When I first moved to Australia in July 2011, I was convinced I could find a way to stay.
However, I didn’t really know how.
I knew little about all the immigration Laws and criteria to be fulfilled in order to obtain a Permanent Visa. I knew even less about Migration Agents.
My approach to the whole project was pretty much like this:
- make a decision to move to Australia;
- quit your current job and sell almost everything you have;
- get a temporary Working-Holiday Visa for a year;
- learn English and find a way to stay;
That was the plan.
And everything actually worked out; just not in the timeframe I expected. In fact, it ended up taking almost 6 years to get a Permanent Visa.
The information accessibility from home (wherever this is for you) is not always sufficient. The complexity of the immigration matter is increased by several factors:
- The complexity of the official Government websites;
- The amount of Visas available;
- The presence of several Visa programs;
- Differences among Australian State Laws;
I first heard of the term “Migration Agent” in a forum of expats, where someone was suggesting to speak to one of them in order to get clear and professional advice on how to obtain a Permanent Visa.
I thought things were finally getting a bit easier.
The first problem was:
How could I find a Migration Agent?
Meet MARA: Migration Agents Registration Authority. This website provides contact details of every Migration Agent in Australia. The thing was… it didn’t say anything about the quality of their services.
So I had to randomly choose one and hope for the best.
I did that five times.
Four agents told me my chances of permanently staying in Australia were very little if nil. I was almost at the point of giving up when a friend recommended a name praising his competence and preparation.
I had nothing to lose, so I booked my fifth consultation.
I am now a happy Australian Permanent Resident and will sit my Citizenship test this October.
What made the difference?
Like in many professions with a high level of subjectivity and interpretation, (i.e. lawyers, consultants, advisors), much depends on the combination between the client and the agent. In other words, each case is different and with so many laws and factors to take into account, it’s not always easy and simple to find a solution for everyone. What makes the difference is:
- The specifics of each client’s situation: skills, experiences, qualifications, needs and level of competence in any given field;
- The experience of the Migration Agent in those particular fields, the capability of using the client’s situation to find the right approach to a Permanent Visa;
Obviously, a Permanent Visa is not always possible.
However, this sort of assessment should be a phase that is easily achievable from anywhere and much earlier than relocating to another Country and “hope for the best”.
Migration Agents should be known at an earlier stage, when relocating is still an idea, a project, not a current situation that happened after several drastic decisions and crossing the point of no return.
This is why we created Mygrate
To make Migration Agents known and accessible to everyone before they relocate or at an earlier stage as possible, in order to allow people to benefit from their services long before they decide to relocate.
We want Migration Agents to be the central point of a relocation project as they are the best experts to provide this type of information, and information, as in many cases, is the key to a good plan and the difference between success and failure.
In my case, it certainly made the difference between going back or realising one of my biggest dreams.