In the following paragraphs I will outline the benefits and detrimental features of using a Migration Agent. I hope that this provides you with a balanced view when you are considering applying for an Australian visa and are weighing up whether to use a Migration Agent or not.
All foreign nationals are required to have a visa to enter Australia. Thailand is one of many countries considered to be ‘high risk’ and even for a Tourist visa application. Thai citizens are required to submit a paper application and a considerable amount of supporting documentation. Even then there is no guarantee of getting a visa – a high percentage of applications are refused as the applicants are not considered to be likely to be genuine tourists or there are concerns over them potentially overstaying their visa.
This is where a competent Migration Agent can help you. He or she can advise you on the best Australian visa to suit your needs and give advice and assistance with the preparation of the visa, including structuring the application and helping you with the forms and documentation. Many Thai ladies and their Australian boyfriends come to us and ask us to assess their situation and help them with a visa application. Sometimes they have tried to prepare a visa themselves and been refused. They have wasted precious time, effort and money (the visa application fee is non-refundable). For many busy and hard working Australians time is money – so a refusal is costly, as well as being a psychological blow. It soon becomes clear that Migration Agents can save them time, effort and money.
However, not all Migration Agents are created equal! If you do choose to use a Migration Agent you should try to use one that has both training in Australian Migration Law and has successful experience. Migration Agents based in Australia are required to be registered while Migration Agents based offshore (outside Australia) are not. Many offshore Migration Agents are not Australians, have no formal training, speak little English and have often never even been to Australia. So if you use an offshore Migration Agent, make sure they have the legal training in Australian Migration law and the experience with submitting and obtaining Australian visas that can benefit you and your Thai girlfriend, fiancé, partner or wife.
Also be aware that using a registered Migration Agent in Australia provides no guarantee that they have successful experience or deal with the Australian Embassy in Bangkok on a regular basis. Often using a qualified and experienced offshore Migration Agent in based in Thailand is the best way to go because they constantly deal with the same Embassy (in Bangkok) and know the specific requirements of that Embassy.
At the end of the day it is up to you whether you use a Migration Agent or not. If you do use a qualified and experienced Migration Agent team based in Thailand, like us at Australian Visa Advice, your Thai girlfriend have the best chance of success. We have the legal training, the years of experience, 100’s of successful applications and a 100% success record to back it up.