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Recommendations for migration agents put forward

1 June 2018

The Law Council recently made a submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Migration regarding the efficacy of current regulation of Australian migration agents.

In the Submission the Law Council noted that Australia is an economically and culturally diverse nation which has, since the end of World War II, encouraged and supported a large migration program. This is reflected in the range of permanent migration opportunities presently available within the broad migration policy categories of skilled, family, special eligibility migration and humanitarian migration.

In addition to permanent migration, Australia also provides significant opportunities for temporary entry to Australia under many specific visa categories, in broad areas such as: studying and training; family and spousal; and working and skilled visa programs.

The size, diversity, and economic and social objectives of Australia’s migration program are underpinned by a necessarily detailed legal and administrative framework. By its very nature, immigration predominantly involves people with a limited knowledge of Australian law, and of administrative and legal procedure, (often) limited financial resources and (often) limited proficiency in the English language.

Because of this, users of immigration assistance services have high vulnerability to the adverse consequences of unscrupulous, incompetent and unprofessional migration services providers.

The Law Council therefore supports strong and effective regulation of the migration advice sector to maintain the integrity of the migration system and to protect the interests of users of migration agent services and has put forward 11 recommendations in the submission.

The Law Council is grateful for the assistance of the Law Institute of Victoria, the Law Society of South Australia, the Law Council’s Migration Law Committee and legal practitioners practising in migration law in the preparation of this submission.

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