Migration advice by education agents not a significant issue?

The Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Migration has received several written submissions in relation to its inquiry into the efficacy of the current regulation of migration agents. Submission number 39 is shown under the name ‘International Student Education Agents Association’ (ISEAA) and includes the following passages (emphasis added).

‘ … The [Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF)] and stricter interpretations of the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) criteria have made the student visa application process more lengthy and complicated for both students and education agents. The visa application’s Statement of Purpose (SOP) is an open document completed by the student that requires their reasons for coming to Australia to study, their plans post-study with regards to post-graduate work rights or their plans to return to their country of origin. It is important to understand that international students coming to Australia are generally second language speakers and need translation and other professional assistance in preparing the statement.

Genuine students preparing their visa applications without the assistance of education agents are often turned away for not completing their applications correctly. Due to a lack of training and transparency in GTE regulation, many students do face refusals even with the assistance of agents

Agents are critical for students of all kinds, even students looking to take on short English courses are now required to submit lengthy visa applications and justify why they wish to travel to Australia for their studies. Rather than focusing on penalising education agents for assisting students with the student visa enquiries, ISEAA advocates more training and resources are provided to improve the quality of visa applications…

The majority of education agents do not provide migration advice…

Students need guidance on what the intention of the SOP is and how to approach it. This would be covered, for example, by passing on information from the Home Affairs website, communicating the conditions required of the student to remain compliant on their visa and how it relates to their study…

ISEAA has a number members who are both education and migration agents. It is our belief that educations agents giving migration advice is not a significant issue, although it should be monitored and be kept as part of the dialogue with government and industry…

ISEAA recommends that each education agent have a formal agreement with a registered migration agent, to who they can refer cases to when they become matters of migration beyond a student visa’.

 


Disclaimer: the above is a mere reproduction of some passages of a written submission. The views expressed in that submission might not reflect the view of the Department, the AAT or the courts. The law or policies might have changed between the writing and reading of this article. The author of this article and Migration Law Updates disclaim any liability for any action (or omission) on their part based on any information provided (or not provided) in this article and are under no obligation to keep the general public nor practitioners informed about the matters discussed in this article or any other matters, or any future changes to any of those matters. It is the responsibility of each practitioner to obtain access to primary sources of law and policy by themselves and to carry out their own research and come to their own conclusions on legislation, case law, policies and more. This article is not intended for the general public.


Sergio Zanotti Stagliorio is a Registered Migration Agent (MARN 1461003). He is the owner of Target Migration in Sydney. He can be reached at sergio@targetmigration.com.au