Since early 2016, the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) has sanctioned 18 registered migration agents for serious unprofessional and unethical conduct by those agents. This is a significant increase in the number of sanction decisions taken by the OMARA and sends a clear message that the full range of powers open to the regulatory Authority will be used to address unprofessional and unethical conduct.
Registered migration agents represent vulnerable consumers and the OMARA seeks to protect consumers by imposing sanctions such as cancellation of registration, suspension or imposing a caution where the conduct of an agent does not meet the required professional standards.
In taking firm action against registered agents who fail to meet the required professional standards, the OMARA is also protecting the reputation of agents who provide valuable and ethical professional service to their clients.
While the number of sanction decisions made this year is evidence of the increased focus on addressing these concerns as quickly as possible, many matters before the OMARA are complex. Considerable investigation must be undertaken to establish the required level of evidence to make a sanction decision.