The Migration Act (1958) lists out certain provisions in relation to the eligibility for migration agents registration. Section 289A to Section 294 outlines circumstances when the applicant must not be registered. In this article, we will provide an overview of these Sections and explore the circumstances.
Section 289A Migration Act
Under eligibility for migration agents registration, S289A states that authorities must not register applicants if they do not satisfy academic and vocational requirements. Subsection (1) states that Section 289A applies to an applicant:
- who have never been registered; or
- who make a registration application after the end of a period prescribed for the purposes of this paragraph, immediately after the end of the applicant’s most recent period of registration.
Moreover, subsection (2) states that in order for the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) to register the applicant, the MARA must believe that the applicant:
- has completed a course prescribed for the purposes of this paragraph; and
- passed an examination, prescribed for the purposes of this paragraph, within a prescribed period before the date of the registration application.
Section 289B on Eligibility for Migration Agents Registration
Section 289B is about applications by Australian legal practitioners. This Section consists of the following points:
- Authorities must not register an applicant who is an unrestricted legal practitioner.
- Authorities must not register an applicant who is a restricted legal practitioner, unless the applicant is eligible.
It also states that a registered migration agent must notify the MARA within 28 days after becoming a restricted legal practitioner or an unrestricted legal practitioner.
Moreover, the Authority must cancel the registration of an agent who is an unrestricted legal practitioner, or who is a restricted legal practitioner who is not eligible.
Section 290 Migration Act (Rephrase this Section)
This Section outlines the eligibility criteria and factors that the Migration Agents Registration Authority considers when determining whether they can register an applicant as a migration agent.
The key points are as follows:
- MARA will not register an applicant if the Authority finds that the applicant is not a fit and proper person to provide immigration assistance, lacks integrity, or has a problematic employment relationship with someone who lacks integrity.
- The Authority will assess an applicant’s fitness and integrity by considering various factors, including the applicant’s knowledge of migration procedures, criminal convictions, ongoing criminal proceedings, investigations, disciplinary actions, bankruptcy history, and any other relevant matters affecting the applicant’s suitability.
- If an applicant has an employment relationship with an individual who lacks in integrity, the Authority will also consider similar factors related to that individual.
- This registration requirement applies to all applicants, not just first-time applicants.
Section 290A: Applicant Must Not be Registered if Continuing Professional Development Requirements are Not Satisfied
S290A applies in the case of applicants who have been registered at some time within the period, immediately before making the registration application.
Subsection (2) states that the applicant must not be registered if the MARA believes that the applicant has not met, within the period prescribed for the purposes of this subsection, the prescribed requirements for continuing professional development of registered migration agents.
Section 290B on Eligibility for Migration Agents Registration
According to S290B, authorities must not register an applicant if they have not paid any registration status charge payable by him or her after the time when it becomes due for payment.
Section 291: Previous Application Refusal
Subsection (1) of S291 states that authorities must not register an applicant if he or she has faced refusal of registration as a migration agent within 12 months before his or her application. Moreover, it clarifies that this Section applies to all applicants (not just first time applicants).
Section 291A: Applicant Must Not Be Registered if Suspension Would Be in Effect
This Sections states that if:
- authorities have registered an applicant (the previous registration) at some time before the applicant makes the application; and
- the MARA decided to suspend the previous registration (whether or not that decision was stayed); and
- the previous registration ended on or after the suspension decision;
then the applicant must not be registered during a period in which the previous registration would have been suspended had the previous registration not already ended.
- Authorities suspend a registered migration agent’s registration, and they are deregistered under section 302. For authorities to re-register them, their suspension must end first.
- The MARA suspends a registered agent’s registration, but the agent can continue practicing during a review with a stay order. Subsection 288(6A) prevents re-registration until the finalisation of the review. If the suspension decision still holds, re-registration is not permissible.
- A registered migration agent’s registration continues beyond its expiry, but authorities later suspend it due to non-compliance with a condition under section 300. Re-registration is only possible after compliance with the condition.
Section 292, Section 292A, and Section 292B
S292 states that if authorities have cancelled the registration of an applicant under section 303, they must not register the applicant within 5 years of the cancellation. Moreover, S292A states authorities must not register an applicant if:
- the MARA has made a decision under subsection 311A(1) to bar him or her from being a registered migration agent for a particular period; and
- the period has not ended.
Furthermore, Section 292B states that MARA must not register an applicant unless it believes that he or she has professional indemnity insurance of a kind that the regulations prescribe. Additionally, it states that this section applies to all applicants (not just first time applicants).
Section 293 and 294 on Eligibility for Migration Agents Registration
Authorities must not register an applicant if he or she is under 18 years. Moreovoer, they must not register an applicant unless he or she is:
- (a) an Australian citizen; or
- (b) an Australian permanent resident (within the meaning of the regulations); or
- (c) a New Zealand citizen who holds a special category visa.
Lastly, it states that this section applies to all applicants (not just first time applicants).
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