For varying reasons, Singaporeans and foreigners in Singapore have felt the push to leave for greener pastures. For the longest time, Australia has been the hot favorite destinations, perhaps because of its lifestyle, educational system and career opportunities.
If you are one who has done considerable online research on Australian immigration requirements, it is understandable to feel confused. If you have already downloaded some of the required forms, you may find the process of rendering the required information daunting. If have already initiated the process and sent in the forms yourself and now awaiting a response, you may be on the verge of a nervous breakdown, simply wondering if you have done the correct thing or worse still, mentioned something which was less than correct!
A good migration agent will be able to qualify and advise you on your options. If you do qualify and provide them firm instructions on taking up your casework, the confidence you will feel knowing that one of life’s most important decisions are well taken care of is something money cannot buy. However, is there a difference between migration agent’s services, which is a good agency and more importantly, which are the ones who are simply out to make a quick buck out of you?
In looking for a good migration agent in Singapore, consider….
- Ensuring that your application is represented by a registered migration agent or Australian lawyer.
Be careful in selecting your working partner in the visa process because you may not get a second chance if your representatives operate illegally. Laws in Australia require anyone giving immigration assistance to be a legal practitioner or registered migration agent. If you deal with someone who is not registered, chances are that you will have no legal recourse if the person’s actions are inappropriate, advice given inaccurate or not contactable! Besides the possibility of losing money, your dreams of living in Australia may be shattered.
In Singapore, there are several operating migration agencies. To find out who the registered migration agents are in Singapore, check out the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) website.
- Ensure the agency has a well-staffed office in Singapore
There are apparently registered migrations agents who fly in to Singapore, deliver a seminar at a hotel ballroom and will even personally meet you in the hotel lobby/ room or restaurant. You should be cautious about dealing with these agents s because, they may be operating from a different time zone and you may experience difficulties simply speaking with them. Do consider one with a permanent office in Singapore or preferably an establishment who owns their own property. Having a local agent with a convenient address will help you reach them easily for to submit the required forms and documents or simply to get an immediate face-to-face audience with a responsible person.
- Free Seminars, free advice, low fees and guaranteed visa outcome – THINK AGAIN!
Your visa is your legal status to Australia, granted by the Australian Government through the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). If an agent gives you a guarantee on your visa application, or leads you to believe they are able to influence the process, you would do well to walk away. You should realize that an agent is a representative and not the DIBP! Guaranteeing one’s visa is clearly in breach of immigration laws in Australia and it is highly likely that the person/organization offering such a visa guarantee be operating illegally.
Registered migration agents and lawyers invest much time in studying immigration laws and keeping up to date with these frequently changing laws. Now, why would any credible organization offering professional services have to resort to offering freebies or discounted professional fees? In fact, an agent’s fees are usually an indication of their professionalism, experience and commitment.
There is a saying that “…if it is too good to be true, then it probably isn’t true” and life’s fair “…you generally get what you pay for… ” .
Why use a migration agent?
Below are the key advantages of using a registered migration agent:
- Maximizing your chances of success by ensuring ALL possible options are explored and advising you on the type, procedures, timelines and cost of the visa most suitable
- Guides you throughout the process, ascertaining your credentials and providing you with templates, forms, checklists and providing all administrative support;
- Acts on your behalf to the Department of Immigration, presenting your case in the strongest possible manner, keeping you informed throughout the process;
- Helps eliminates common mistakes, assuring you of your application’s integrity;
- Understands, empathizes with your and acts to ensure that changes to the law or to your personal circumstances are dealt with appropriately.
- By timing and doing things correctly, ensuring that things are done once and done properly so that it need not be done again.
You are not required to use a migration agent. However, if your casework is a complex one, you are uncertain, not confident or insufficiently informed in putting forward your own application, a registered migration agent will be able to help you.
If you are serious in migrating to Australia, apply now while you are qualified
Australian immigration legislations and policy requirements frequently change. Over time, an individual’s strengths or criteria may also change. If you presently qualify for a visa to Australia but have not applied, you may not qualify for that same visa at a later time when you wish to apply! If you are certain about migrating to Australia from Singapore, you should seek professional advice and act decisively!
History reveals that when Australia immigration laws change, they often change to make things more difficult for people to apply. If you are not sure where to start or how to deal with an application, contact a good registered migration agent.