1. APPOINTMENT OF AGENT
The Client appoints the Agent to represent the Client and to perform the services described in this Agreement.
2. CODE OF CONDUCT (THE CODE)
- The Code is intended to regulate the conduct of Registered Migration Agents by introducing a proper standard for the conduct of business as a Registered Migration Agent and establishes the minimum attributes and abilities that a person must demonstrate to perform as a Registered Migration Agent.
- The Agent guarantees to provide a copy of the Code to the Client immediately on request. It is also available at: https://www.mara.gov.au/tools-for-agents-subsite/Files/code-of-conduct-march-2022.pdf
- If the Code (which is prescribed in Schedule 2 of the Migration Agent Regulations 1998) is amended in a way that is inconsistent with this Agreement, the Agent and Client agree to vary this agreement to comply with the new Code.
- If the Code is inconsistent with the Agent’s obligations as a legal practitioner or otherwise, or is inconsistent with the laws of the Country in which the Agent is operating, the Agent and the Client agree to vary this Agreement to comply with the laws of that Country, to the extent of any inconsistency.
3. SERVICES TO BE PROVIDED
- Provide advice relating to the Client’s migration goals and their choice of visa category.
- Provide frank and candid advice regarding the prospects of success (an Agent must not guarantee the success of an application).
- Analyse Immigration Law, as strictly current at the time of signing this Agreement, relating to the Work to be Performed defined at Item 2 of this Agreement for Services and Fees.
- Assist in the completion and/or checking of relevant application forms.
- Provide advice and assistance relating to documentation required to support the application.
- Prepare any necessary supporting submissions to the relevant Assessing Authority, Department of Home Affairs (‘Department’) or review body, subject to the particulars of the Excluded Work defined at Item 6 of this Agreement for Services and Fees.
- Submit the application to the relevant Assessing Authority, Department or review body for processing as soon as possible.
- Wherever possible, supply any further documentation or information requested by the Department on receipt of documents from the Client, subject to the particulars of the Excluded Work defined at Item 6 of this Agreement for Services and Fees.
- Wherever possible and subject to the particulars of the Excluded Work defined at Item 6 of this Agreement for Services and Fees, assist the Client to comply with any request made by the Department or review body.
- Keep the Client fully informed of all developments concerning the progress of the application.
- Promptly advise the Client of any communications from the Department or review body.
- During the processing of the Work to be Performed, advise the Client of any relevant changes to the law in so far as they have a direct impact on the Work to be Performed. In this instance, ‘relevant’ means those changes that the Responsible Agent reasonably believes will directly affect the outcome of the Work to be Performed in question.
- Advise the Client promptly of the outcome of the Work to be Performed.
- Provide post-grant migration advice regarding visa conditions and requirements.
4. WHO WILL PERFORM THE WORK
All immigration assistance will be provided by Christian Dawson (Responsible Agent ‘RA’):
- The Responsible Agent and other Registered Migration Agents in the same firm of the Responsible Agent may work on your matter and its Work to be Performed from time to time.
- Administrative services may be provided by other staff. The Responsible Agent will properly
supervise the work carried out by any staff regarding your matter.
5. THE AGENT GUARANTEES THAT HE OR SHE:
- Is registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority.
- Maintains the required level of Professional Indemnity Insurance.
- Has no conflict of interest in terms of Part 2 of the Code.
- Will inform the Client in writing if they may receive a financial benefit because of providing advice of a non-migration nature to the Client.
- Will act in accordance with the law and in the best interests of the Client, and deal with the Client competently, diligently, and fairly.
- Will ensure that the Client has access to an interpreter if necessary (The Client will be required to pay any fees charged by the interpreter).
- Will, on request, provide the Client with a copy of their application and any related documents (The Agent is entitled to charge a reasonable amount for physical copies if providing the information digitally or in other non-physical form is impossible or not practicable).
- Has sufficient knowledge of the relevant laws to be able to competently provide the agreed Work to be Performed.
- Will advise the Client in writing, if in the Agent’s opinion, the Work to be Performed is vexatious or grossly unfounded
6. THE CLIENT AGREES THAT:
- The Agent is able to advise the Client about immigration law at a particular point in time but is unable to predict future changes in the law.
- The Client will respond promptly to requests by the Agent for further information or documents. In the event that the Department and/or review body and/or assessment body and/or other entity has not stipulated a timeframe for response, ‘promptly’ means within twenty-one (21) calendar days of the Agent requesting the further information or documents. In the event that a stipulated timeframe of the kind described exists at a particular time and in respect of a particular request, the Client will provide the information no later than seven (7) calendar days before the end-date of the stipulated timeframe.
- The Client will not hold the Agent responsible for delays caused by the Client’s failure to promptly provide information or documents.
- The Agent will be under no obligation to submit the Work to be Performed to the Department and/or review body and/or assessment body and/or other entity until payment has been made in full of all fees due and payable at that stage.
- The Agent has attached a copy of the booklet titled Consumer Guide to the end of this document.
- The final decision on Work to be Performed submitted to the Department is beyond the Agent’s control. The Agent has not guaranteed the success of any Work to be Performed.
- The Agent will not be liable for any loss arising from changes to the law affecting the Work to be Performed which occurs after the Work to be Performed has been lodged and/or submitted to the relevant entity.
- All information provided to the Agent is, to the best of the Client’s knowledge and belief, true and current and that all documents supplied are genuine and authentic.
- The Client will, during the processing of Work to be Performed, notify the Agent of any material changes in the circumstances of the Client. ‘Material’ here means reasonably and directly relevant to the Work to be Performed. In the instance that the Client is a legal person and not a natural person, ‘material’ means only information strictly and directly relevant to the Work to be Performed.
- The Agent’s professional fees can be invoiced on behalf of the Agent by the Agent’s business entity, as listed on the MARA Register of Migration Agents.
- If the Agent has advised the Client in writing that in the Agent’s opinion, Work to be Performed would be vexatious or grossly unfounded; the Client will provide written acknowledgement of the receipt of the advice, if notwithstanding the advice, the Client still wants the Agent to proceed with the Work to be Performed.
- The Deposit payment, as described at Item 3 of this Agreement for Services and Fees, is paid for care and consideration of the file, initial advices, research, professional assessments and preparation of initial letters and checklists.
- Any request for refund, and/or for a Statement of Service for the work conducted by the Agent up to and including the date of the request, will include any and all work undertaken by the Agent up to and including the date of the request, including work done prior to receipt of the Deposit payment and on consideration of the file, initial advices, research, professional assessments and preparation of initial letters and checklists.
- If work is to be performed on an Hourly Rate basis (not Fixed), the following time-based chargeout rates apply (not including GST):
|Principal Lawyer/Practice Manager:||$550.00|
|Paralegal/Law Clerk/Admin Support:||$220.00|
7. FEES AND CHARGES
- The professional fees quoted at Item 2 of this Agreement for Services and Fees is limited to all labour expended during and directly and reasonably incidental to the Work to be Performed. This excludes any and all work described as Excluded Work at Item 6 of this Agreement for Services and Fees. If additional work outside the scope of both the Work to be Performed and Excluded Work defined on Pages one (1) and two (2) of this Agreement arises in the course of the Agent’s assistance to the Client, the Agent will make reasonable efforts to contact the Client to discuss the additional work. The Responsible Agent will not commence work on same until written instructions have been received regarding same from the Client.
8. DEPARTMENTAL FEES AND CHARGES
- The professional fees quoted at Item 2 of this Agreement for Services and Fees is limited to all labour expended during and directly and reasonably incidental to the Work to be Performed. Any fees payable to the Department and/or review body and/or assessment body and/or other entity in addition, as part of or reasonably incidental to the Work to be Performed are separate and payable strictly by the Client directly to the Department and/or review body and/or assessment body and/or other entity.
- Any and all Department and/or review body and/or assessment body and/or other entity payment(s) are to be paid by the Client, using their nominated method of payment (e.g., signed Credit Card Authority, BPAY, etc.) directly to the relevant entity.
9. TERMINATION OF AGREEMENT
- The Client may terminate this Agreement at any time subject to the Further Terms and Conditions.
- The Agent may terminate the Agreement at any time, provided they provide reasonable written notice to the Client. This notice must comply with the requirements in Clause 10.1A of the Code. If the Agent terminates the Agreement, they must comply with the requirements of Clause 10.1B of the Code.
- The Agent must terminate the Agreement if a conflict of interest listed in Part 2 of the Code arises. In this case the Agent will notify the Department that they no longer act for the Client and will advise the Client about appointing another Agent.
- If the Agreement is terminated, the Client must pay any fees outstanding for work already performed by the Agent. ‘Outstanding’ means the amount that remains payable and due to the Agent on provision of a completed Statement of Service to the Client in accordance with Clause 6(m) of this Agreement.
- When the Agreement is terminated, the Agent must deal with the Client’s file in accordance with Part 10 of the Code.
10. RETENTION OF DOCUMENTS
- The Agent agrees to keep documents electronically and in a way which will ensure the confidentiality of all documents provided by, or on behalf of, the Client or paid for by, or on behalf of, the Client until the earlier of:
- 7 years after the date of the last action on the file for the Client; or
- when the documents are given to the Client or dealt with in accordance with the Client’s written instructions.
- The Agent agrees to keep all other records required by Part 6 of the Code for 7 years after the date of the last action on the file for the Client.
- After this date, the Agent may destroy/delete the documents and records above in a way which will ensure confidentiality.
- The Agent will preserve the confidentiality of the Client. The Agent will not disclose or allow to be disclosed confidential information about the Client or the Client’s business without the Client’s written consent, unless required by law.
- If applicable, the Agent will preserve the confidentiality of the Client’s medical records and documents in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).
12. RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES
- If a dispute arises between the Agent and Client in the scope of the Work to be Performed and/or Excluded Work, the Agent and Client agree to first make reasonable efforts to resolve any such dispute internally and via previously-used and -accepted forms of communication (e.g., email, phone, etc.) prior to taking formal and/or substantive dispute- resolution steps.
- Prior to the Agent and/or Client taking formal and/or substantive dispute-resolution steps relating or arising incidentally to a dispute arising in the scope of the Work to be Performed and/or Excluded Work, the Agent and Client agree that they will first state in writing that they wish to take such formal and/or substantive dispute-resolution steps. The Agent and Client agree that they will allow a period of fourteen (14) calendar days after the receipt of such statement in writing for response from the other party to the dispute prior to taking further steps.
- If, despite the above, a dispute arises—out of or relating to this agreement, or the breach, termination, validity, or subject matter thereof, or as to any related claim in restitution or at law, in equity or pursuant to any statute—the parties agree to discuss the dispute with the aim of reaching an agreement that is acceptable to both sides. The agreement will be documented in writing, dated and signed by both the Agent and the Client.
- If one party requests an opportunity to discuss the dispute, the parties should attempt to reach an agreement within twenty-one (21) calendar days of that request (or a longer period if agreed between the parties).
- If the parties cannot reach an agreement within twenty-one (21) calendar days, the parties agree to refer the dispute to the Australian Commercial Disputes Centre (ACDC) for final settlement by a single arbitrator appointed in accordance with the Rules of the ACDC, or by another dispute resolution process suggested by ACDC and accepted by the parties. It is expected that any fees payable to ACDC or to the person appointed by ACDC will be paid by the parties equally.
- If the parties have been unable to resolve their dispute through ACDC, either party may commence Court proceedings but not before the expiry of twenty-eight (28) calendar days from the date of referral to ACDC.
- A Client may vary the procedure set out in this clause if the Client can establish that the Department may require the Client to depart Australia.
13. FURTHER TERMS AND CONDITIONS
- This fixed Agreement is based on the information and evidence reviewed at the time of signing.
- The Applicant(s) has advised the Agent of any and all condition(s) and/or other restriction(s) that apply(ies) to their current immigration circumstances.
- Applicant(s) current visa(s) must be maintained and not breached at all times.
- Applicant(s) and Sponsor confirm they do not have character and/or health issues that will affect the outcome of the visa application, unless the Work to be Performed relates to a waiver of same. In the event that such an issue exists, Applicant(s) and Sponsor confirm that, if they have not already informed the Agent of same, any waiver(s) or additional work to be conducted to deal with same falls under the scope of Excluded Work and must be actioned accordingly.
- As included in the professional migration fees listed at Item 3 of this Agreement for Services and Fees, the Applicant’s(ts’) fees cover all work completed on the file including but not limited to all emails, phone calls, advice both oral and written and any further consultations incidental to or reasonably arising in the course of the Work to be Performed (as defined and pursuant to Item 2 of this Agreement for Services and Fees) from the date of signing this Agreement.
- The Client agrees that, in terms of the expectations they place on the Responsible Agent, they will be bound strictly by a reasonable expectation of the necessary labour expended in the course of completing the Excluded Work and Work to be Performed for their given matter (as specified at Item 2 and Item 6 of this Agreement for Services and Fees). If the Agent determines that the Client is demanding/requesting/expecting/acting in a manner as to suggest that work is done further to and above the Work to be Performed, the Client agrees the Agent will advise them formally and that they (the Client) will have the opportunity to respond in writing to the Agent advising them of same.
REGISTERED MIGRATION AGENTS CONSUMER GUIDE
It is unlawful for anyone to give immigration assistance in Australia if they are not a registered migration agent, Australian legal practitioner or exempt person. It is important to know that any person who helps with your immigration matter cannot guarantee you a visa. For more information kindly refer to the following link: https://www.mara.gov.au/get-help-visa-subsite/FIles/consumer_guide_english.pdf .