Consumer Guide

Please see a current version of the Consumer Guide in different languages on the MARA website here.

Related: Code of Conduct

Consumer guide

It is unlawful for anyone to give immigration assistance in Australia if they are not a registered migration agent, legal practitioner or exempt person. Any person who gives unlawful immigration assistance in Australia should be reported using the Border Watch Online Report on the Department’s website. It is important to know that any person who helps with your immigration matter cannot guarantee you a visa.

Registered Migration Agents

Registered migration agents must meet professional standards, follow the Code of Conduct and maintain up-to-date knowledge of migration law and procedure. All registered migration agents have a unique Migration Agents Registration Number (MARN). You can check if a person is registered on the OMARA website:

The Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) is part of the Department of Home Affairs (the Department) and is the regulatory body for registered migration agents in Australia. The OMARA:

  • assesses and decides applications for registration as a migration agent in Australia
  • monitors the conduct of registered migration agents, investigates complaints, and takes disciplinary action if necessary

The OMARA cannot help you with a visa or sponsorship application or order a registered migration agent to refund fees to you.

Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct for registered migration agents requires registered migration agents to:

  • be honest about your chances of getting a visa
  • provide correct advice and keep you informed of the progress of your application and any changes that may affect it
  • act within the law, your interests and protect your privacy
  • tell you if they have an interest that conflicts with your interests and take appropriate action
  • give you a written statement before starting work of the services to be provided, estimated fees and other costs
  • keep funds in a separate bank account if you pay in advance
  • give you an invoice listing the actual services completed and the amount payable
  • keep proper records on the processing of your application.

The full Code of Conduct is available on the OMARA website (

Concerns about registered migration agents

If you have a problem with your registered migration agent, try to resolve it with them first. If you cannot resolve the matter with your agent, you can contact the OMARA if you need help. You can lodge a complaint about your registered migration agent by completing the complaint
form on the OMARA website.

Making a complaint will not affect your current visa application, or change the outcome of a previous visa refusal or cancellation decision.

Australian Legal Practitioners and Exempt Persons

Certain people, such as Australian legal practitioners and exempt persons, do not have to be registered as a migration agent to provide immigration assistance in Australia.

Australian legal practitioners must act in accordance with the professional conduct rules of their relevant legal authority. If you would like to lodge a complaint about a legal practitioner read the ‘Consumer guide – legal practitioners’, available on the Department’s website.

Exempt persons include close family members and sponsors. A full list of exempt persons can be found on Form 956 – Appointment of a registered migration agent, legal practitioner or exempt person. Exempt persons cannot charge a fee for providing immigration assistance.

Ending an appointment

If you want to end an appointment complete Form 956.

Translating and Interpreting Service

Speak to an interpreter through the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) ☎ 131 450

July 2021


  • Consumer Guide briefly highlights the most important elements of your relationship with your VisaEnvoy migration agent. Prior to commencing work for a new client a Registered Migration Agent is required by law to provide the client with a copy of a booklet entitled Consumer Guide. This booklet can be found online here (July 2021).

    The Code of Conduct for registered migration agents can be seen here.

    Giving immigration assistance in Australia
    The OMARA factsheet Giving immigration assistance in Australia (517KB PDF) explains who can legally provide immigration assistance in Australia. This is a resource for consumers and the wider community on who can give immigration assistance lawfully.​


  • The ICCRC-CRCIC (Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council) has adopted the Codes listed below to:

    • Set the standards expected of its Directors, officers, employees, volunteers, and committee members to maintain ICCRC’s reputation.
    • Set the standards of conduct for RCICs, the fair and efficient enforcement of which should protect the public from unethical or incompetent practice by RCICs.
    • Supplement any conduct requirements of the RISIA’s employer, for the better protection of students from unethical or incompetent practice by RISIAs.

    Code of Business Conduct & Ethics

    RCIC Code of Professional Ethics

    RISIA Code of Ethics

New Zealand

  • Licensed Immigration Advisers Code of Conduct sets out the required standards of professional and ethical conduct for licensed immigration advisers. It is developed by the Registrar of Immigration Advisers and approved by the Minister of Immigration in accordance with section 37(4) of the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007.

  • New Zealand licensed immigration advisers are skilled people who have met immigration adviser competency standards and who follow a professional code of conduct. Your New Zealand immigration adviser must either be licensed with the Immigration Advisers Authority (the Authority) or exempt. To check if a person is licensed or to see exempt groups, visit the Authority’s website The professional standards booklet can be viewed here.