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Agent fees Why fees vary Under the Code of Conduct for registered migration agents, the amount your agent charges (fees) must be fair and reasonable. Your agent will set their fee based on your circumstances. Agent fees vary and depend on: Your visa application type. The amount of time it will take to prepare your application. Some visa applications take longer to prepare than others. You can check how much your agent might charge you in the list of fees in the Agent fee data table below. The level of service you need. If you need extra help or have complex circumstances. For example your agent might charge more if you have dependants on your application (such as children). The experience and qualifications of your agent. If your agent is a lawyer or has many years of experience, their fees might be higher. If your agent’s fees seem too high, discuss this with them before signing a contract. Consider talking to a few agents about their service and fees, before you choose one and sign a written contract with them. Agent fee data Every year, agents give the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority information about the average fees they charge. This table represents the range of fees charged by registered migration agents for the period 1 January to 31 December 2015. It gives you an idea of how much you might pay an agent to help with your visa. Agent fee data - 1 January to 31 December 2015 Temporary visa services Bridging visa Business (visitor) Graduate - Skilled Other temporary resident Other visitor Student Student Guardian Temporary Graduate Temporary Non-business Temporary Work Skilled (457) Tourist Working Holiday $150 - $700 $500 - $1,500 $900 - $2,200 $550 - $2,800 $400 - $1,500 $500 - $1,650 $500 - $1,800 $900 - $2,200 $500 - $3,500 $1,800 - $5,000 $300 - $1,000 $200 - $1,100 Permanent visa services Australian Declaratory visa Business Skills Child Migration Employer Nomination Scheme General Skilled Migration Humanitarian Offshore Onshore Protection Other Skilled Parent Migration Partner Migration Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Returning Resident Skilled Independent Special Migration $500 - $4,000 $4,000 - $15,000 $1,100 - $3,300 $2,000 - $5,500 $1,500 - $4,400 $1,200 - $3,500 $1,500 - $4,000 $1,500 - $4,500 $1,500 - $3,800 $500 - $4,000 $2,500 - $5,500 $500 - $2,000 $1,800 - $4,000 $1,600 - $4,400 Other New Zealand Special Category visa Review Application $500 - $3,500 $1,300 - $5,000 Note: These fees are in Australian dollars and include Goods and Services Tax (GST). These fees do not include visa application charges payable to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). Initial consultation fees Many agents will meet with you in person or by telephone to provide general information and answer your questions before you sign a written service agreement with them. This is an initial consultation. Some agents do this for free and others charge for this service. Those who charge must tell you in writing how much you have to pay before your meeting (in person or by telephone). Agreement to Services and Fees Before starting work, your agent must provide you with a written estimate of fees you will be charged for their services. The estimate of charges will include: professional fees, either by the hour or by the service disbursements (these are other costs such as visa application charges). You should accept these financial terms in writing through an ‘Agreement for Services and Fees’. This agreement must include: services to be performed fees for the services (either charged per service or per hour) disbursements (money paid by the agent on your behalf, such as a visa application charge). Do not pay your agent until you have read, understood and agreed to the Agreement for Services and Fees. Payment in advance or on completion of services Some agents charge by asking you to pay in advance into their clients’ account (see below). Some only charge when their services are complete. Clients’ account Before your agent can take their fee, they have to give you a written statement of services. The statement must show: the work your agent has performed how much your agent charges—by service or by hour. The statement of services must match what your Agreement for Services and Fees says. A flowchart comparing how your money is handled by your agent if paid before or after services is provided is in this guide. Guidance for Registered Migration Agents: Parts 5 & 7 of the Code of Conduct (169 KB PDF) Clients' account If your agent charges you before services are completed, they must have a bank account called a ‘clients’ account’. This has to be separate from their business accounts or personal bank accounts. When your agent takes money from you before providing services, they are holding on to it for you. They must deposit it in the clients’ account and they cannot use it unless they need to pay for something on your behalf, such as your visa application fee. Your agent can only take money from the clients’ account to pay for their professional fees once they have completed a service or a large amount of work, and provided you with a statement of these services. Changes to your fees Your agent must give you written notice of any change to the amount they will charge for providing you with services. Your agent has to do this as soon as they become aware of the change (for example, extra work your agent did not know about when they agreed to work for you). Your agent must not carry out work for you in a way that unnecessarily increases the cost of the work, for example by seeking advice from specialists when not needed. Fee disputes