A Q&A with Senior migration Agent Natalie May (MARN 0100623

Why did you decide to become a Migration Agent?

Having always had a strong interest in culture, languages and international relations, I studied a Bachelor of International Studies with Honours at the Flinders University. During my last year of my undergraduate degree I gained some work experience with a local migration agent. During this work experience I had the opportunity to observe a refused Partner visa application case before the Migration Review Tribunal. I found the case fascinating, from the reasons motivating the lodgement of the Partner visa application, how the law is applied to the assessment of a relationship, to the functions of the Migration Review Tribunal. After completing my Honours degree I chose to complete the entry level qualification to become a migration agent through the Deakin University.

What sorts of cases do you work on?

Throughout my 15 years as a migration agent I have worked on all types of visas including applications, refusals and cancellations. Over time I have specialised in the area of skilled migration which includes employer sponsored visas, but I also maintain an active family migration and merits review case load. My skilled migration practice means that I assist individuals and employers in Australia and overseas in achieving their immigration outcomes.

Do you enjoy  your work?

The easy answer is – yes! I enjoy a challenge and most importantly I enjoy being able to contact a client and give them news of a positive outcome. I take my role very seriously, however. For many people, the decision to migrate to a new country is one that has been made over many years. It may be that they have studied certain qualifications to enhance their prospects, or they have been saving financially to afford to relocate to another country. Obtaining a positive outcome can be life-changing. For employers, there is often the need to fill a vacancy quickly with the right person so that their business can continue to operate at an optimum level or a project is not delayed.

Why is using an experienced and professional registered migration agent important?

An experienced migration agent understands the complex nuances involved in migration law. Migration requirements are often interlinked and understanding the bigger picture means that an experienced migration agent is able to ensure that the correct pathway is chosen. The skilled migration pathway is an excellent example as there are a number of related steps that must take place before a visa application can even be lodged. A mistake made in a preliminary step, such as the wrong detail filled into the expression of interest form, can influence the outcome of the actual visa application. Some mistakes can be rectified by a merits review (appeal) application, but not all visa refusals can be appealed. We can quickly identify issues in eligibility through an understanding of the law, policy and similar case histories. The area that we work in can also rapidly change and we need to be flexible to adjust to new requirements at short notice by becoming educated about new criteria, whilst also retaining important information about the historical requirements that may still apply to existing applications.

A migration agent registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority meets very  high standards of professional regulation. Registered migration agents must ensure that they comply with a professional code of conduct and maintain current migration knowledge through ongoing professional development. It is an offense to give migration advice and assistance in Australia unless a person is registered with the MARA. There are no registration requirements for offshore agents to ensure that they act in an applicant’s best interests. Using a registered migration agent is the only option worth considering.

How can people contact you?MARA Natalie May

I am available for the appointments in the office or via Skype, phone or email.

Email: nm@mcdonaldsteed.com.au

LinkedIn:  au.linkedin.com/pub/natalie-may/14/392/b05/