The role of every education or migration agent lies in providing information and guidance to potential international students or migrants, assisting in lodging visa applications, and being an intermediary as legal representative for clients. The responsibility holds an important impact in the life of a migrant. So, to monitor the conduct of education and migration agents, the Australian government has set the MARA code of conduct. Every education or migration agent needs to adhere to the MARA code of conduct.
Besides, if you are an education and migration agent, you need to have your own ethics and show honesty towards your work and client’s trust. So, being an education and migration agent, here are a few things you need to avoid at all costs.
1. Don’t mislead clients about their visa options and education opportunities abroad
Clients trust you for your guidance and support in reaching their abroad destination. Among the overwhelming list of choices, clients seek genuine advice from you to help them out. So, you need to have clear information on the visa options and educational opportunities abroad. If you are unsure about it, you better not mislead them as well. Because in the end, it’s not just about luring more and more clients and making them unsatisfied, but it’s about catering a few clients and making them spread word of mouth about your genuine work.
2. Don’t promise visas that you can’t deliver
If you specialize in preparing and lodging a certain kind of visa application only, you should be clearly communicating that with your clients as well. You need to inform them what kinds of visas you can deliver and what not. Don’t promise visas that you can’t deliver. You can rather refer the clients to some other agent of your network who specialize in that particular visa application. This will help your network grow stronger as well as help build trust among your clients.
3. Don’t charge excessive fees
There is no statutory scale of fees. However, the fees and charges you levy on your clients should be fair for both parties. There may be some instances where you feel that it’s not a big deal if you charge a hefty amount on your service and the client is also non-hesitant to pay. But that’s not what you should be doing. Be honest and upfront about your fees and services. Because it is not a one-time deal. The market always has your competitors serving better services and nominal fees than you. You need to be competitive and honest for the long run in the industry.
4. Don’t forge documents or provide false information to immigration authorities
In some cases when the clients’ documents or criteria cannot meet the visa application requirements, most of the education and migration agents tend to present false documents or information to the immigration authorities. Due to such forceful attempts to deliver visas for clients, you may face harsh consequences such as losing your partnerships with institutions, sub-agents, or partners. Or the clients may face visa cancellations, permanent inadmissibility, or deportation.
5. Don’t take advantage of your client’s lack of knowledge about the migration process
It is your duty to educate clients about the migration process in detail. If the client is completely unaware of the process, do not try to take advantage of them. The one-time gain will take you nowhere. It will only affect your brand and create a negative reputation. So, your working ethics should guide you to make clients aware and help them genuinely.
6. Don’t discriminate against clients based on their race, religion, or gender identity
You should treat all your clients equally. During a counseling session, you should not be passing judgemental attitudes or comments based on their race, religion, caste, or gender. Be respectful of cultures and customs by doing research on country information before initiating conversation with people from other countries.
7. Don’t neglect your professional duties in order to pursue personal gain
Your professional duty demands that your decisions must first and foremost promote the best interests of those who are being served. It demands your honesty and passion towards serving the clients for migrating abroad. In order to pursue some personal gain, you should not neglect your professional duties.
8. Don’t breach the code of ethics set out by the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA)
To work as a registered education and migration agent, you need to register yourself in the Migration Agents Registration Authority. The governmental authority has set out a code of conduct to monitor the operations and activities of the agents. It prescribes certain obligations of agents towards clients so that the relationship can progress in a professional and ethical way. Breaching the code of conduct can have extreme consequences such as suspension or cancellation of your registration or even restriction from registering as a migration agent for up to 5 years.
9. Acknowledge individuality
While counseling with your clients, you should never have a preconceived notion of what they will be interested in. You need to keep in mind that every student is different and has unique needs. Have a good conversation on knowing about their interests and needs. Don’t assume anything about them before talking to them directly.
10. Stick to your ethics
Your business has its own values and those values are what define your business. You need to be ethical and stick to your values. As you strive to maintain an ethical standard of conduct, also remember to be consistent in sticking to your ethics. Ethical practice will always help you stay in the business in the long run.
Studying or migrating abroad is a life-changing decision for anyone. As an education and migration agent, you must carefully consider what you should be doing and whatnot. Because your actions have a significant impact on the lives of your clients. To succeed in your business, profit is merely a part. Strive to earn trust and respect for your work.
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