The office of MARA

The MARA

The Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) is an office of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (the Department)

Registered migration agents are allowed to provide immigration advice and assistance, including help lodging visa applications. Agents must be qualified and demonstrate to the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) that they:

  • have sufficient knowledge of migration law and procedures
  • are a person of integrity
  • are a fit and proper person to provide immigration assistance.

Agents can advise if your visa application is likely to succeed, but they do not make visa decisions and cannot influence outcomes. Only the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (the Department) makes decisions about visa applications. 

It is against the law for someone in Australia who is not registered with the OMARA to provide you with immigration assistance.

Only registered migration agents can legally give immigration assistance in Australia. To do this, they must be listed on the Register of Migration Agents, held by the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority. 

Search the Register of Migration Agents

Immigration assistance (under section 276 of the Migration Act 1958) is when a person uses or claims to use knowledge of, or experience in migration procedure to assist with visa applications or other visa matters by:

  • preparing, or helping to prepare, a visa application or other document
  • advising about a visa application or visa matter
  • preparing for proceedings before a court or review authority in relation to a visa application or visa matter
  • representing in proceedings before a court or review authority in relation to a visa application or visa matter.

Immigration assistance does not include:

  • Doing clerical work to prepare (or help to prepare) an application or other document
  • Providing translation or interpretation services to help prepare an application or other document
  • Advising another person that they must apply for a visa
  • Passing on to another person information produced by a third person, without giving substantial comment on or explanation of the information.

Be careful of unlawful operators pretending to be registered migration agents. Always check this website to make sure you are using a registered migration agent. It is important to note the Office of the MARA has jurisdiction to consider complaints about registered migration agents only. If you encounter an unlawful operator providing immigration assistance, report them to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s dob-in service