01 Aug Cost of Obtaining a Visa
As anyone who has sought the advice of professionals to carry out the task of obtaining a visa will know, the cost can vary significantly between various agents or agencies. Having said that, any potential client should ensure that the deal with a person who is a Registered Australian Migration Agent, their registration can be checked by going to https://www.mara.gov.au/search-the-register-of-migration-agents/. You can also check if any disciplinary action has been taken against them.
What never ceases to amaze me from week to week in our migration practice is the amount of potential clients who advise us that they have been quoted or have previously paid a professional amount which is anywhere between 3 to 10 times our fee. Our professional fee is separate from any Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) cost or third party fee, and we make sure that the person making an enquiry is aware of this difference when discussing the issue.
In my view, there is no justification for overcharging in this field. The DIBP fee is substantial for many visa categories without paying a professional fee, which is way over the top. A guide to some common agent fees can be found on The Migration Agents Registration Authority website at https://www.mara.gov.au/using-an-agent/working-with-your-agent/agent-fees/.
Of course, agent fees in Australia are subject to GST. However if overseas clients engage an agent in Australia, they are not liable for say VAT or GST.