Scousemouse

EXPERTS?My AR*S

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    So, ya pay the fee, submit the forms, get the police checks, an e-mail from DIAC.........all systems go, or so you think!!!!!!

     

    The call came today....DIAC centre of excellence, fnah fnah, wont process because the migration "expert" submitted the form to the wrong office, after the submitted application:arghh:

     

    Upshot? Withdraw the application, beg for the fees back, which isnt really a given, and re-submit next week, with the fee!!:wacko:

     

    If i buggarup in my job, some poor sod gets seriously hurt................or worse; they stuff up, and blow me, another 2 and a half K for the privilige

     

    Flipside................shows that migration here is a serious way to make some dosh.............wonder if its too late for a career change??????

     

    Wine, more wine and then,,,,,,,,,,,,,wine to wash it down. Hic.

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    Guest Dave & Carole

    I really feel for you.

     

    We also employed an "expert" and as you can see from our time line below that was about as successful as yours!!!!!!!

     

    I also know of another person who had an "expert" on the job - who made a hash of it making my friends life hell. I'm sure there are some good agents out there, but if we had our time again we would spend longer researching and do it al ourselves.

     

    Hope you get some comeback - you'll get there in the end.

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    Oh my god, glad we didn't use one! It's such a complicated process. We spoke to a few agents for the odd question here and there and it soon became apparent that we knew more than them just after browsing DIAC website.

     

    These things are sent to try us. It will happen honestly. Chin up xxx

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    Hi Scousemouse

     

    I am so sorry to hear what has happened.

     

    Which visa are you hoping to obtain, please?

     

    Is your agent registered with the MARA?

     

    http://www.themara.com.au/Online/ARSearch.asp?DeptID=140

     

    If it is one of the bigger companies which uses unregistered "case workers" meaning that no name comes up when you try the name of the person "advising" you, please use the down arrow in the box that says "Agent's given name." There is an option to search via the name of the business, which will reveal which - if any - Registered Migration Agents claim an association with the business concerned.

     

    If an RMA is involved then you have a right to complain to the MARA about the agent's negligence and poor service. Complaints are taken seriously and will be investigated. The person to e-mail your complaint to is called Chris Thompson. His e-mail address is chris.thompson@mara.com.au

     

    http://www.themara.com.au/Online/Default.asp?DeptID=136

     

    You are not obliged in law to try to sort things out amicably with the agent. Whether or not you attempt to do so is entirely up to you. There is no legal requirement to complete yet another bureaucratic form either (especially since it is not fillable on line) but I usually suggest that people use the form as a crib sheet so as to ensure that all the information requested in the form is provided to the MARA in the letter or e-mail.

     

    Threatening to make a formal complaint to the MARA usually works wonders because once they get involved they do not let go and they put the agent on deadlines to answer their questions. If the deadlines are not met then that potentially becomes a second disciplinary matter and so on.

     

    Has your agent offered to pay DIAC's fees for the new application him or herself? If not, why not? S/he is at liberty to claim the money back from the Professional Indemnity insurance policy which all RMAs are required to hold. It is often cheaper not to claim on the policy because of the excess and the effect which a claim this year will have on the premium next year but that is for the agent to decide.

     

    Best wishes

     

    Gill

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    Guest kangomik

    glad we did it alone..... someone would have sore knees by now if they had messed up ours.

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    We spoke to a few agents for the odd question here and there and it soon became apparent that we knew more than them just after browsing DIAC website.

     

     

    Same here. Spoke to two at the start of the process and got two very different responses - both equally incorrect! Quickly got to grips with the relevant forms and info and put the application in ourselves.

     

    Jim

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    After being told by an 'expert' that I would not be eligible for a visa. I decided to do ours myself.

    Thank god I did it myself and didn't listen to the 'expert advice' I was given.

     

    It's time these clowns were brought to book and some serious legislation was put in place to oust these cowboys. After all it's stressful and financially draining enough without having some muppet who, lets face it is charging these large fees to supposedly take all the stress away, cock it all up and possibly ruin your dream.

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    Hi The Flinns

     

    We had exactly the same experience as yourself and some of the other posters on this thread.

     

    My ancient Mum was 84 in 2005. She will be 89 later this year and, thankfully, is still going strong for the moment.

     

    Three different "experts" (about 8 in the end because after sorting the legal question out myself I e-mailed several other "experts" to test how much they really know about what they claim to be an understanding of the relevant legislation) all insisted that Mum would not be eligible for a Parent or Contributory Parent visa. Because they were so sure she was not eligible, none of them were interested in acting for her.

     

    I investigated the whole thing myself, contacted DIAC and asked them how they think the relevant provisions in the legislation should be interpreted. The exact problem was that Mum has a stepchild. The legislation contains two different definitions of a "stepchild", which produce two different outcomes for Mum depending on which definition is used. There is absolutely nothing in the very sloppily-drafted legislation to indicate which of the two definitions is supposed to prevail.

     

    So I explained the problem to DIAC and asked them what they think the score is. Within 24 hours they wrote back saying that their Policy department is aware of this problem and has given instructions that "the definition which does not disadvantage the applicant should be applied."

     

    There was no charge for solving the riddle and although I had had no idea that they even have a Policy department, evidently they do and it uses common sense and reason when the legislation itself is defective.

     

    I went back to the first "expert" explaining that I had solved the legal problem, would send her a copy of DIAC's e-mail explaining it all and I was ready to instruct her firm to act for Mum. She said they would act but were snowed under and would not be able to start work for another two months, which was no use to us but it was an honest response and I have no quarrel whatsoever with the lady concerned about that. I was and still am grateful to her for her honesty, integrity and concern for her clients as a whole.

     

    However it had not been easy to find her. I sighed and thought I would have to start the search again. My sister in Oz chipped in and said, "Don't bother. We can do this by ourselves perfectly easily now that the 'stepchild' question is no longer an issue." She was right and her advice was adopted and followed.

     

    At the time I had no idea that internet forums even exist. Had I known that I would have joined one and sought some recommendations from others. As it was, I had already submitted the visa application by the time I discovered internet forums and by then the job was already 3/4 complete.

     

    Cheers

     

    Gill

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    Update.....................

    got a call from the migration agent.......... they say they will pay the fees for me, cos of their monumental F up; so there is light at the end of the tunnel........i guess.

     

    So now, with their offer to pay the fees, and hopefully the return of mine (if DIAC is feeling generous) i will have paid only $200 to change from a temp to a permanet visa:wideeyed:, not bad eh?

     

    Wonder if i can get compo for the anguish????????

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    Guest Dave & Carole

    Fantastic news. I know it doesn't change the c*!k up but at least you won't be out of pocket.

     

    And today we are living proof that DIAC don't hold these things against you....just got our approval letter :)

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    Did persons above who appointed the agents who stuffed up engage any of the agents who are recommended on these forums (and others, such as Poms in Oz)?

     

    If not, why not? On what basis did you appoint the agents in question?

     

    If it is agreed that the list of MARA agents is not to be relied upon (to paraphrase Gill's argument), why are intending migrants appointing firms no-one else is recommending?

     

    Happy to hear arguments and to be shot down in flames!

     

    Best regards.

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    Hi Alan

     

    Most people have appointed agents and have embarked on the process before they discover the internet forums. I did not even know what internet forums are or that they exist until a couple of months after I had lodged Mum's application.

     

    Assuming that everybody uses migration agents, I did a Google search and found hundreds of names but I did not know a thing about any of the firms concerned, had never heard of the MARA and even if I had there was every chance that the Register of Agents would have led me straight up the garden path into the arms of a Rent-a-MARN outfit such as Four Corners.

     

    I simply started working my way down the list of names that came up on the Google search. I knew of no other way to find a migration agent.

     

    Had I known that your office is only 5 miles from me I'd have started by phoning Go Matilda. However GM's name did not come up on the first page of Google. Shirley & Sheila did because their firm is called AMA. Unless it is a sponsored link, the names seem to come up in alphabetical order. Shirley answered the phone and I liked her immediately. She was wrong about the "stepchild" question but one of the assertions she made was illogical. I realised that straightaway which led me to investigate the whole thing myself, get it by the scruff of its neck and sort out the "stepchild condundrum" once and for all. Having solved the legal stumbling block with the help of the POPC, I then went back to S&S simply because I have no patience whatsoever with bureaucrats who devise stupid forms, 2/3 of the questions on which are simply intrusive and irrelevant. However that was about 2 months after my original call to the ladies and by then they were snowed under with other work.

     

    I think a lot of people are in the same boat that I was in and only find the forums later on in the process.

     

    Cheers

     

    Gill

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    Guest Dave & Carole

    We chose our agent by recommendation. We know they acted successfully and professinally on 3 cases of people we knew. To be honest they were great at the start but once the application went in it was as if something had happened as the whole tone of the emails changed. The mistake was a careless error - we are all human and could make a mistake - our issue was the fact that it was us that found the mistake, they've never apologised and although it has all eventually resolved, we have had to do a lot of chasing. We paid for a service and the service was very poor; further mistakes on the route to rectify things, slow reponses to emails and lack of reassurance.

    I guess my point is that many agent s are recommended for doing a good job....but actually the sign of a good agent is not one who doesn't make mistakes, but one who sorts them out quickly, professionally and in a manner to reassure their client. Ours was not able to do that.

     

    Carole

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    Guest stufi1997

    I stuffed up and answered twice....don't know how that happened!! like the sound of my own voice perhaps???

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    Guest stufi1997

    Hi Alan,

    We instructed the Migration Bureau before we knew anything about the forums....they have a flash website which came up near the top on google and they have an office in the UK and are also members of MARA, which at the time, in our naivity, we thought was a good grounding for choosing an agent. :wacko:

    Only after finding the forums and talking to other reputable agents who were recommended by others, did we realise that we were being ripped off and that they had no more clue than us!!

    I'm very glad that we got the advice that we did :notworthy:from reputable and moral agents......

    We did it ourselves in the end

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    Hi Carole

     

    I've only just spotted that you got your visas because I had not been back to this thread for a few days.

     

    YAY! BRILLIANT NEWS!!!! :jiggy:

     

    Cheers

     

    Gill

    xx

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    Guest Dave & Carole
    Hi Carole

     

    I've only just spotted that you got your visas because I had not been back to this thread for a few days.

     

    YAY! BRILLIANT NEWS!!!! :jiggy:

     

    Cheers

     

    Gill

    xx

     

     

    Yes we got there in the end - all very frustrating & stressful - but now done. Flights booked for the 25th July and removals coming 29th June. We really are on or way now.:jiggy:

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    Interesting - thanks for the comments above. It seems that s/he who pay for Google rankings are the winners ...

     

    I used an agent as well when I applied for my skilled visa back in 2000 (no names mentioned). I was so disenchanted with the service (and the costs) that I started my own business, resolving to look at the process from the perspective of the client - what would s/he want, how would s/he want to be treated, etc.

     

    It was also at a time when the internet was still in its relative infancy. George Lombard was already on the old usenet forums, which (for intending Aussie migrants) evolved into British Expats. A multitude of others have followed, and many have sought to earn a quick buck out of the numbers migrating to Australia.

     

    I think it probably helped that I had already run my own CA practice, and had been an articled clerk at a great firm of CAs in Central London where the partners for whom I worked were very strong ethically. I often wondered why they made the decisions they did - they seemed distinctly uncommercial to a gung ho young accountant. I know better now.

     

    More comments welcomed!

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    Guest vixpinkbabe

    I better not mention any details, but I have had a nightmare of a visa process and used an agent (one of the recommended ones). xx

     

    Gill has been wonderful and if it hadnt been for her I would have fallen to pieces about 4 months ago! Thanks Gill xxxxx

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    Hi Alan

     

    You make a number of interesting comments.

     

    I've no idea how one organises a sponsored link (I don't even know how a website gets on to the web and into Google for that matter.) However sponsored links do work because I think a lot of people do start on Page 1 of Google when looking for an agent.

     

    I've never bought or seen the magazine called "Australia & New Zealand" or a similar name. I am told that a number of migration agencies, registered and unregistered, advertise in that though. I have been told that a particularly dozy RMA who is in my gunsights at the moment writes a regular column for this mag.

     

    Do not under estimate that idea. There is a specialist boat magazine called Premier Yachts. It is devoted to a series of feature articles about large gin palaces which plainly belong to millionaires. 3 or 4 pages are devoted to describing each of the yachts.

     

    I believed what I was being led to believe - viz that these boats must be "special" in some way and that the magazine's journos evidently know of their existence and presumably seek out the owners with requests to feature their boats. A shipbroker told me that the truth is that all the boats are for sale and that the owners pay the magazine to produce the articles. I asked why? The broker said, "Because people believe something they see published in a respected magazine, which they assume must be making independent judgements about the boats concerned."

     

    I realised that he was right. People will dismiss a glossy advert. They know who paid for that. However with what appears to be a feature article they do assume that the editor has selected the author very carefully etc etc. The idea works because you can buy the magazine off the shelf in any large newsagents.

     

    I think it probably helped that I had already run my own CA practice, and had been an articled clerk at a great firm of CAs in Central London where the partners for whom I worked were very strong ethically. I often wondered why they made the decisions they did - they seemed distinctly uncommercial to a gung ho young accountant. I know better now.

    Spot on. I did articles in the West End and then spent the next 8 years in two Top 10 City of London law firms. Best practice & ethics were drummed into me so thoroughly that I am appalled by anything less.

     

    Question for you! Presumably you decided to move to Oz but you were as clueless as the rest of us about how to choose a migration agent? How did you make your choice? Were the magazines around a decade or so ago? Did DIAC have a website at the time?

     

    Cheers

     

    Gill

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    Guest Lisado

    Sponsored links all have something to do with metatags. The keywords in your metatags are what Google will pick up. These need to be updated regularly. Maybe a word with the web desiger to look into this might help as we didnt find Go Mat jst doing a general Google search.

     

    We spoke to one migration expert, had an interview and they ran 2 reports for us. THey wanted us to pay huge sums of money and whenwe didnt go with them they never bothered to ask why, etc.

     

    I found Go Mat via PIA and so pleased I did - they were cheaper and we only had to pay when it was required. I know you know how much they have helped us with our South African police checks.

     

    I think it should be one of the 1st companies to come up when you look on Google.

     

    PS - well done dave and carole on the visa

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    Hi Alan

     

    You make a number of interesting comments.

     

    I've no idea how one organises a sponsored link (I don't even know how a website gets on to the web and into Google for that matter.) However sponsored links do work because I think a lot of people do start on Page 1 of Google when looking for an agent.

     

    I've never bought or seen the magazine called "Australia & New Zealand" or a similar name. I am told that a number of migration agencies, registered and unregistered, advertise in that though. I have been told that a particularly dozy RMA who is in my gunsights at the moment writes a regular column for this mag.

     

    Do not under estimate that idea. There is a specialist boat magazine called Premier Yachts. It is devoted to a series of feature articles about large gin palaces which plainly belong to millionaires. 3 or 4 pages are devoted to describing each of the yachts.

     

    I believed what I was being led to believe - viz that these boats must be "special" in some way and that the magazine's journos evidently know of their existence and presumably seek out the owners with requests to feature their boats. A shipbroker told me that the truth is that all the boats are for sale and that the owners pay the magazine to produce the articles. I asked why? The broker said, "Because people believe something they see published in a respected magazine, which they assume must be making independent judgements about the boats concerned."

     

    I realised that he was right. People will dismiss a glossy advert. They know who paid for that. However with what appears to be a feature article they do assume that the editor has selected the author very carefully etc etc. The idea works because you can buy the magazine off the shelf in any large newsagents.

     

     

    Spot on. I did articles in the West End and then spent the next 8 years in two Top 10 City of London law firms. Best practice & ethics were drummed into me so thoroughly that I am appalled by anything less.

     

    Question for you! Presumably you decided to move to Oz but you were as clueless as the rest of us about how to choose a migration agent? How did you make your choice? Were the magazines around a decade or so ago? Did DIAC have a website at the time?

     

    Cheers

     

    Gill

     

    Thanks Gill.

     

    We advertise in the journal that you mention, and I invite those in control of editorial content to extract details from Go Matilda News when I write an article which I believe will of interest to their readership.

     

    As to the agent I chose - it is some 9 years ago now, and time dims the memory. There was a newspaper type publication going around then, as it is now - Australia & NZ Outlook - and I recall I used to read that. The firm of RMAs had offices in SW London, and as I was in practice in Epsom I liked their (apparent) proximity. The reality once I was signed up was somewhat different.

     

    I eventually took over the handling of my application, and being an Accountant (which was on the MODL even then - the GST had just been introduced in Australia) managed to arrange grant quickly: skilled applications were being processed in London at that time. It subsequently transpired that (unbeknown to me at the time - I was advised at a Go Matilda Xmas lunch a couple of years ago) that the lady who granted my visa is now one of our UK team of consultants!

     

    The world of Aussie migration is often scarily small.

     

    Best regards.

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    And ... the AHC in London used to publish a list of RMAs based in the UK. That might also have been a factor in my decision as to which agent to engage. That list was withdrawn once the AHC realised that certain agents were not actually physically based in the UK.

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