Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority

Complaint outcomes

Non-disciplinary action

We do not always take disciplinary action against an agent when there is a complaint against them. This may be because:

  • the complaint does not have merit.
  • the agent has solved the dispute to your satisfaction and to our satisfaction (for example, by returning documents.).
  • the agent has committed a minor breach of the Code of Conduct and we have written to remind them of their obligations and given them an opportunity to improve their practice.
  • we have referred your complaint for investigation. This could be to:
    • another area of the Department of Home Affairs—in the case of migration fraud or unregistered practice.
    • the Police—for criminal matters
    • the Office of the Legal Services Commissioner—for matters involving lawyers that do not relate to immigration work.

Disciplinary action

For very serious complaints, we have the power to discipline an agent if we are satisfied the agent has breached the Code of Conduct, is not a person of integrity, or is not a fit and proper person to give immigration assistance.

We can discipline agents in different ways. We can, for example, issue a caution, or suspend or cancel the agent’s registration. We can also bar an agent from registering for a period of up to five years.

It is serious when we caution, suspend or cancel an agent’s registration. We can only reinstate it after certain conditions are met, as listed in this table.

Action outcome

Details

Can the agent continue to practice?

Caution

 

  • caution is the least severe action
  • public reprimand issued to an agent where conduct is serious but not so severe that it warrants suspension or cancellation of registration
  • conditions may be set by the Authority and the agent must satisfy these before we lift the caution 

Yes

Suspension

  • suspension of registration is a severe action
  • conditions may be set by the Authority and the suspended agent cannot provide immigration assistance to any client until the suspension has ended and the agent has provided us with evidence that they are meeting any conditions imposed

No

Cancellation

  • cancellation of registration is the most severe action
  • a decision to cancel an agent’s registration means their name is removed from the Register of Migration Agents and they cannot seek re-registration for five years
  • a cancelled agent cannot provide immigration assistance

No

Bar

  • bar a former agent from being a registered migration agent for up to five years

No

 

Once we have made a disciplinary decision we publish it on the OMARA website and note it against the agent’s details on the Register of Migration Agents.
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