Creating a world class migration advice industry
The submission to the Department of Home Affairs in response to its Migration Advice Industry Reform Discussion Paper ‘Creating a world class migration advice industry’ was prepared by the Migration Law Committee (the Committee) of the Federal Litigation and Dispute Resolution Section of the Law Council of Australia.
Australia is an economically and culturally diverse nation which has, since the end of World War II, encouraged and supported a large migration program. This is reflected in the range of permanent migration opportunities presently available within the broad migration policy categories of skilled, family, special eligibility migration and humanitarian migration.
In addition to permanent migration, Australia also provides significant opportunities for temporary entry to Australia under many specific visa categories, in broad areas such as: studying and training; family and spousal; and working and skilled visa programs.
The size, diversity, and economic and social objectives of Australia’s migration program are underpinned by a necessarily detailed legal and administrative framework. By its very nature, immigration predominantly involves people with a limited knowledge of Australian law, and of administrative and legal procedure, (often) limited financial resources and (often) limited proficiency in the English language.
There is a very high degree of information asymmetry in migration matters between the Australian Government and migrants. Because of this, while recognising that many in the industry act with due care and diligence, users of immigration assistance services have high vulnerability to the adverse consequences of those services which fall short of these standards.
The Committee therefore supports strong and effective regulation of the migration advice sector to maintain the integrity of the migration system and to protect the interests of users of migration agent services.
You can read the full submission below.