01 July 2009

New regulator for the Australia migration advice profession

The new Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) officially started as the regulator of the Australian migration advice profession today.

The Office of the MARA will regulate the activities of the Australia migration advice profession to provide consumers with appropriate protection and assurance.

The new office replaces the system established in 1998 where the migration advice profession was regulated by the Migration Institute of Australia (MIA).

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, announced in February that the new body would be established.

"It is important that the community has confidence in the professionalism and integrity of migration agents. The new Office of the MARA will provide that confidence and remove concerns about potential conflicts of interest.

"I'm pleased the transition to the current arrangements has been smooth and well received by industry, community and consumers."

The office will be led by Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) senior executive Christine Sykes. It will be supported by an advisory board, which will include a representative of the MIA, the Law Council of Australia (LCA), the community and a consumer advocate.

The board's role is to provide the office's management team with advice and information from a broad range of perspectives. The members of the advisory board will be announced soon.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people emigrating to Australia.

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