What is the Code of Conduct?
The Code of Conduct for registered migration agents is set out in legislation to regulate the conduct of registered migration agents. It prescribes your obligations towards your clients.
Provision for a Code of Conduct for migration agents is set out in Section 314 of the Migration Act 1958 and is prescribed in Schedule 2, Regulation 8 of the Migration Agents Regulations 1998. Code of Conduct for registered migration agents (419KB PDF)
On 16 April 2020, the Hon Jason Wood MP, Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Community Affairs, authorised the revision of the Code of Conduct pursuant to the Kendall Review recommendation of 2014. The OMARA engaged in numerous workshops and three public consultation sessions with relevant stakeholders over four years, the last of which concluded in late 2019.
The revised Code is currently being drafted by the Office of Parliamentary Counsel (OPC), which is responsible for drafting and publishing the laws of the Commonwealth of Australia. Commencement of the new Code is likely to be after the commencement of the removal of unrestricted legal practitioners from the OMARA regulatory scheme in March 2021; however the precise timing is yet to be determined. The Department will provide appropriate notice to industry before the new Code commences.
What are my obligations under the Code?
Under the Code you have a range of obligations covering:
- your interactions with your clients
- your fees and charges, record keeping and financial management
- your responsibilities toward other agents
- any employees you may have
- the requirement that you respond if a complaint is made against you
Another obligation is to prominently display the Code in your office and client waiting area. You must also provide clients with a copy of it to keep if they ask for one.