1454 (Design date 01/21) - Page 2 © COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA, 2021
Advance purchase of airline tickets
We strongly suggest that you do not purchase airline tickets or
finalise any travel arrangements before the request for approval
to travel is decided. The Department cannot guarantee that it will
process your request to travel before the intended date of travel.
Having purchased an airline ticket is not itself evidence of
compassionate or compelling circumstances.
A person gives immigration assistance to you if he or she uses, or
claims to use, his or her knowledge or experience in migration
procedure to assist you with your request.
In Australia a person may only lawfully give immigration
assistance if he or she is a registered migration agent or is exempt
from being registered. Only registered migration agents may
receive a fee or reward for providing immigration assistance.
If an unregistered person in Australia, who is not exempt from
registration, gives you immigration assistance they are
committing a criminal offence and may be prosecuted.
Migration agents in Australia
Migration agents in Australia must be registered with the Office
of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (Office of the
MARA) unless they are exempt from registration.
Migration agents outside Australia
Migration agents who operate outside Australia do not have to be
registered. The Department may give some overseas agents an
ID number. This number does not mean that they are registered.
Note: Some Australian registered migration agents operate
Migration agent information
A migration agent is someone who can:
• tell you the documents you need to submit with your request;
• help you fill in the request and submit it; and
• communicate with the Department on your behalf.
If you appoint a migration agent, the Department will assume
that your migration agent will be your authorised recipient,
unless you indicate otherwise.
Your migration agent will be the person with whom the
Department will discuss your request and from whom it will seek
further information when required.
You are not required to use a migration agent. However, if you
use a migration agent, the Department encourages you to use a
registered migration agent. Registered agents are bound by the
Migration Agents Code of Conduct, which requires them to act
professionally in their clients’ lawful best interests.
Information on migration agents, including a list of registered
migration agents, is available on the Office of the MARA website
You can also access information about migration agents on the
Department’s website www.homeaffairs.gov.au
The following people do not have to be a registered migration
agent in order to provide immigration assistance, but they must
not charge a fee for their service:
• a close family member (spouse, de facto partner, child, parent,
brother or sister);
• a member of parliament or their staff;
• an official whose duties include providing immigration
assistance (eg. a Legal Aid provider);
• a member of a diplomatic mission, consular post or
Appointing a migration agent/exempt person
To appoint a migration agent/exempt person you should
complete Options for receiving written communications.
Your migration agent/exempt person should complete form 956
Advice by a registered migration agent/exempt person of
providing immigration assistance.
Form 956 is available from the Department’s website
Options for receiving written communications
If you do not appoint a migration agent/exempt person you may
still authorise another person, in writing, to receive written
communications on your behalf. This person is called the
Authorised recipient information
All written communication about your request will be sent to
your authorised recipient.
The Department will communicate with the most recently
appointed authorised recipient as you may only appoint one
authorised recipient at any time for a particular request.
You will be taken to have received any documents sent to that
person as if they had been sent to you.
To appoint an authorised recipient you should complete:
• Options for receiving written communications; and
• form 956A Appointment or withdrawal of an authorised
Note: Migration agents/exempt persons do not need to complete
Form 956A is available from the Department’s website
Consent to communicate electronically
The Department may use a range of means to communicate with
you. However, electronic means such as email will only be used if
you indicate your agreement to receiving communication in this
To process your request the Department may need to
communicate with you about sensitive information, for example,
health, police checks, financial viability and personal
relationships. Electronic communications, unless adequately
encrypted, are not secure and may be viewed by others or
If you agree to the Department communicating with you by
electronic means, the details you provide will only be used by the
Department for the purpose for which you have provided them,
unless there is a legal obligation or necessity to use them for
another purpose, or you have consented to use for another
purpose. They will not be added to any mailing list.
The Australian Government accepts no responsibility for the
security or integrity of any information sent to the Department
over the internet or by other electronic means.
If you authorise another person to receive documents on your
behalf and they wish to be contacted electronically, their
signature is required on form 956 or 956A to indicate their
consent to this form of communication.
Note: Electronic communication is the fastest means of
communication available and the Department prefers to
communicate electronically because this results in faster