Should you use a MARA Registered Migration Agent or a Lawyer, for a Visa Application?
What is the difference between a MARA Registered Migration Agent and a Lawyer?
MARA Registered Migration Agents specialise in visas.
MARA Registered Migration Agents are not lawyers (legal practitioners).
The Migration Amendment (Regulation of Migration Agents) Act 2020 requires the removal of lawyers from the regulatory scheme administered by the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA).
MARA Registered Lawyers (legal practitioners) were also qualified to give you legal advice and assistance, such as helping you prepare an application for a court to review a decision made about your visa application.
Lawyers who also do migration court reviews etc., probably specialise in legal matters Criminal cases, Divorces, etc.
Some Lawyers who were previously MARA Registered Migration Agents, may only do Visa related work, but are no longer covered by MARA regulations.
I would assume that the important thing is to use a MARA Registered Migration Agents, whether a Lawyer or not.
Personally, I would use a MARA Registered Migration Agent, not a Lawyer, for a standard visa application. It is what they do all the time, hopefully.
I would use a Lawyer, that has also had experience as a previously registered MARA Migration Agent, if I had a very complex case, where legal issues might need resolving.
A lawyer will probably be more expensive than a MARA Registered Migration Agent. This is based on the following from: mara.gov.au/…/agent-fees
Agent fees vary and depend on:
the experience and qualifications of your agent. If your agent is a lawyer or has many years of experience, their fees might be higher.
Changes are being implemented under the Migration Amendment (Regulation of Migration Agents) Bill 2018 and Migration Amendment (Regulation of Migration Agents) Act 2020.
3 March 2021 – Transitional arrangements for Australian legal practising certificate holders:
Transitional arrangements from 22 March 2021 are being developed to enable holders of Australian legal practising certificates (ALPCs), who cease to be a registered migration agent (RMA) following the commencement of new legislation on 22 March 2021, to maintain access to their ImmiAccount.
The Migration Amendment (Regulation of Migration Agents) Bill 2018 would have meant the end for dual regulation for lawyers, with lawyers being removed from the MARA regulatory system.
Thank you to those who have sent me a coffee, it is very much appreciated.
Some Visa Applicants might find an Experienced Australian Migration Agent of great assistance. - ai16