Most of the people prefer taking help of migration agent while planning to immigrate to any foreign country. And this is for the simple reason that they make their task easier by proving them guidance on the process of migration.
However, there are many instances when one gets caught in the trap of migration agent, yet you have options to lodge a complaint against such errant agents.
Reporting the matter to OMARA
The Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA): Immigration agents are supposed to get registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority.
For any agent who does not perform his duties satisfactorily an individual has all the authority to lodge complaint against him to OMARA.
For lodging a complaint one has to fill up a form.
The first option would be to ensure that the issue gets mediated and if it does not get resolved the case would be examined by OMARA. On being revealed that the Code of Conduct is not observed by the Agent then disciplinary actions are taken against him.
If an agent is found to be functioning without receiving a registration certificate then the matter will be dealt under Migration Act 1958.
Department of Immigration and Citizenship maintains a special telephone number 1800 009 623 for people willing to lodge a complaint against any unregistered migration agent. This number can be called upon from 8.30 in the morning till 4.30 in the evening. However, for reporting any such matter it is always better to take help of either a lawyer or police.
Role of Legal Services Commissioner
There could be another case when an individual is harassed or cheated by a solicitor or barristers. You can lodge your complaint to the Legal Services Commissioner by filling u a form or by writing on a piece of paper too. However, you must keep in mind that you can lodge a complaint only within three years of the event happening.
Some of the important points to be noted
• OMARA will not help you getting refund; you will have to take help of Consumer Protection Office for getting your money back.
• Even if you lodge a complaint against an agent, the process would not have any impact on application you have submitted. Your visa application would be treated according to the normal flow.
The punishment for the Agent
Australia considers any misdeed by the agents as a crime and therefore the errant agent will have to face serious consequences. One may be exposed to a fine of $5,500 or may even be sentenced for five years to ten years for cheating upon an applicant.
The stories of applicants being cheated upon migration agents is quite common all around. However, if a person is caught in the trap of these crooks then there is always a way out. There is a strong provision to take legal actions against such agents and get them to face a strict punishment.