Migration agents usually work in the offices of legal organisations such as law firms. However, they may be self-employed. They work regular hours but may be required to work longer hours. They may travel to consult with clients who are seeking to prolong their visa, or who are applying for a visa if in detention. Migration agents may be required to deal with emotional situations.
On average, migration agents, classified under other information and organisation professionals, can expect to earn between $1 250 and $1 499 per week ($65 000 and $77 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience.
Migration agents use computers and other office equipment. They may spend a significant amount of their time on the phone consulting with clients who are overseas or in Australia. They consult textbooks, journals and other legal documents to stay up to date with migration law.
To become a migration agent in Australia, you usually need to study law at university, or complete a Graduate Certificate in Australian Migration Law and Practice.
Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant undergraduate degrees in Law. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.
Murdoch University offers the Graduate Certificate in Australian Migration Law and Practice. The course usually takes six months to complete and requires completion of a bachelor degree in any field or relevant professional experience.
To work as a migration agent in Australia, you must be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.
If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
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If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.