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The Migration Institute of Australia Limited (ABN 83 003 409 390)
Code of
CONDUCT
Schedule 2 of Regulation 8 of Migration Agents Regulations 1998 as updated on
1 July 2005

Code of conduct - for Australian Immigration Agents for advice on visas for Australia and Australian Immigration

Code of conduct - for Australian Immigration Agents for advice on visas for

The Migration Institute of Australia Limited (ABN 83 003 409 390)
Code of
CONDUCT
Schedule 2 of Regulation 8 of Migration Agents Regulations 1998 as updated on
1 July 2005
This code of conduct is to be displayed prominently in both the agent’s office and the office waiting area.
Agents guarantee that clients can obtain a copy of the Code of Conduct immediately on request.
Before starting to work for a client the agent must provide a copy of the booklet called
“Information on the Regulation of the Migration Advice Profession” to the client.
If a client believes that a Migration Agent has acted in breach of this Code of Conduct, a complaint can be made in writing to:
Migration Agents Registration Authority, PO Box Q1551, QVB NSW 1230, Australia.
Complaints forms are available at
www.themara.com.au
The Migration Institute of Australia Limited (ABN 83 003 409 390)
SCHEDULE 2: CODE OF CONDUCT
(regulation 8)
Migration Act 1958, subsection 314(1)
THIS CODE OF CONDUCT SHOULD BE DISPLAYED PROMINENTLY
IN THE REGISTERED MIGRATION AGENT’S OFFICE.
IF A CLIENT BELIEVES THAT A REGISTERED MIGRATION AGENT
HAS ACTED IN BREACH OF THIS CODE OF CONDUCT, A COMPLAINT
CAN BE MADE IN WRITING TO:
MIGRATION AGENTS REGISTRATION AUTHORITY
PO BOX Q1551, QVB NSW 1230
INDEX
Introduction Page 2
Standards of Professional Conduct Page 4
Obligations to Clients Page 9
Relations between Registered Migration Agents Page 10
Fees & Charges Page 11
Record keeping and Management Page 13
Financial Duties Page 14
Duties of Registered Migration Agents to Employees Page 16
Complaints Page 17
Termination of Services Page 18
Client Awareness of the Code Page 19
The Migration Agents Code of Conduct is authorised by the requirements of
the Migration Agents Regulations 1998 No. 53, Schedule 2, Regulation 8
and the Migration Act 1958 Subsection 314(1).
CODE OF CONDUCT for Migration Agents 1
The Migration Institute of Australia Limited (ABN 83 003 409 390)
PART 1
PART 2
PART 3
PART 4
PART 5
PART 6
PART 7
PART 8
PART 9
PART 10
PART 11
INTRODUCTION
1.1 This Code of Conduct (the Code) is intended to regulate the conduct of registered
migration agents.
1.2 The Migration Agents Registration Authority (the Authority) is responsible for
administering the Code.
1.3 A person who wants to operate as a registered migration agent must register with the
Authority.
1.4 The Code applies to an individual who is listed in the Register of Migration Agents kept
by the Authority under section 287 of the Migration Act 1958 (the Migration Act).
1.5 To ensure compliance with the Code, the Authority may impose an administrative
sanction if a breach of the Code is found to have occurred.
1.6 An administrative sanction may range from a caution through to suspension of
registration or the ultimate sanction of cancellation of registration.
1.7 Accordingly, the Code does not impose criminal sanctions.
1.8 However, there are a number of offences under the Migration Act and the Migration
Regulations 1994 (the Migration Regulations) that also deal with the kind of
activity covered by the Code. These activities include misleading statements and
advertising, practising when unregistered and misrepresenting a matter. Provisions of
the Crimes Act 1914, the Criminal Code Act 1995 and the Trade Practices Act 1974
may also apply to these activities.
1.9 The Code is not intended to displace any duty or liability that a registered migration
agent may have under the common law, or the statute law of the Commonwealth, a
State or a Territory, in relation to a matter covered by the Code. The provisions of
the Code should be read in the light of this principle.
1.10 The aims of the Code are:
(a) to establish a proper standard for the conduct of business as a registered
migration agent;
(b) to set out the minimum attributes and abilities that a person must demonstrate to
perform as a registered migration agent under the Code, including:
(i) being of good character;
(ii) knowing the provisions of the Migration Act and Migration Regulations,
and other legislation relating to migration procedure, in sufficient depth
to offer sound and comprehensive advice to a client, including advice on
completing and lodging application forms;
CODE OF CONDUCT for Migration Agents 2
The Migration Institute of Australia Limited (ABN 83 003 409 390)
PART 1
(iii) completing continuing professional development as required by the
Migration Agents Regulations 1998;
(iv) being able to perform diligently and honestly;
(v) being able and willing to deal fairly with clients;
(vi) having enough knowledge of business procedure to conduct business
as a registered migration agent, including record keeping and file
management;
(vii) properly managing and maintaining client records;
(c) to set out the duties of a registered migration agent to a client, an employee of the
agent, and the Commonwealth and its agencies;
(d) to set out requirements for relations between registered migration agents;
(e) to establish procedures for setting and charging fees by registered migration
agents;
(f) to establish a standard for a prudent system of office administration;
(g) to require a registered migration agent to be accountable to the client;
(h) to help resolve disputes between a registered migration agent and a client.
1.11 The Code does not list exhaustively the acts and omissions that may fall short of
what is expected of a competent and responsible registered migration agent.
1.12 However, the Code imposes on a registered migration agent the overriding duty to
act at all times in the lawful interests of the agent’s client. Any conduct falling short
of that requirement may make the agent liable to cancellation of registration.
1.13 If a registered migration agent has a contract in force with a client that complies
with this Code, but the Code is amended in a way that relates to the content of the
contract:
(a) the agent is not in breach of this Code solely because the contract does not
comply with the amended Code; but
(b) the agent must do everything practicable to vary the contract to ensure that it
complies with the amended Code.
CODE OF CONDUCT for Migration Agents 3
The Migration Institute of Australia Limited (ABN 83 003 409 390)
STANDARDS OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
2.1 A registered migration agent must always:
(a) act in accordance with the law and the legitimate interests of his or her client; and
(b) deal with his or her client competently, diligently and fairly.
2.1A A registered migration agent must not accept a person as a client if the agent would
have any of the following conflicts of interest:
(a) the agent has had previous dealings with the person, or intends to assist the
person, in the agent’s capacity as a marriage celebrant;
(b) the agent is, or intends to be, the employer, sponsor or nominator of the person in
a visa application or cancellation review application;
(c) the agent is, or intends to be, involved with the person in a business activity
that is relevant to the assessment of a visa application or cancellation review
application;
(d) there is any other interest of the agent that would affect the legitimate interests of
the client.
2.1B If it becomes apparent that a registered migration agent has a conflict of interest
mentioned in clause 2.1A in relation to a client, the agent must, as soon as practicable
taking into account the needs of the client, but in any case within 14 days:
(a) tell the client about the conflict of interest; and
(b) advise the client that, under the Code, the agent can no longer act for the client;
and
(c) advise the client about appointing another registered migration agent; and
(d) cease to deal with the client in the agent’s capacity as registered migration agent.
2.1C Part 10 of the Code then applies as if the client had terminated the registered
migration agent’s instructions.
2.1D A registered migration agent who has ceased to act for a client in accordance with
paragraph 2.1B (d), must, as soon as practicable, but in any case within 14 days,
inform the Department that he or she is no longer acting for the client.
2.2 If a registered migration agent:
(a) gives advice of a non-migration nature to a client in the course of giving
immigration assistance; and
(b) could receive a financial benefit because of the advice;
the agent must tell the client in writing, at the time the advice is requested or given,
that the agent may receive a financial benefit.
CODE OF CONDUCT for Migration Agents 4
PART 2
The Migration Institute of Australia Limited (ABN 83 003 409 390)
2.3 A registered migration agent’s professionalism must be reflected in a sound working
knowledge of the Migration Act and Migration Regulations, and other legislation
relating to migration procedure, and a capacity to provide accurate and timely advice.
2.3A A registered migration agent’s professionalism must be reflected in the making of
adequate arrangements to avoid financial loss to a client.
2.4 A registered migration agent must have due regard to a client’s dependence on the
agent’s knowledge and experience.
2.5 A registered migration agent must:
(a) take appropriate steps to maintain and improve his or her knowledge of the
current versions of:
(i) the Migration Act 1958; and
(ii) the Migration Regulations 1994; and
(iii) other legislation relating to migration procedure; and
(iv) portfolio policies and procedures; and
(b) either:
(i) maintain a professional library that includes those materials; or
(ii) if the agent’s employer, or the business in which he or she works,
maintains a professional library that includes those materials - take
responsibility for ensuring that he or she has access to the library.
Note 1: A comprehensive list of the materials mentioned in subparagraphs (a) (iii) and (iv) may be
obtained from the Professional Library page of the Authority’s web site (www.themara.com.au).
Note 2: A registered migration agent must satisfy the requirements for continuing professional
development set out in Schedule 1.
2.6 To the extent that a registered migration agent must take account of objective
criteria to make an application under the Migration Act or Migration Regulations,
he or she must be frank and candid about the prospects of success when assessing a
client’s request for assistance in preparing a case or making an application under the
Migration Act or Migration Regulations.
2.7 A registered migration agent who is asked by a client to give his or her opinion
about the probability of a successful outcome for the client’s application must not
hold out unsubstantiated or unjustified prospects of success when advising clients on
applications under the Migration Act or Migration Regulations.
CODE OF CONDUCT for Migration Agents 5
The Migration Institute of Australia Limited (ABN 83 003 409 390)
2.8 A registered migration agent must:
(a) within a reasonable time after agreeing to represent a client, confirm the client’s
instructions in writing to the client; and
(b) act in accordance with the client’s instructions; and
(c) keep the client fully and regularly informed in writing of the progress of each
case or application that the agent undertakes for the client; and
(d) within a reasonable time after the case or application is decided, tell the client in
writing of the outcome of the client’s case or application.
2.9 While a registered migration agent cannot be responsible for misinformation
provided by a client, the agent must not make statements in support of an application
under the Migration Act or Migration Regulations, or encourage the making of
statements, which he or she knows or believes to be misleading or inaccurate.
2.10 A registered migration agent must not engage in false or misleading advertising,
including advertising in relation to:
(a) the agent’s registration as a registered migration agent; or
(b) the implications of Government policy for the successful outcome of an
application under the Migration Act or Migration Regulations; or
(c) guaranteeing the success of an application.
Note: Advertising includes advertising on the Internet.
2.11 A registered migration agent must, when advertising:
(a) include in the advertisement the words “Migration Agents Registration Number”
or “MARN”, followed by the agent’s individual registration number; and
(b) if the agent is advertising in a language other than English — include in the
advertisement words in that other language equivalent to “Migration Agents
Registration Number” or “MARN”, followed by the agent’s individual
registration number.
Note 1: Advertising includes advertising on the Internet.
Note 2: Clause 2.12, which relates to implying a relationship with DIMIA or the Authority, also applies to
the registered migration agent’s advertising mentioned in clause 2.11.
2.12 A registered migration agent must not, when advertising, imply the existence of a
relationship with the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous
Affairs (the Department) or the Authority, for example by using terms such as:
(a) Australian Government registered; or
(b) Migration Agents Registration Authority registered; or
(c) DIMIA registered.
Note: Advertising includes advertising on the Internet.
2.13 A registered migration agent may indicate that he or she is registered, and may
describe what the registration process involves.
CODE OF CONDUCT for Migration Agents 6
The Migration Institute of Australia Limited (ABN 83 003 409 390)
2.14 However, a registered migration agent must not portray registration as involving a
special or privileged relationship with the Minister, officers of the Department or
the Authority, for example to obtain priority processing, or to imply that the agent
undertakes part or full processing for the Department.
2.14A A registered migration agent must not represent that he or she can procure a
particular decision for a client under the Migration Act or the Migration Regulations.
2.15 A registered migration agent must not intimidate or coerce any person for the benefit
of the agent or otherwise. For example, a registered migration agent must not engage
in any of the following:
(a) undue pressure;
(b) physical threats;
(c) manipulation of cultural or ethnic anxieties;
(d) threats to family members in Australia or overseas;
(e) untruthful claims of Departmental sanctions;
(f) discrimination on the grounds of religion, nationality, race, ethnicity, politics or
gender.
2.16 A registered migration agent with operations overseas may indicate that he or
she is registered in Australia, but must not create an impression that registration
involves accreditation by the Commonwealth Government for work overseas for the
Commonwealth or for a client.
2.17 If an application under the Migration Act or the Migration Regulations is vexatious
or grossly unfounded (for example, an application that has no hope of success) a
registered migration agent:
(a) must not encourage the client to lodge the application; and
(b) must advise the client in writing that, in the agent’s opinion, the application is
vexatious or grossly unfounded; and
(c) if the client still wishes to lodge the application - must obtain written
acknowledgment from the client of the advice given under paragraph (b).
Note: Under section 306AC of the Act, the Minister may refer a registered migration agent to the Authority
for disciplinary action if the agent has a high visa refusal rate in relation to a visa of a particular class.
2.18 A registered migration agent must act in a timely manner if the client has provided
all the necessary information and documentation in time for statutory deadlines. For
example, in most circumstances an application under the Migration Act or Migration
Regulations must be submitted before a person’s visa ceases to be in effect.
CODE OF CONDUCT for Migration Agents 7
The Migration Institute of Australia Limited (ABN 83 003 409 390)
2.19 Subject to a client’s instructions, a registered migration agent has a duty to provide
sufficient relevant information to the Department to allow a full assessment of all
the facts against the relevant criteria. For example, a registered migration agent
must avoid the submission of applications under the Migration Act or Migration
Regulations in a form that does not fully reflect the circumstances of the individual
and prejudices the prospect of approval.
2.20 A registered migration agent must:
(a) find out the correct amount of any visa application charge and all other fees or
charges required to be paid for a client’s visa application under the Migration Act
or the Migration Regulations; and
(b) tell the client the amount of each fee and charge; and
(c) if the agent is to pay an amount for the client - tell the client the date by which
the amount must be given to the agent so that the interests of the client are not
prejudiced; and
(d) give the client notice of each amount paid by the agent for the client.
2.21 A registered migration agent must not submit an application under the Migration
Act or Migration Regulations without the specified accompanying documentation.
For example, in a marriage case, threshold documentation would include a marriage
certificate and evidence that the sponsor is an Australian citizen, an Australian
permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen, without which assessment of
the case could not proceed (unless the agent has a reasonable excuse or the client has
requested the agent to act despite incomplete documentation).
2.23 A registered migration agent must take all reasonable steps to maintain the
reputation and integrity of the migration advice profession.
2.24 This Code is a responsive document that will change from time to time to meet the
needs of clients and to ensure the delivery of relevant, up to date advice.
CODE OF CONDUCT for Migration Agents 8
The Migration Institute of Australia Limited (ABN 83 003 409 390)
OBLIGATIONS TO CLIENTS
3.1 A registered migration agent has a duty to preserve the confidentiality of his or her
clients.
3.2 A registered migration agent must not disclose, or allow to be disclosed, confidential
information about a client or a client’s business without the client’s written consent,
unless required by law.
3.2A Before starting to work for a client, a registered migration agent must:
(a) provide the client with a copy of Information on the Regulation of the Migration
Advice Profession; and
(b) make a record that the copy has been provided.
Note: Information on the Regulation of the Migration Advice Profession is a document produced by the
Authority with information about the migration advice profession, the functions of the Authority, the
legislation regulating the profession, what a client can reasonably expect from a registered migration
agent, and complaint procedures.
3.3 A registered migration agent must inform clients that they are entitled to receive
copies of the application under the Migration Act or Migration Regulations and any
related documents if they want copies. The agent may charge a reasonable amount
for any copies provided.
3.4 A registered migration agent must have an address and telephone number where the
agent can be contacted during normal business hours.
3.5 If a registered migration agent changes his or her address, telephone number or any
other details that are recorded on the Register of Migration Agents, the agent must
give notice to the Department, the Authority, any review authority and all current
clients of the agent:
(a) in advance; or
(b) not later than 7 days after the change or changes if advance notice would be
unreasonable in the circumstances.
3.6 A registered migration agent must ensure that clients have access to an interpreter if
necessary.
CODE OF CONDUCT for Migration Agents 9
PART 3
The Migration Institute of Australia Limited (ABN 83 003 409 390)
RELATIONS BETWEEN
REGISTERED MIGRATION AGENTS
4.1 Before accepting immigration work, a registered migration agent must consider
whether he or she is qualified to give the advice sought by the client. If the agent is
unsure, he or she must seek the appropriate advice or assistance, or refer the matter
to another registered migration agent.
4.2 A referral may be made, for example, if a registered migration agent is asked for
advice on matters for which he or she does not regularly provide immigration
assistance.
4.3 A registered migration agent must not encourage another agent’s client to use the
first agent’s services, for example by denigrating other agents or offering services
that the first agent cannot, or does not intend to, provide.
4.4 A registered migration agent must not take over work from another registered
migration agent unless he or she receives from the client a copy of written notice by
the client to the other agent that the other agent’s services are no longer needed.
4.5 A registered migration agent must act with fairness, honesty and courtesy when
dealing with other registered migration agents.
4.6 A registered migration agent who gives a written undertaking to another registered
migration agent must make sure the undertaking is performed within a reasonable
time, if possible.
CODE OF CONDUCT for Migration Agents 10
PART 4
The Migration Institute of Australia Limited (ABN 83 003 409 390)
FEES AND CHARGES
5.1 There is no statutory scale of fees. However, a registered migration agent must set
and charge a fee that is reasonable in the circumstances of the case.
5.2 A registered migration agent must:
(a) before starting work for a client, give the client:
(i) an estimate of fees in the form of charges for each hour or each service,
and disbursements that the agent is likely to incur as part of the work; and
(ii) an estimate of the time likely to be taken in performing a service; and
(b) as soon as possible after receiving instructions, obtain written acceptance by the
client, if possible, of the terms of the work to be done; and
(c) give the client written confirmation of the terms of the service to be rendered; and
(d) give the client written notice of any material change to the estimated cost of
providing a service, and the total likely cost because of the change, as soon as the
agent becomes aware of the likelihood of a change occurring.
5.3 A registered migration agent:
(a) must not carry out work in a manner that unnecessarily increases the cost to the
client; and
(b) must, if outside expertise is to be engaged and the client agrees, fully inform the
client of the likely extra cost; and
(c) must, especially if a solicitor or barrister, warn clients of possible delays and
likely cost involved in pursuing a particular course of action before tribunals and
in the courts, for example:
(i) any need to engage and pay expert witnesses;
(ii) the need to meet legal costs if a case were lost;
(iii) the need to pay Departmental fees and charges;
(iv) the need to pay translation and interpreter fees and charges.
5.4 A registered migration agent must advise clients of the method of payment of fees
and charges, including Departmental fees and charges.
CODE OF CONDUCT for Migration Agents 11
PART 5
The Migration Institute of Australia Limited (ABN 83 003 409 390)
5.5 A registered migration agent must be aware of the effect of section 313 of the Act,
and act on the basis that:
(a) the agent is not entitled to be paid a fee or other reward for giving immigration
assistance to a client unless the agent gives the client a statement of services; and
(b) a statement of services must set out:
(i) particulars of each service performed; and
(ii) the charge made in respect of each such service; and
(c) a client is entitled by the Act to recover the amount of a payment as a debt due to
him or her if he or she:
(i) made the payment to the agent for giving immigration assistance; and
(ii) did not receive a statement of services before making the payment; and
(iii) does not receive a statement of services within 28 days after a final
decision is made about the visa application, cancellation review
application, nomination or sponsorship to which the immigration
assistance related.
CODE OF CONDUCT for Migration Agents 12
The Migration Institute of Australia Limited (ABN 83 003 409 390)
RECORD KEEPING AND MANAGEMENT
6.1 A registered migration agent must maintain proper records that can be made
available for inspection on request by the Authority, including files containing:
(a) a copy of each client’s application; and
(b) copies of each written communication between:
(i) the client and the agent; and
(ii) the agent and any relevant statutory authority; and
(c) file notes of every substantive or material oral communication between:
(i) the client and the agent; and
(ii) the agent and an official of any relevant statutory authority.
6.1A A registered migration agent must keep the records mentioned in clause 6.1 for a
period of 7 years after the date of the last action on the file for the client.
6.2 A registered migration agent must keep all documents to which a client is entitled
securely and in a way that will ensure confidentiality while the agent is giving
services to the client and until the earlier of:
(a) 7 years after the date of the last action on the file for the client; or
(b) when the documents are given to the client or dealt with in accordance with the
client’s written instructions.
Note: On the completion or termination of services, all documents to which a client is entitled are to be
dealt with in accordance with Part 10.
6.2A For clause 6.2, the documents to which a client is entitled include (but are not
limited to) documents that are:
(a) provided by, or on behalf of, the client; and
(b) paid for by, or on behalf of, the client; such as passports, birth certificates,
qualifications, photographs and other personal documents.
6.3 A registered migration agent must respond to a request for information from the
Authority within a reasonable time specified by the Authority.
6.4 A registered migration agent must act on the basis that the agent’s electronic
communications are part of the agent’s records and documents.
CODE OF CONDUCT for Migration Agents 13
PART 6
The Migration Institute of Australia Limited (ABN 83 003 409 390)
FINANCIAL DUTIES
7.1 A registered migration agent must keep separate accounts with a financial institution
for:
(a) the agent’s operating expenses (the operating account); and
(b) money paid by clients to the agent for fees and disbursements (the clients’ account).
7.1A The words ‘clients’ account’ must be included in the name of the financial institution
account mentioned in paragraph 7.1 (b).
7.2 A registered migration agent must hold, in the clients’ account, an amount of money
paid by a client for an agreed block of work until:
(a) the agent has completed the services that comprise the block of work; and
(b) an invoice has been issued to the client for the services.
7.3 The registered migration agent may, at any time, withdraw money from the clients’
account for disbursements that are required to be paid to the Department, or any
other agency, for the client.
7.4 A registered migration agent must keep records of the clients’ account, including:
(a) the date and amount of each deposit made to the clients’ account, including
an indication of the purpose of the deposit and the client on whose behalf the
deposit is made; and
(b) the date and amount of each withdrawal made in relation to an individual client,
and the name of each recipient of money that was withdrawn; and
(c) receipts for any payments made by the client to the agent; and
(d) copies of invoices or accounts rendered in relation to the account.
7.5 A registered migration agent must make available for inspection on request by the
Authority:
(a) records of the clients’ account; and
(b) records of each account into which money paid by a client to the agent for fees
and disbursements has been deposited.
CODE OF CONDUCT for Migration Agents 14
PART 7
The Migration Institute of Australia Limited (ABN 83 003 409 390)
7.6 If a registered migration agent provides a service to a client on the basis of a
conditional refund policy, a ‘no win, no fee’ policy or an undertaking to similar
effect:
(a) the agent must have sufficient funds available to be able to cover any amount that
the agent may become liable to pay to the client under the policy or undertaking;
and
(b) the agent must meet that obligation by:
(i) keeping funds in the clients’ account; or
(ii) keeping a security bond; or
(iii) maintaining adequate insurance.
7.7 Nothing in clause 7.1, 7.1A, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4 or 7.6 affects the duty of a registered
migration agent, who is also a legal practitioner and who acts in that capacity, to deal
with clients’ funds in accordance with the relevant law relating to legal practitioners.
CODE OF CONDUCT for Migration Agents 15
The Migration Institute of Australia Limited (ABN 83 003 409 390)
DUTIES OF REGISTERED MIGRATION AGENTS
TO EMPLOYEES
8.1 A registered migration agent has a duty to exercise effective control of his or her
office for the purpose of giving immigration advice and assistance.
8.2 A registered migration agent must properly supervise the work carried out by staff
for the agent.
8.3 All immigration assistance must be given by a registered migration agent unless the
assistance is permitted under section 280 of the Migration Act.
8.4 A registered migration agent must make all employees, including those not involved
in giving immigration assistance (for example receptionists and typists), familiar
with the Code, for example by:
(a) displaying the Code prominently in the agent’s office;
(b) establishing procedures to ensure that employees become familiar with the Code
including supplying employees with copies of the Code.
8.5 A registered migration agent must ensure that his or her employees are of good
character and act consistently with the Code in the course of their employment.
CODE OF CONDUCT for Migration Agents 16
PART 8
The Migration Institute of Australia Limited (ABN 83 003 409 390)
COMPLAINTS
9.1 A registered migration agent must respond properly to a complaint by a person
(whether or not the person is a client) about the work or services carried out by the
agent or the agent’s employee.
9.2 A registered migration agent must submit to the procedures for mediation as
recommended by the Authority about handling and resolving complaints by the
client against the agent.
9.3 If the Authority gives a registered migration agent details of a complaint made to the
Authority about:
(a) the work or services carried out by the agent or the agent’s employees; or
(b) any other matter relating to the agent’s compliance with this Code –
the agent must respond properly to the Authority, within a reasonable time specified
by the Authority when it gives the details to the agent.
CODE OF CONDUCT for Migration Agents 17
PART 9
The Migration Institute of Australia Limited (ABN 83 003 409 390)
TERMINATION OF SERVICES
10.1 A registered migration agent must complete services as instructed by a client unless:
(a) the agent and client agree otherwise; or
(b) the client terminates the agent’s instructions; or
(c) the agent terminates the contract for just cause and gives reasonable written
notice to the client.
10.1A For paragraph 10.1 (c), a written notice must state:
(a) that the agent ceases to act for the client; and
(b) the date from which the agent ceases to act; and
(c) the terms of any arrangements made in respect of appointing another registered
migration agent.
10.1B Within 7 days of giving the written notice, the agent must:
(a) update the client’s file to reflect the current status of each case or application
undertaken by the agent for the client; and
(b) deliver all documents to which the client is entitled to the client or to the
appointed registered migration agent; and
(c) ensure that all financial matters have been dealt with as specified in the contract.
10.2 A client is entitled to ask a registered migration agent (orally or in writing) to return
any document that belongs to the client. The agent must return the document within
7 days after being asked.
10.3 Australian passports, and most foreign passports, are the property of the issuing
Government and must not be withheld.
10.4 A registered migration agent must not withhold a document that belongs to a client,
as part of a claim that the agent has a right to withhold a document by a lien over it,
unless the agent holds a current legal practising certificate issued by an Australian
body authorised by law to issue it.
10.5 On completion of services, a registered migration agent must, if asked by the client,
give to the client all the documents:
(a) given to the agent by the client; or
(b) for which the client has paid.
CODE OF CONDUCT for Migration Agents 18
PART 10
The Migration Institute of Australia Limited (ABN 83 003 409 390)
10.6 If the client terminates the instructions, a registered migration agent must take all
reasonable steps to deliver all documents quickly to the client or any other person
nominated by the client in writing. If the agent claims a lien on any documents, the
agent must take action to quantify the amount claimed and tell the client in a timely
manner.
Note 1: Only registered migration agents who hold a current legal practising certificate issued by an
Australian body authorised by law to issue it are able to claim a lien on any client documents.
Note 2: A document includes an application, nomination, sponsorship, statement, declaration, affidavit,
certificate or certified copy. See Acts Interpretation Act 1901 s 25, Migration Regulations
regulation 5.01.
CODE OF CONDUCT for Migration Agents 19
The Migration Institute of Australia Limited (ABN 83 003 409 390)
CLIENT AWARENESS OF THE CODE
11.1 A registered migration agent must ensure that at least 1 copy of the Code is
displayed prominently in:
(a) any waiting room or waiting area that is:
(i) at the agent’s place of business; and
(ii) used by clients; and
(b) any office or room in which the agent conducts business with clients.
11.2 A registered migration agent must ensure that a client who asks to see the Code can
be supplied immediately with 1 copy for the client to keep.
11.3 Each contract made between a registered migration agent and a client must:
(a) include a statement about the existence and purpose of the Code; and
(b) guarantee that the client can obtain a copy of the Code, on request, from the
agent.
11.4 A registered migration agent who has an Internet web site must provide a link to the
copy of the Code that is displayed on the Authority’s web site.
CODE OF CONDUCT for Migration Agents 20
PART 11
The Migration Institute of Australia Limited (ABN 83 003 409 390)
Notes to the
Migration Agents Regulations 1998
Note 1
The Migration Agents Regulations 1998 (in force under the Migration Act 1958) as shown in this
reprint comprise Statutory Rules 1998 No.53 amended as indicated in the Tables below.
Table of Statutory Rules
Year and number Date of notification Date of commencement Application, saving or
in Gazette/FRLI transitional provisions
1998 No. 53 1 Apr 1998 R. 6 and Schedule 1:21
Jan 1999:
Remainder: 1 April 1998
1999 No. 69 7 May 1999 1 July 1999
2000 No. 64 4 May 2000 1 July 2000
2000 No. 309 23 Nov 2000 23 Nov 2000
2001 No. 143 20 June 2001 1 July 2001
2002 No. 346 20 December 2002 1 March 2003
2004 No. 129 18 June 2004 1 July 2004 (see r. 2 and
Gazette 2004, No. GN23)
2004 No. 391 23 Dec 2004 Rr. 1-3 and Schedule 1: 2
Apr 2005
Remainder: (see r. 2 (b))
2005 No. 1 15 June 2005* 1 July 2005 (see r.3 and
Schedule 1.)
*Denotes the date of registration on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments (FRLI)
Table of Amendments
ad. = added or inserted am. = amended rep. = repealed rs. = repealed and substituted
Provision affected How affected
Schedule 2 am. 1999 No. 69
Schedule 2 am. 2000 No. 64 & 309
Schedule 2 am. 2001 No. 143
Schedule 2 am. 2002 No. 346
Schedule 2 am. 2004 No. 129
Schedule 2 am 2004 No. 391
Schedule 2 am. 2005 No. 1
Notes
1. These Regulations amend Statutory Rules 1998 No. 53, as amended by 1999 No. 69; 2000 Nos.
64 and 309; 2001 No. 143; 2002 No. 346; 2004 No. 129; am 2004 No. 391; 2005 No.1.
2. Notified in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette on 20 December 2002.
The Migration Institute of Australia Limited (ABN 83 003 409 390)
CODE OF CONDUCT for Migration Agents 21
Clients of Registered Migration Agents should be aware of the
following provisions of the Migration Act 1958.
Section 313 Persons charged for services to be given detailed statement of services.
(1) A registered migration agent is not entitled to be paid a fee or other reward for
giving immigration assistance to another person (the assisted person) unless the
agent gives the person a statement of services.
(2) A statement of services must set out:
(a) particulars of each service performed; and
(b) the charge made in respect of each such service.
(3) An assisted person may recover the amount of a payment as a debt due to him or her
if he or she:
(a) made the payment to a registered migration agent for giving immigration
assistance; and
(b) did not receive a statement of services before making the payment; and
(c) does not receive a statement of services within the period worked out in
accordance with the regulations.
(4) This section does not apply to the giving of immigration legal assistance by a lawyer.
Section 314 Code of Conduct for migration agents
(1) The regulations may prescribe a Code of Conduct for migration agents.
(2) A registered migration agent must conduct himself or herself in accordance with the
prescribed Code of Conduct.
Regulation 7I of the Migration Agents Regulations 1998
For paragraph 313 (3) (c) of the Act, the period is 28 days after the decision, in relation to the
immigration assistance, is made about:
(a) a visa application; or
(b) a cancellation review application ; or
(c) a nomination or sponsorship application; or
(d) a request to the Minister to exercise his or her power under section 351, 391, 417
or 454 of the Act.
CODE OF CONDUCT for Migration Agents 22
The Migration Institute of Australia Limited (ABN 83 003 409 390)
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