Migration Law

Migration Agent Registration

Alex Makore (MARA registration number 1688711) is an experienced lawyer and registered migration agent.


Deciding to move to another country whether to study, work or to live permanently is a very big step in your life.

Applying for a visa can be daunting given the complex visa application process especially navigating your way around visa classes, subclasses and supporting documentation. Australia is renowned for having strict immigration controls and processes in place to maintain a tight control over movement in and out of the country.  There is no room for error, which is why more people prefer to use the services of a registered migration agent. Visa applicants who handle their visa applications themselves often make small mistakes that can have a huge impact on their visa outcome, ruining long-term life plans.

Ellery Brookman provides high quality immigration services to businesses, families and individuals. Our comprehensive visa and immigration services include immigration advice from a registered migration agent, document checking and visa processing.

We assist clients with all skilled visa applications, family stream visa applications, including applicants applying for married spouse visas, de facto partner visas, same sex partner visas, student visas and parent migration visas.

The Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority website has a copy of the Code of Conduct which regulates the conduct of registered migration agents.

How much will it cost to use a Migration Agent?

Registered migration agents can only charge you a fee that is fair and reasonable. The fees charged by migration agents vary depending on:

  • the type of visa you are applying for
  • the level of service you want
  • the experience and qualifications of the agent. If your agent is a lawyer, a specialist, or has many years of experience, their fees might be higher.

You can find a table of average fees charged by registered migration agents for common visa types on the Migration Agents Registration Authority’s website. See the below link for this information.


Q: Do I need to use a migration agent to lodge my application?

A: You do not need to use a migration agent to lodge a visa application. However, if you choose to use an agent, we recommend that you use a registered migration agent. It all comes down to your individual circumstances, the complexity of your case and your ability to understand the application process.

A migration agent cannot improperly influence the outcome or fast-track the processing of your application or guarantee you a visa. The benefit of using an Australian registered migration agent however is that we are familiar with Australia’s ever-changing migration laws and processes. If you make a crucial error on your visa application then not only could it be rejected, you also stand to lose thousands of dollars, because in most cases your application fee is non-refundable.

Q: I am a business manager or owner and would like to sponsor or nominate one of my employees to remain in Australia – what can I do?

Employers can sponsor or nominate a foreign worker for either a temporary or permanent visa in Australia. The temporary 457 visa may be granted for a period of up to 4 years and requires that the visa holder only works for the sponsoring business. A business must first apply to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to become an approved sponsor (valid for 3 years), and can then nominate as many employees as their business requires. The sponsored employee must work in an occupation required in Australia and there are requirements that both the employer and employee must satisfy. Employers can also nominate a person for a permanent residency visa under the Employer Nomination Scheme.

Q: I have been in Australia for a long time and have not travelled. What do I need to do to show I am a permanent resident so I can travel outside Australia and get back in?

A:  Generally, once you are granted an Australian permanent residency visa, this visa will allow you to travel in and out of Australia for a period of 5 years from the date of grant. This does not mean that you are only allowed to lawfully remain in Australia for 5 years.  You are lawfully allowed to remain in Australia indefinitely as a permanent resident as long as you arrive in Australia before your current permanent residency visa expires.

However, the travel facility on your permanent residency visa does expire after 5 years from the date of the grant of your permanent residency visa. If you want to travel overseas after your travel facility has expired, then you will need to obtain a Resident Return visa assuming that you have not obtained Australian citizenship in the meantime.

Q: I am in a same-sex de facto relationship – am I eligible for a partner visa?

A: Yes, same-sex couples are eligible to apply for a partner visa. You would need to demonstrate to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection that you are in a long-term, exclusive, committed and genuine relationship. 

Q:  I would like to apply for a de facto Partner visa but my partner and I have not lived together for 12 months – is that okay?

A: To be granted a Partner visa as a de facto partner, you and your sponsor must show that that you have been in a committed de facto relationship for the entire 12 months immediately prior to lodging your application. The 12 month period is assessed from the time the relationship became a de facto partner relationship and not from the time you first met.

Q: How long can I stay in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa?

A: A Working Holiday visa gives you 12 months to travel to Australia from the date the visa is granted, and allows you to stay in Australia for 12 months from the date you first enter Australia. You can leave and re-enter Australia within the 12 months from the date of initial entry to Australia. However, if you depart Australia during your 12 month stay, you are not able to recover in any way the period of time spent outside Australia.

Q:  Do I have to lodge my passport with my application?

A:  Passports are not required to make a valid application. A copy of your passport bio page is sufficient to make a valid application.