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Old Aug 25th 2017, 2:01 am   #1
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Default Thinking of using an Immigration Agent

I am in Australia currently on a Tourist Visa. I need to wait for that to expire at which point I can put in my Application for a Spouse Visa. I had intended to do this myself, however my application isn't quite straightforward so I am looking at going though an Immigration Agent.

I have spoken to a couple, but didn't feel that they had much experience. I mean they might, I just didn't feel that it would be worth the money. Also the cost of the initial chat was extortionate. This move has cost so much money, much more than I had anticipated and money is a bit tight.

Can I have your thoughts please on whether you think it is worth going through an Immigration Agent and if anybody could recommend an agent rather than just an agency, I would really appreciate it.

Equally, if you think it's all a racket and you successfully did yours yourself, I would love to hear how that was.

Thanks.
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Old Aug 25th 2017, 12:49 pm   #2
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Default Re: Thinking of using an Immigration Agent

An agent may be needed in a complex case. Do your research. If everything looks very straightforward then go for it. If you are at all unsure, then it is perfectly sensible to seek professional advice.

While you can save a lot of money by doing it yourself, if things go wrong, then you could burn a lot more money.

You might get someone here telling you to go for it who has absolutely no details on the specifics of your case - such advice is highly irresponsible.

In legal proceedings, would you seek the help of a legal professional or take on the job yourself?

If you do seek professional advice, always check to make sure the agent is MARA registered, and that way you will have a degree of confidence, and a recourse to action if they don't live up to your expectations.

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Last edited by Richard_Gregan; Aug 25th 2017 at 12:56 pm.
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Old Aug 25th 2017, 6:43 pm   #3
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Default Re: Thinking of using an Immigration Agent

The vast majority of BE members suggest exactly what you have Richard - if someone has a case that's not straightforward, or if they don't have the confidence or time to do their own application, then a MARA agent's the way to go.
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Old Aug 25th 2017, 6:47 pm   #4
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Default Re: Thinking of using an Immigration Agent

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaLaLayla View Post
I am in Australia currently on a Tourist Visa. I need to wait for that to expire at which point I can put in my Application for a Spouse Visa. I had intended to do this myself, however my application isn't quite straightforward so I am looking at going though an Immigration Agent.

I have spoken to a couple, but didn't feel that they had much experience. I mean they might, I just didn't feel that it would be worth the money. Also the cost of the initial chat was extortionate. This move has cost so much money, much more than I had anticipated and money is a bit tight.

Can I have your thoughts please on whether you think it is worth going through an Immigration Agent and if anybody could recommend an agent rather than just an agency, I would really appreciate it.

Equally, if you think it's all a racket and you successfully did yours yourself, I would love to hear how that was.

Thanks.
Other MARA agents who post regularly on BE are TMI and Allan Collett. You can find their contact details by searching the members list. I did my own application so haven't used them, but have seen many recommendations on BE for their services.
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Old Aug 25th 2017, 10:29 pm   #5
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Default Re: Thinking of using an Immigration Agent

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaLaLayla View Post
I am in Australia currently on a Tourist Visa. I need to wait for that to expire at which point I can put in my Application for a Spouse Visa.
You need to file the application BEFORE the tourist visa expires. If you wait until it has expired then you will be in the country unlawfully - not a good idea at all. You should apply while you still hold a valid visa.
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Old Aug 25th 2017, 11:03 pm   #6
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Default Re: Thinking of using an Immigration Agent

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Originally Posted by Pollyana View Post
You need to file the application BEFORE the tourist visa expires. If you wait until it has expired then you will be in the country unlawfully - not a good idea at all. You should apply while you still hold a valid visa.
First thing I thought.
If you do not understand this you need an agent. Why do you think you should wait until your tourist visa expires.

If it has a no further stay condition then you cannot apply inside Australia you must leave and apply from outside. If it doesn't then you must apply before it expires in order to get a bridging visa to allow you to stay.
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Old Aug 26th 2017, 12:15 am   #7
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Default Re: Thinking of using an Immigration Agent

Thanks for your replies. It was actually an Immigration Agent who told me I have to wait for my Tourist Visa to expire!
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Old Aug 26th 2017, 12:18 am   #8
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Default Re: Thinking of using an Immigration Agent

Does it have a no further stay condition attached? It should be clear in the wording somewhere. If so the agent is correct, but you must leave Australia before it expires. If you remain in Australia unlawfully you may encounter problems with any future visa applications.
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Old Aug 26th 2017, 12:20 am   #9
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Default Re: Thinking of using an Immigration Agent

Quote:
Originally Posted by rammygirl View Post
Does it have a no further stay condition attached? It should be clear in the wording somewhere. If so the agent is correct, but you must leave Australia before it expires. If you remain in Australia unlawfully you may encounter problems with any future visa applications.
No it doesn't. Can I apply now? Whilst the Tourist Visa is still live?

Also, can somebody give me an idea of how much a a good Immigration Agent charges for the whole thing?

Thank you.
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Old Aug 26th 2017, 12:36 am   #10
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Default Re: Thinking of using an Immigration Agent

It is possible you did not understand the agent, the process would be to apply before your current visa expires. Then you will be granted a tourist visa until the partner visa is finalised. But the bridging visa will not start until your tourist visa expires.

The visa itself costs a few thousand dollars. Have you read all the information on the gov website?
http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1?SRCHIntent=9811e37b-9ad0-415e-88bc-38b1225b94bf&SRCHQ6=b1d61254-6172-47ac-baaf-f6538fe4597b&SRCHQ7=c268a914-c792-411e-b150-5d1f64010d9f&mode=search&sheader=pnlPopularIntent: The+visa+type+I+want+is:Permanent+resident+(PR)~Q6 :The+type+of+visa+I+want+is:Partner+or+spouse~Q7:W hen+they+apply+the+applicant+will+be:In+Australia
Any of the agents who post on here should be able to help you, it is hard to estimate cost without knowing your situation. Some have been listed in a post above.

How long do you have left on your current visa? Do you meet the requirements for the partner visa?

Last edited by rammygirl; Aug 26th 2017 at 12:39 am.
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Old Aug 26th 2017, 5:16 am   #11
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Default Re: Thinking of using an Immigration Agent

Hi rammygirl, I have 4 weeks left on my Tourist Visa.

Yes, I believe I do meet the requirements. My husband of 10 years is Australian and we have 2 children who are the biological children of both of us.
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Old Aug 26th 2017, 5:41 am   #12
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Default Re: Thinking of using an Immigration Agent

Why do you consider your application complex then?

Better get a move on if you want to stay in Australia!
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Old Aug 26th 2017, 5:48 am   #13
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Default Re: Thinking of using an Immigration Agent

I will. Thanks everyone, I am glad I asked now.
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Old Aug 26th 2017, 5:54 am   #14
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Default Re: Thinking of using an Immigration Agent

Just noticed a previous post of mine which I cannot now edit was wrong. It should have said you will be granted a BRIDGING visa not a TOURIST visa if you lodge a valid application before your current visa runs out. The link didn't copy very well either!
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Old Aug 26th 2017, 5:57 am   #15
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Default Re: Thinking of using an Immigration Agent

Remembering your previous posts - maybe you are confused by the Bridging Visa? That will not take effect until the tourist visa expires, but you must apply for the Partner visa while the tourist visa is still valid.
Also you will need to be able to prove that your children are Australian, especially as they are currently here as tourists, so get the paperwork for them sorted asap.
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