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The Pom Queen

Australian Visas - Migration Agent Fees

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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

 

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If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.

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Hi there, all that brilliant information is very welcome but the one thing you have no control over is the one thing that matters the most . The waiting time ? So over 18 months down the line and looking at a total cost of nearly 60 grand (English money ) I'm beginning to think the Australian government are having a laff


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On 4/10/2017 at 22:39, The Pom Queen said:

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

 

Thank you for the useful info!

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Does this forum have any kind of reviews, rankings or  recommended agents that have a good history of successes?

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I guess one agent may be good for one person but not another so word of mouth and google might be the way to go. It is like asking for a good lawyer!

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Frukoz said:

Does this forum have any kind of reviews, rankings or  recommended agents that have a good history of successes?

"Success" is irrelevant.  It's not like a lawyer, who might win or lose cases based on how much of a smooth-talker he is in court.  

Your case will be judged on your points score and your eligibility, whether you apply yourself or apply through an agent.  An agent does not improve your chances of success by massaging the truth.  If your numbers don't add up, no agent will get you in.

An agent improves your chances of success in two ways:

1.  He looks at your circumstances and works out what your best pathway is - which visa to choose and whether there are things you can do to improve your chances.

2.  He knows all the pitfalls and fiddly bits in the paperwork so he's much less likely to make a mistake than you (which is important, because Immigration is inclined to reject applications with little mistakes, rather than give you a chance to fix them).

There are a few agents who post on these forums, like @wrussell or Raul Senise.  George Lombard is recommended if you have any medical issues.

Edited by Marisawright
  • Like 2

Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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I guess what would be helpful for a huge number of people on this forum is information on reputation, fees, speed of communication & expertise. And this would mean the good agents would stand out and receive more business as a result. To me, it seems like it would be a very helpful addition!

Thanks for the recommendations. I will be reaching out to a few of the regular posters.

 

 

Edited by Frukoz

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24 minutes ago, Frukoz said:

I guess what would be helpful for a huge number of people on this forum is information on reputation, fees, speed of communication & expertise. And this would mean the good agents would stand out and receive more business as a result. To me, it seems like it would be a very helpful addition!

Thanks for the recommendations. I will be reaching out to a few of the regular posters.

I can't imagine the forum owners would consider offering such opinions because it would leave them wide open to being sued if someone chose an agent based on their recommendation.

Perhaps what you're looking for is a Directory, where MARA agents can list their business, then members of the public can post reviews and star ratings? 


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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3 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

I can't imagine the forum owners would consider offering such opinions because it would leave them wide open to being sued if someone chose an agent based on their recommendation.

Perhaps what you're looking for is a Directory, where MARA agents can list their business, then members of the public can post reviews and star ratings? 

Well the recommendations would be user generated, so I don't think that would make the forum owners liable. People on here provide recommendations all the time. I'm just talking about organising this a bit so you don't have keep posting whenever you need an agent. A directory makes a lot of sense, but would never receive any contributions unless it came out of forums like this one.

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