U Migrate Australia professional fees are based on our experience, the nature and complexity of your matter and the old (2016) Migration Agent Registration Authority pricing table. They do not include Department application charges or costs you may need to pay when meeting certain application criteria.
|Service||Base Rate||MARA 2016|
|Skilled Applications - up to 26 months|
|Subclass 482 TSS - 3 stage||$5,000||Up to $5,000|
|Subclass 400 Temp Work (3-6 month)||$2,000||Up to $2,000|
|Subclass 417 Working Holiday||$1,500||Up to $1,250|
|Subclass 186 ENS - 2 stage||$5,000||Up to $5,500|
|Subclass 187 RSMS - 2 stage||$5,500||Up to $6,000|
|Subclass 189 Skilled Independent||$5,000||Up to $4,800|
|Subclass 190 Nominated - 2 stage||$5,000||Up to $5,500|
|Partner Applications - up to 28 months|
|Subclass 461 NZ Family||$2,500||Up to $2,200|
|Subclass 820-801 Partner - 2 stage
||$5,000||Up to $4,500|
|Subclass 309-100 Partner - 2 stage
||$6,000||Up to $8,800|
|Subclass 300 Prospective Marriage - 1 stage||$2,500||Not Available|
|Initial Consultation (up to 1 hour)||$200||Not Available|
|AAT Appeal Process - representation||$5,000||Up to 5,000|
|Legal Submissions (up to 5 hours)||$1,500||Not Available|
|Subclass 132 Business||$25,000||Up to $18,000|
|Cancelation Process (NOICC)||$1,700||Not Available|
Experience refers to the level of experience your registered lawyer-migration agent has. We recommend calculating this on the basis of:
- When the lawyer-agent was registered with MARA;
- Their pre-registration experience, qualifications and history (other considerations)
All individuals, agents and lawyers providing immigration advice or assistance in Australia must register with MARA, unless exempt. The MARA registration date is the first 2 digits of the 6 digit registration number. For example: 1571017 means the individual agent was registered in 2015. A company cannot obtain a registration number, so it is allways about the individual person.
You should be careful when relying on this date alone, as overseas lawyers-migration agents are not regulated in Australia and do not need to register with MARA. We have also been noticing some agents maintain their registration for many years and don't practice migration Law just so they can keep their 'old' MARN. This is lawful, but it gives a false impression of their experience.
Migration Law Experts - Specialists
Not many individuals in the immigration field are considered true experts, because the Migration Agent Registration Authority does not recognise expert or specialist status. However, in the legal industry practicing lawyers may obtain expert or specialist immigration Law status by meeting a range of criteria - assessed by their State - Territory legal association.
If a lawyer claimes to be a expert or specialist and they are not, certain sanctions and penalties may apply. If a registered migration agent advertises as a expert or specialist it is highly unlikely anything will happen to them.
Note - some agents use the ''Masters of immigration Law' (LLM) in their advertising. This means they have done a Masters, however anyone can do a Masters of Immigration Law if they have completed any degree, or any degree and a post graduate degree in immigration Law. The LLM does not mean the individual has completed a Law Degree (LLB).
There are generally 3 types of lawyers in industry giving immigration advice. It's important to understand the difference between certain types of lawyers, otherwise you may be confused about why the fees are so high.
A practicing Australian lawyer is someone who is admitted to the Supreme Court in a specific Australian State or Territory, and also holds a 'practice certificate' for that State or Territory. The 'practice certificate' means they are permitted to advise you on the areas of Australian Law within the specific registered State or Territory and only in the areas of Law they know - or in some cases are registered for. If they do not know the area of immigration Law and are not registered with MARA, then they cannot give you immigration advice or assistance, however they may be able to give employment Law advice instead.
A non-practicing Australian lawyer is an individual who has been admitted to the 'supreme Court' in an Australian State or Territory, but does not hold a current legal practice certificate. This means they can provide immigration Law advice and assistance if registered with MARA, but cannot provide legal advice or assistance on any other area of Law - such as employment Law.
A non-practicing overseas lawyer has not been admitted in to the Supreme Court in any Australian State - territory, does not hold a practice certificate in any Australian State - Territory and likely hasn't studied Australian Law. Overseas non-practicing lawyers operating in Australia may give immigration Law advice or assistance if registered with MARA and cannot provide any other form of legal advice - such as employment Law.
Note - individuals who are overseas are not regulated by any Australian authority and even if registered with MARA, compliance is voluntary.
The benefits of using a Australian lawyer (practicing or non-practicing) clearly include the level of training and qualification in, and knowledge of, Australian Law. Accordingly, a practicing lawyer is morally restricted to practicing 'only in areas of Law in which they know well', meaning if they want to practice in Immigration Law they will usually undertake some level of training first. In addition, practicing lawyers are regulated by their relevant State - Territory associations and very specific legislation or professional conduct rules, giving clients opportunity to complain if they want to - probably easier that it is to get a outcome from a agent complaint.
In the majority of circumstances, a lawyer will charge you more than a registered migration agent, and more than U Migrate Australia's non-practicing lawyer-registered migration agent. In this respect we recommend all consumers obtain at least 1 quote for comparative services. With reference to U Migrate Australia this means you should compaire against 'like services', or another agent who:
- is admitted to practice as a lawyer in Australia, with post graduate immigration qualifications;
- has around 10 years experience in varying legal positions within the Australian legal industry;
- is registered with MARA .
Sum lawyers-migration agents may have significant experience in occupations closely related to immigration Law, which undeniably increases their experience and capacity to manage your immigration matter. This includes lawyers, paralegals, legal advocates, accountants doctors and other highly skilled professionals who work with 'client case files' as part of their occupation.
It does not make them experts, but their ability to deal with your matter may be significantly increased and therefore should be considered when looking at the 'experience' your advisor has. The simple fact is, those in highly skilled occupations like lawyer and accountant have studied for 5 years or more, dealing specifically with case management and working in the client's best interests, just to get a entry level job.
Nature and Complexity
The nature of your matter refers to the visa type you are applying for, as each visa has its own complications and criteria. This is demonstrated in the pricing table above, for example: The visitor visa is cheaper than the business skilled visa. The complexity of your matter is more subjective, and refers to:
- Your specific circumstances;
- Changes in the Migration Law;
- Your additional migrating applicants;
- Your ability to meet specified criteria;
- Your location (in or outside of Australia).
In our opinion it is normal for a ethical migration agent to price differently based on the criteria set out above, which is confirmed by MARA. It is also ethical (and required by MARA) that your agent charges you for what they do for you, but not for taking extra time either on purpose or because they do not know what they are doing (their inexperience)
It is essential you understand the experience your agent has, because a first year agent is absolutely going to perform differently to a experienced one, and in most cases if your agent has come from a non legal background, then they will approach your matter differently than a lawyer, accountant or high level professional.
Immigration Pricing Process
U Migrate Australia follows the below pricing process. This may change depending on your circumstances and your needs, such as payment plans or pro bono assistance - discounts.
- We take your initial call or email enquiry and may either provide you free information, or inform you of our 'initial consultation fees in writing before we bill yu for any consultation;
- We will then discuss your matter over the phone, take your details and do some legal research;
- Once satisfied, we provide this advice in writing by email, or request further information and consents from you to assist with further research;
- Once complete, we bill you for the hours worked on your initial advice; and
- If you decide to continue with U Migrate Australia, the amount you paid for your initial advice is taken from your overall professional fees for your matter.
- $300 2 hours initial advice;
- $5,000 Professional fees for visa application (contract signed)
- Total due = item 2 (amount due) minus item 1(amount paid) = $4,700
U Migrate Price Match
U Migrate Australia will generally price match, so long as the service we are matching has the same level of skills and experience as we do. This includes:
- Immigration advice or assistance from a non-practicing Australian lawyer and registered migration agent with registration in 2015 or earlier;
- Immigration advice or assistance from a non-practicing Australian lawyer with legal industry experience of over 10 years;
- An Australian commercial immigration practice who runs a pro bono service for clients in significant hardship
- An ethical immigration practice who provides a case management strategy to every client.
- Open hours 9am to 9pm 7 days a week (except ANZAC Day).
U Migrate Payment Plans
U Migrate Australia may offer payment plans if:
- Clients evidence they are in financial hardship;
- We are satisfied clients are likely to comply with any payment plan terms;
- U Australia Pty Ltd directors approve U Migrate Australia to offer the payment plan.
U Migrate Australia is owned by U Australia Pty Ltd and managed by Jason Watt, a qualified non-practicing lawyer with more than 10 years of legal industry experience. Jason's experience in immigration Law has been developing since late 2014 - focusing heavily in the areas of skilled, partner and business migration as well as appeal representation. As a non-practicing lawyer, Jason is able to run U Migrate Australia as a registered agent and as such does not hold a legal practice certificate. Ultimately, this gives you the benefit of his education, qualification and experience with lower pricing than he could if he ran a Law firm.
The Migration Agent Registration Authority are responsible for regulating the Australian immigration advice profession. In Australia, any person providing immigration advice or assistance (including filling in forms) must be registered with MARA - or be exempt. To be registered migration agents must have completed a specified postgraduate certification, and undertake yearly training specific to Immigration Law. Agents must have a good working knowledge of the areas they practice in and until 2016 were required to provide MARA with yearly statistics (averages) for the visas they advise on. This created the "MARA Pricing Table", which outlined estimates for certain visa subclasses based on the figures collected from industry - much like lawyers use when estimating their fees.
Since around 2016 MARA has decided not to publish a table of estimated fees like lawyers have - even though this has been recommended by the latest enquiry into the regulation of migration agents in Australia. We have specifically contacted MARA requesting this old data and they informed, on or about 1 November 2019 MARA said:
"Unfortunately the pricing archive is no longer available. The Authority recommends contacting a few agents to compare current charges."
This means, U Migrate Australia has used the old MARA pricing table to estimate our fees - because we're old enough. However, those starting after 2016 may not have access to reasonable estimates to assist them price ethically - other than asking their competitors.
It's your future and ultimately your choice. If you would like to understand your rights, use an ethical practice and compaire us with your current or intended service then we can assist.