How can I protect myself from dishonest migration agents?

Somebody pretending to be a migration agent might give you false or misleading information to take advantage of your desire to travel to Australia. If you become a victim of fraud, you could lose your life savings, have your identity stolen, or your visa (if granted) cancelled.

There are a number of warning signs you should look out for:

  • They do not advertise a Migration Agents Registration Number (MARN). You can find the number and check their registration by using the search page at the Authority's website.
  • They ask you to pay up front in cash and provide no receipt.
  • The fee seems extremely high (the Authority lists average charges by registered agents on its website).
  • They do not give you a contract or statement of services and fees.
  • They ask to meet in a public place rather than at their office address.
  • They supply only a post office box or mobile phone number.
  • They claim that:
    • they can ‘guarantee’ you a visa
    • this is a once in a lifetime opportunity or your only chance to get a visa
    • they have a ‘special’ relationship with us
    • they need to keep the original of your passport, birth certificate or marriage certificate.

It is easy for criminals to create websites that look professional and generate emails and brochures that appear to be from legitimate sources. Examples of this are on our website.

Some websites offering visa services have been designed to look like official Australian Government websites. They do not represent us or the Australian Government and do not have any influence on visa decisions.

Frequently Asked Questions