The law requires that migration agents operating in Australia be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (the Office of the MARA).
The Office of the MARA regulates the migration advice profession and undertakes a range of functions as defined in s316 of the Migration Act 1958. These functions include:
processing applications for registration
administering continuing professional development
monitoring the conduct of registered migration agents, and
investigating complaints about, and taking appropriate disciplinary action against, registered migration agents who breach the Migration Agents Code of Conduct or otherwise behave in an unprofessional or unethical way.
People who provide immigration assistance in Australia as unregistered persons may be subject to penalties, ranging from fines of up to $5,500 to imprisonment for up to 10 years.