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New migration agent authority commences.

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Senator Chris Evans

Minister for Immigration and Citizenship

New migration agent authority commences

The new Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) officially commenced operating as regulator of the migration advice profession today.

The Office of the MARA will now regulate the activities of the Australian migration advice profession to provide consumers with appropriate protection and assurance.

The new office replaces the system established in 1998 where the migration advice profession was regulated by the Migration Institute of Australia (MIA).

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, announced in February that the new body would be established after a review found dissatisfaction among consumers and potential conflicts of interest under the old arrangements.

The 2007-08 Review of Statutory Self-Regulation of the Migration Advice Profession recommended that the government establish a regulatory body separate from the MIA to address the concerns.

‘Unprofessional or unethical behaviour by migration agents can seriously impact on the lives of people using their services and bring the profession into disrepute,’ Senator Evans said.

‘It is important that the community has confidence in the professionalism and integrity of migration agents. The new Office of the MARA will provide that confidence and remove concerns about potential conflicts of interest.

‘I’m pleased the transition to the current arrangements has been smooth and well received by industry, community and consumers.’

The office will be led by Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) senior executive Christine Sykes. It will be supported by an advisory board, which will include a representative of the MIA, the Law Council of Australia (LCA), the community and a consumer advocate.

The board’s role is to provide the office’s management team with advice and information from a broad range of perspectives. The members of the advisory board will be announced soon.

More information can be found at

See: Index of Media Releases

URL: /media/media-releases/2009/ce09062.htm Last update: 01 July 2009 at 15:38 AEST