Code of Conduct for Registered Migration Agents – Third round consultation response
The submission to the Department of Home Affairs in response to the Code of Conduct for Registered Migration Agents – third round consultation response was prepared by the Law Council.
The new Code represents an important step to increase consumer protection and strengthen professional standards in relation to the migration advice industry. The Law Council strongly supports the efforts of OMARA in this respect.
Additionally, the Law Council welcomes and strongly supports the measures contained in the Migration Amendment (Regulation of Migration Agents) Bill 2019 (Deregulation Bill) which, once enacted, will remove the burden of dual regulation from RMAs who are legal practitioners. Consistently with the Australian Government’s deregulation agenda, the Law Council maintains that the new Code should not apply to legal practitioners who would be exempt from the OMARA scheme as proposed in the Deregulation Bill.
The Law Council supports the finalisation of the Code and makes a number of recommendations to further enhance consumer protection and bolster professional standards. These include that:
- all persons, other than legal practitioners, seeking to become an RMA should undergo a mandatory period of supervised practice;
- the Australian Government urgently revisit the need for a tiered registration framework for RMAs;
- careful consideration be given to regulation of business structures for migration service provision which may currently reduce the ability of OMARA to respond effectively to allegations of misconduct; and
- guidance notes and a communications strategy be developed to raise awareness and support implementation of key provisions of the Code.
In addition, the Law Council offers specific feedback and recommendations relating to specific clauses of the Consultation Document.
You can read the full submission below.