’s the last thing I wanted to hear, all that work and money and then no success, just the way he came across I wasn’t convinced at all, so I said good’o I’ll think about it and get back to you. No hope I was going to use them.
I was lost at what to do, and I enquired online, Melbourne and even overseas. All were positive answers and they’d only tell you what you wanted to hear, money was there drive only, another avenue closed down. The thought of doing everything myself was frightening one also and felt like I had to climb Mount Everest to get everything in place and the paper work was longer than my life’s history.
So I decided to go to the Philippines to see my bride.
I had heard of a migration agent in Manila and he was an Australian Jeff from www.downundervisa.com.au. That got my attention, Australian and registered with MARA, so I set up an interview at our hotel with Jeff and his lovely wife Mila. Meeting them was blissful we exchanged questions and answers back and forward for an hour or so it was awesome the best news I’ve ever heard from a migration agent. The interview process was, so we could meet Jeff and he could meet us, I remember Jeff saying meeting people gave him the opportunity to see if couples were serious, then he was willing to help with all the visa requirements, Down Under Visa are very passionate and successful at what they do helping happy couples with their visa requirements. This was a big win for us finally we found an Agent that cared about our future, not like others money was here drive.
Jeff Harvie is an Australian Registered Migration Agent (MARN 0959797) who has given up the quiet life in Australia a few years back for one more adventurous with his Filipina wife and kids in Manila, Philippines. He runsDown Under Visa, which specialises in Australian partner visas for those Aussie men who fall madly in love with the local girls and want to bring them to Australia.
Down Under Visa were prompt, reliable and first class with all their questions, answers and communications, finally we found someone that cares. I’d highly recommend Jeff and his team for all your visa requirements and questions. Time away for your loved ones is not good, we succeeded big time and got our fiancée visa within 3 months.
Having a registered Migration Agent is a must; there are many out there claiming to be registered in the Philippines especially.
Engaging a migration agent to help us gave us the comfort of knowing that our application, when it was finally sent off, was sound and did have a good chance of success. This is because any MARA registered migration agent has a duty to ensure that all applications they send to the Australian Government have a realistic chance of approval. In fact, I believe that if any MARA registered agent continually submits poor applications, they will find themselves in danger of having their licence taken away from them.
What is MARA?
“The Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (Office of the MARA) is a discrete office attached to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.”
So, if somebody is not MARA registered, they cannot charge you a fee to help you submit your application. But everyone listed on that government website is registered, and you will find all the information you need there to find an agent to help you.
Payments in advance.
Some migration agents ask for quite large and substantial upfront fees before they even look at your details or your situation. This should not be the case and there is no justification for any agent requesting such fees and you should treat any such requests with caution.
Other services offer a “free” assessment, but this is usually just an automated process that takes some basic details and calculates your points. If you score the requested number of points, you are then asked for a substantial sum in advance before they will help you further, again I suggest caution.
Never pay large sums in advance to migration agents, substantial fees should only be paid after the agent has looked at ALL of your details and has informed you, in writing, which visa or visas you might qualify for and the exact costs of applying for those visas.
One BIG final tip
Google is your friend. No, really! If you are considering using a specific MARA registered agent or company, and you want to check them out, simply search for the name of that company followed by the word “reviews”.
Here is a link to Down Under Visa.