The world is full of unregistered “agents”, and some of them even describe themselves as “migration agents” – which is most unfortunate. We even hear of travel agents who hold themselves out when the opportunity to make some money – out of a tourist to Australia presents itself. Given the circumstances its no surprise they’re cheaper – they don’t have to incur significant fees studying at University to get prior qualifications and then the Graduate Certificate in Migration Law & Practice, followed by annual registration and Legend licensing fees paid to OMARA etc.
We also incur the costs of maintaining a professional library, regularly attending Continuing Professional Development courses, keeping proper administrative and accounting records and running a professional office. Scary thing – there are even some “agents” out there who take client monies and then don’t actually submit an application at all. Sad, but cheap quickly becomes very expensive – so do your due diligence and proceed at your own risk. In Australia it is a criminal offense to give migration advice without being registered with MARA.
With an unregistered agent anywhere, you run a serious risk and you have no recourse to complain or to seek to have that wrongdoer lose their registration, nor do you have any financial protection.