Have you searched through this forum for similar questions since that is a popular one?
In short it really depends on your personal situation. We used an agent because we were approaching 40, wanted the skilled independent visa and would lose points if we got it wrong. So we paid an agent to guide us through and we have no complaints about that at all. Without an agent we wouldn't be here - for us it's that simple.
Some people decide not to use an agent since their case is simple and they have the time to get it wrong. However, as we keep seeing, the longer it takes the more changes are coming through at present.
Have a look for those other posts and you'll see many varying answers.
I have looked through the forum and websites and lots of other internet Australia info , I will keep going.
I think for us an agent is going to be the best way to go as I don't think our case is simple or even possible and I would be worried on not applying for the right Visa.
There are so many to pick from is there a recommended agent list anywhere ?
Any agent you use should be on the MIA / MARA list so that you know that they are a registered agent.
We don't have a recommended list here since you never know when standards at an agent will change (in either direction) and we have no way of checking that.
Members have recommended the agents that they have used on other threads.
I interviewed about 3 agents and asked them the same questions so that I knew exactly what we were being charged for and when. It became pretty simple for us when the first two agents said we didn't stand a chance and couldn't get in whereas the third agent said we could and explained why. We went with him and he was right
It was difficult finding all the info required and putting together spreadsheets etc as my OH is self employed so we had to get client references, photo evidence, suppliers references etc etc and have everything translated as alot of our evidence was in French !
But I did find that most of what I needed to collect to gain the AQF is what I needed for the TRA apart from certifying all the documents
I also decided to start gaining Oz qualifications for myself so also started a 2 year diploma to add onto my degree, am hoping that will help me with employment
Seemed like a good idea at the time but studying, working, finishing the TRA, 3 kids & a husband it suddenly felt like OMG what am I doing! but I have passed 3 units now and ploughing my way through.
Forums like this have been great for searching & finding info