The Office of the MARA is attached to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) and administers the functions of the Migration Agents Registration Authority, which is set out in s316 of the Migration Act 1958 (the Act).
The Office commenced operations on 1 July 2009 and its key objectives are to ensure that:
All complaints about the services of registered, or formerly registered migration agents are appropriately addressed;
Only suitable persons are registered as migration agents, and unsuitable persons are refused registration or re-registration;
Registered agents maintain appropriate knowledge to enable them to provide accurate advice to consumers;
The Office of the MARA works collaboratively with the department and other bodies such as prosecuting or regulatory authorities to address the activities of agents outside its mandate;
Consumers understand their rights and agents understand their obligations under the regulatory framework.
The law requires that migration agents operating in Australia be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority.