What is a Migration Agent?
A Migration Agent is a specialist trained to provide advice and assistance regarding immigration law and regulations.
Migration Agents must be registered with the office of the MARA (Migration Agents Registration Authority) to provide advice regarding immigration law and applications. From 1st January 2018, to legally register with the MARA, Migration Agents will need to hold a minimum qualification of a Graduate Diploma in Migration Law. Australian legal practitioners who hold a practicing certificate may also register as a Migration Agent.
Do I need to hire a Migration Agent?
It is not mandatory, but it is strongly recommended! Whether you’re wanting to relocate permanently and commit to making one of the biggest decisions of your life, or you’re planning a temporary visit, advice and guidance from a registered Migration Agent is invaluable.
Dealing with the complexities of a Visa application can be confusing and very overwhelming. Having someone there who can guide you through the process, while also making sure all parts of your application fulfil requirements, can ease a lot of stress and uncertainty.
How can a Migration Agent help Me?
Migration Agents are trained to interpret immigration laws and regulations in your favour – they will thoroughly assess your case, and take into consideration your history and individual circumstances when recommending a path forward.
They will give you an honest opinion regarding your eligibility, and which Visa is your best option. A good Agent will have your best interests at heart and can be a great source of support and stability during such a tumultuous and uncertain time.
Here at Mygrate, we have lots of amazing Agents to choose from! Along with helping you prepare your Visa application, Agents will ensure all your documents meet the standard, monitor the progress of your application (helping you plan and organise), and if needed, represent you in court for any Visa matters.
How much does it cost to hire a Migration Agent?
Fees will vary between Agents. As a general rule, the more experienced Agents will charge a higher fee than less experienced Agents, with experience depending on how many years they’ve been practicing in their field.
Where do I find a migration agent and how do I connect with one?
Easy! If you’re reading this blog, you’re already in the right place. Mygrate has partnered with registered, reliable and experienced Migration Agents from all over Australia, who are happy to help! Simply fill out our Client Information Questionnaire here to get started.
Whether you’re new to Mygrate, or already subscribed, we would like to introduce you to some changes we’ve made to the website and how Mygrate works. We have undergone these changes not only to make the website easier to navigate but to ensure that we can continue to improve and provide the best service for both our users and Migration Agents.
Here’s how it works:
- Register with Mygrate and fill out our initial questionnaire.
This questionnaire will determine your individual circumstances and the key factors that may influence your eligibility for an Australian Visa.
- The questionnaire will provide you with an online profile that will be visible to Migration Agents. Your name and contact details will be kept anonymous at this stage.
- Our Migration Agents will assess your profile, and contact you to offer their services. Agents may also briefly outline how they think they can help, and which Visa you may be eligible for. While your profile is visible on the website, you can receive up to five offers from Migration Agents; this is so that you’ll have a variety of Agents to choose from. Check out their profiles, read about their specific areas of expertise, consultation fees, languages spoken, location and reviews.
- Once you’ve accepted an offer from your favourite Migration Agent, they will be able to see your name and contact details. You can contact each other directly to arrange a consultation, share documents, and get your application underway.
- Registering with Mygrate as an immigrant/expat is free of charge
- Register with Mygrate and complete your business profile – immigrants will want to know which services you offer, your areas of expertise, if you speak a second language, where you’re located and all your business contact details.
- Once you’ve completed your profile, you’ll be able to access and view our database of users. At this point, our users’ names and contact details will be anonymous.
- Browse our database, and send offers to the users whom you think you can help. Your offer should include details on how you think you can help, and which Visa the user may be eligible for. You can have up to 5 open offers at a time.
- If the user accepts your offer, you will then be able to view their name and contact details.
- You can contact each other directly via direct messaging to arrange a consultation and share documents
These changes are the first of many improvements in the future for Mygrate, as we’re constantly evolving!
Mygrate is still in its MVP (Minimum Viable Product) phase but we want to provide the best possible service for both our users and Migration Agents.
If you have any problems navigating the new site or have any feedback or suggestions, please reach out to us at email@example.com and we’ll get in touch with you as soon as possible.
What is Mygrate?
Mygrate is an online ecosystem that is dedicated to connecting immigrants with available and compatible expert Migration Agents. We can streamline the immigration process by enabling immigrants to connect with Migration Agents who match their specific needs before they even leave their home country.
Why are we good?
There are so many benefits to a platform like ours, and we’re the first of our kind. Like in many professions with a high level of subjectivity and interpretation, the outcome is greatly dependent on the combination between the client and the Agent. By connecting the immigrant with compatible Migration Agents at an early stage, we can streamline the whole immigration process and provide them with the best possible outcome!
The website is accessible twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week – which provides much-needed support for immigrants, benefits Migration Agents by enabling them to work remotely and within the hours they choose, as well as accommodating for time zone differences.
Mygrate for Immigrants
If you want to move to Australia but are confused by the amount of and conflicting advice online, or you’re already here, but want to seek advice on how to stay permanently, Mygrate is for you!
Mygrate will enable you to search our database of expert Migration Agents based on language, location, or expertise. You are then able to provide feedback and rate the Agent via the Agents online profile. These reviews and ratings are made public, allowing other immigrants to make a better-informed choice.
Mygrate also has a direct-messaging function, allowing you to connect and socialise with other expats!
Mygrate for Migration Agents
If you’re a registered Migration Agent wanting access to a large client-base, Mygrate is for you!
Mygrate will enable you to advertise your business and connect directly with prospective immigrants. There are so many benefits to being able to connect with your clients online! All your clients are in one place and you can work at any time that suits you!
When I first moved to Australia in July 2011, I was convinced I could find a way to stay.
However, I didn’t really know how.
I knew little about all the immigration Laws and criteria to be fulfilled in order to obtain a Permanent Visa. I knew even less about Migration Agents.
My approach to the whole project was pretty much like this:
- make a decision to move to Australia;
- quit your current job and sell almost everything you have;
- get a temporary Working-Holiday Visa for a year;
- learn English and find a way to stay;
That was the plan.
And everything actually worked out; just not in the timeframe I expected. In fact, it ended up taking almost 6 years to get a Permanent Visa.
The information accessibility from home (wherever this is for you) is not always sufficient. The complexity of the immigration matter is increased by several factors:
- The complexity of the official Government websites;
- The amount of Visas available;
- The presence of several Visa programs;
- Differences among Australian State Laws;
I first heard of the term “Migration Agent” in a forum of expats, where someone was suggesting to speak to one of them in order to get clear and professional advice on how to obtain a Permanent Visa.
I thought things were finally getting a bit easier.
The first problem was:
How could I find a Migration Agent?
Meet MARA: Migration Agents Registration Authority. This website provides contact details of every Migration Agent in Australia. The thing was… it didn’t say anything about the quality of their services.
So I had to randomly choose one and hope for the best.
I did that five times.
Four agents told me my chances of permanently staying in Australia were very little if nil. I was almost at the point of giving up when a friend recommended a name praising his competence and preparation.
I had nothing to lose, so I booked my fifth consultation.
I am now a happy Australian Permanent Resident and will sit my Citizenship test this October.
- What all my life looked like after I finished packing
What made the difference?
Like in many professions with a high level of subjectivity and interpretation, (i.e. lawyers, consultants, advisors), much depends on the combination between the client and the agent. In other words, each case is different and with so many laws and factors to take into account, it’s not always easy and simple to find a solution for everyone. What makes the difference is:
- The specifics of each client’s situation: skills, experiences, qualifications, needs and level of competence in any given field;
- The experience of the Migration Agent in those particular fields, the capability of using the client’s situation to find the right approach to a Permanent Visa;
Obviously, a Permanent Visa is not always possible.
However, this sort of assessment should be a phase that is easily achievable from anywhere and much earlier than relocating to another Country and “hope for the best”.
Migration Agents should be known at an earlier stage when relocating is still an idea, a project, not a current situation that happened after several drastic decisions and crossing the point of no return.
This is why we created Mygrate
To make Migration Agents known and accessible to everyone before they relocate or at an earlier stage as possible, in order to allow people to benefit from their services long before they decide to relocate.
We want Migration Agents to be the central point of a relocation project as they are the best experts to provide this type of information, and information, as in many cases, is the key to a good plan and the difference between success and failure.
In my case, it certainly made the difference between going back or realising one of my biggest dreams.
Are you a Migration Agent? If so, you have found the right post! Keep reading.
Mygrate is a new platform that wants fill the gap between Migration Agents like you and all the potential customers who are now living all over the globe and are thinking of relocating. These people need your services.
Mygrate makes you visible
Create your profile and start interacting with your future customers.
Mygrate is still a baby. We launched two weeks ago and are constantly working on the platform to provide a better and better experience. At this stage, we are offering free subscriptions to anyone who wants to join us. You can create and share your profile and interact with current and future subscribers.
We want Mygrate to grow!
In Mygrate, every aspect of the initial consultation process will be manageable within the platform (video conference, e-mail, instant messages, document sharing, appointment bookings/rescheduling, payments, updates, etc).
Everyone will be able to provide public feedback about the agents to help others choose which expert is right for them.
Mygrate wants to combine all these aspects, providing a space where people can easily find a migration expert to help them with their specific issues and needs.
Mygrate will aim to enable clients and agents to feel right next door, by utilizing modern video communication. This will also simplify the process in terms of transport, time optimisation and staff, and engage a global network of customers and clients, anywhere, anytime.
The platform will also allow follow-up with clients and promote agents’ services. Everything on the platform will be managed using cloud technology, making all the content available to anyone involved in the business, on any device.
Relevant documents can be updated on the platform and agents will also be able to require a specific document from the client when and if needed. This will avoid duplicates, multiple folders, missed synchronisations, delays and, consequently, mistakes.
This approach will open the possibility of remote working (if applicable or required), having teams spread across different locations.
Remote working and remote teams could possibly lead to the formation of Migration Agencies with multiple competencies at different locations (i.e. a single agency could manage relocations to/from multiple countries).
Everything will be stored on the platform, avoiding any data loss, duplication or overlapping.
In the future, after being established in the market and with a solid base of users and agents, Mygrate could also offer a mobile app.
We will also offer premium plans with more advanced features and capabilities.
Subscribe now and stay in the loop.
Nowadays Migration Agents run their own businesses, with their own portfolios, but without any network or community.
Mygrate aims to have all the Migration Agents in a single platform and to make them available online for people to connect, interact and provide feedback about their service.
Each Agent will have a profile including all the competences, skills, languages and services.
If required, client and agent will connect through Skype/video-chat.
This way the physical distance will not represent an issue with advantages for both parties:
- the client will be able to reach an agent before relocating or from any location;
- the agent will reach a larger number of clients;
Mygrate wants to be the go-to platform for anyone interested in relocating to Australia.
Having all the Migration Agents in one single platform will provide the following benefits:
- quick way to find an Agent in the area of interest; also filtering by language and other aspects;
- read feedback from other customers and provide feedback of your own experience with a particular agent. This will enable customers to make an informed choice before engaging a specific Agent;
- no more distance barrier;
- opportunity to know everything you need to know before you leave your Country;
In the future Mygrate will expand and improve, offering a larger number of features.
This project is just at the beginning, but we are already receiving positive feedback and interest from several users and agents.
Stay tuned for more.
The majority of people don’t have access to information regarding Immigration from their own Country for several reasons:
- language barrier;
- the need of a Migration Agent is not known until they relocate and collect more info, realising the complexity of the Immigration system.
- lack of knowledge regarding Immigration processes (often people think that once they’re here, they will “figure something out”.
Immigration information sources
Nowadays all the information regarding Immigration and how to relocate to Australia are provided by several sources; the official channels are comprehensive but present some difficulties due to the complexity of the matter and language barrier:
- Government: official Immigration department website;
- Migration Agents;
Other sources, most commonly used as the first approach, are not reliable and not all of them are competent:
- student agencies;
- blogs, social media and forums;
- word of mouth;
When the source is not officially accredited, there are several information overlaps, contradictions, mistakes and, in some cases, frauds.
In this scenario, people are forced to jump from source to source in order to put together an exhaustive idea of what they need, but often this is not enough to clarify all the questions and doubts.
Additionally, people don’t have any tools to provide feedback to these sources or verify their accountability; also there is no way to know if these sources are working with competency, lawfully and in the client’s best interests.
For example people tend to think that if they’re over 31yo the only chance to relocate to Australia is getting a Student Visa.
This is a common misconception.
People might have skills and qualifications that, once recognised, may open several opportunities through a different visa.
This is not to say student agencies are evil, but they’re not the right option for every case.
Many people relocate to Australia with no clue about what they could achieve with the right information and the majority of these people will go back home after spending several thousands of dollars, time and, in some cases, having to start from zero once they’re home.
I have personally experienced what not being able to count on a competent, reliable Migration Agent means. Four times.
People have projects and dreams and any system should facilitate them as much as possible.
At this stage, many people, including families, professionals and students waste huge amounts of money and time only to end up hearing they had no chance to relocate to Australia anyway.
In several of these cases, the agent failed to assess the clients’ situation accurately and comprehensively, and so consequently was unable to propose a successful strategy.
How many people had to go back to their Country or weren’t able to relocate because of misinformation?
Last but not least, people (especially young) often relocate to Australia through the Working Holiday Visa and Student Visa programs, using this time to understand a viable way to stay permanently. This is when people realise they need Migration Agents.
What if it was possible to reach clients before they leave their Country?
This is why we created Mygrate.
Mygrate is an online platform that put in communication migration experts and individuals in need of a consulting regarding all Immigration aspects, such as:
- type of visa required according to the person’s situation and background;
- alternative visas if the requirements change and/or if the person/business can reach specific requirements with some additional training and/or previous skills recognition;
- documents to collect in order to obtain the necessary certifications and lodge a visa application;
- applications process and support;
- costs and timeframes.
Agents will be able to use their profile to advert their business and services, reaching a large target, not only locally, but nationally and internationally.
Users will be able to contact and interact with the expert of their choice based on feedback, skills, expertise, location, spoken languages and other factors.
The platform also aims to enable consultation through video conference, so to reduce time consuming, costs and transports (integration with already existing technologies).
It will also allow people to connect with the agents from different and remote locations, helping them to have an optimal level of knowledge regarding the immigration process before they actually relocate (currently most people first relocate on a temporary Visa in order to seek further information).
For example a consultation from Italy with an Italian Migration Agent in Perth will allow the person to understand his/her real chances to relocate before actually moving to Australia to “see how it goes”.
Sign up with Mygrate as a user or a Migration Agent.
The platform is still a prototype and needs your help to improve. Provide us with feedback!