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Pathways and Pitfalls

The Migrant Workers Centre is proud to announce the launch of its latest research report, Pathways and Pitfalls: Migrant Workers’ Experiences with the Migration Advice Sector. This comprehensive study sheds light on the significant challenges faced by migrant workers in navigating the migration advice sector and offers key policy recommendations to ensure better accountability and support. 

Purpose of the Report 
The primary objective of Pathways and Pitfalls is to encourage changes in the migration and education advice sector. The report aims to ensure that accredited advisers are held accountable and urges the government to act on the recommendations provided. 

Key Issues Addressed 

  • Difficulty in finding competent advisers and accessible information about visa options. 
  • Low awareness of OMARA, with only 9% of respondents using official channels to find registered migration agents. 
  • Significant problems with primary migration services, including insufficient updates and incorrect advice. 
  • Heightened power imbalances and risk of exploitation for financial gain. 
  • Negative impacts on visas or stay in Australia, financial hardship, and difficulty appealing visa decisions. 
  • Reluctance to pursue complaints due to fear of visa repercussions and lack of means and confidence. 

The government must take steps to

  1. Implement recommendations 1-8 of the Joint Standing Committee on Migration’s (JSCM) Inquiry into the efficacy of current regulation of Australian migration agents
  2. Introduce a tiered registration system to provide a reliable basis upon which migrants can select registered migration agents based on their level of competency in different areas of practice
  3. Establish an accessible mechanism for clients to seek compensation where it is found that the misconduct of migration agents has caused them harm
  4. Work with the education sector to review commission-based services provided by education agents and migration and education agents
  5. Increase funding for accessible and culturally appropriate migration advice across all streams of the migration program
  6. Allocate targeted funding to community organisations to design programs that help build the capacity of migrant workers to understand and navigate migration advice services in Australia

Click here to read the report summary

Click here to read the full report

Click here to read the media release


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