Immigration Lawyer & Migration Agent

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What is the different between engaging the services of an immigration and registered migration agent?

Immigration lawyer Melbourne & Migration Agent: Who is better? What can and can’t they do for you.

In Australia only qualified people, like immigration lawyer & migration agent, who are registered by the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority or OMARA are legally permitted to give advice on matter relating to visa.

Only Immigration Lawyer & Registered Migration Agent or RMA are permitted to provide immigration assistance services. You should note that from 22 March 2021 lawyers do not need to be a registered migration agent to help you with your immigration and citizenship matter. All lawyers with unrestricted practising certificates will be freely able to provide immigration assistance in the course of legal practice.

Finding and working with the right immigration lawyer or registered migration agent is very important to a good visa outcome. If your visa application is refused or visa cancelled, this will often cause you and your family tremendous stress and anxiety. You and/or member(s) of your family may be forced to leave Australia, or member(s) of your family may not be able to join you in Australia. Having an experienced immigration lawyer or registered migration agent working for you is therefore very important to keeping your family together, for example, your sponsor/partner has significant criminal history and is prevented from sponsoring you for a Partner visa (click here to read more) or advising you how not to have a visa refused by the Department of Immigration (click here to learn, for example how to avoid Student Visa refusal) or how to prevent visa cancellation (click here to learn more) or help you obtain a permanent partner visa even if your relationship has broken down due to family violence (click here to learn more about temporary Partner visa holders experiencing domestic violence) or help you get out of immigration detention center (click here to learn more) or help you challenge the Department of Immigration’s decision to refuse your visa application (click here to learn how) or if your visa is about or is cancelled because you failed the Character test (click here to learn more) or how to lodge an AAT application (click here to learn whether AAT can review an invalid application) or advise whether you need to attend AAT hearing (click here to learn more) or help you with Australia citizenship matter (click here to learn, for example, my child was born in Australia and we have been living here for more than 10 years or what if my child was born on Qantas flight or how many years do I have to live in Australia before I can apply for citizenship) or tell you which is the best pathway to obtain a permanent visa (click here to learn how an overseas trained nurse can obtain permanent resident visa) or how to include members of your family in a combined visa application (click here to learn more about adding and/or including family members in visa application) or to apply for a bridging visa (click here to learn more) or to help you successfully gain a Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) permanent visa nominated by the NSW government (click here to learn how).

If you failed the character test, that is, you have a substantial criminal history or record and you are in jail, the Department will cancel your visa, including permanent visa, and after you have served your imprisonment sentence you will be detained in an immigration detention centre. You should contact a migration lawyer to request the Minister to revoke the cancellation (click here to learn more about section 501(3A) mandatory visa cancellation or click here to learn about section 116(1)(e)(i) visa cancellation)

Why use a registered migration agent?

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Registered Migration Agent

If you don’t use a person who is registered by the OMARA to help you with your visa application or visa refusal or visa cancellation, you will risk being exposed to migration fraud by the people who have little or no knowledge of Australian migration law or migration procedures. You will also risk losing your hard-earned money to people who have no knowledge or capacity to provide you with migration assistance (click here to read more about Partner visa scam; visas scam; jobs scam).

Unregistered persons claiming to Immigration Lawyer & Migration Agent can give you wrong advice or make false promises or might just take your money or might not handle your documents properly or might not tell you about your visa outcome.

Although some exemptions apply to certain people who are not registered with OMARA to give limited migration assistance and they include:

  • visa applicant’s sponsor or nominator; or
  • visa applicant’s or sponsor’s or nominator’s close family member; or
  • an official who are permitted to give assistance when performing their job; or
  • a Member of Parliament; and
  • a member of a diplomatic mission, consular post or international organisation helping to prepare submissions to the Minister of Home Affairs and who is giving the help for free.

It is a criminal offence under section 280 and 281 of the Migration Act 1958 for a person who is not a registered migration agent for giving immigration assistance or receiving a fee for giving visa assistance.

What is immigration or migration assistance?

The law defines a person giving immigration or migration assistance:

  • if he or she uses, or pretend to use, knowledge of, or experience in, migration procedure to assist a person applying for a visa; or
  • advising the visa applicant or a person whose visa is about to be cancelled or has been cancelled, for example, your visa is cancelled at the airport (click here to learn more); or
  • preparing for the visa applicant review application for visa application refusal or visa cancellation, including a merits review to the AAT (Administrative Appeals Tribunal) or appeal application to the FCCA (Federal Circuit Court of Australia); or
  • representing the visa applicant at the AAT or FCCA.

What can an immigration lawyer do for you?

移民律师 in Melbourne speak Chinese and Malay

Lawyers must have current Practising Certificate

Immigration lawyer & migration lawyer has to be issued with a valid Practising Certificate in order for them to work as a solicitor or lawyer.

移民律师 must have insurance

Lawyers must have insurance

All practising immigration lawyers must have appropriate professional indemnity insurance that will cover them in the event of giving wrong advice or causing their clients to lose money because of negligence.

  1. An immigration lawyer can explain all the visa options available for your personal circumstances, including bridging visas (click here to learn more).
  2. An immigration lawyer can tell you which visa will best suit you.
  3. An immigration lawyer can provide you with visa application checklist making it easier and quicker for the Department of Immigration (Department of Home Affairs) to assess your visa application.
  4. An immigration lawyer can help you with your visa application and you can authorise him or her to communicate with the Department of Immigration and other agencies for you.
  5. An immigration lawyer can represent you at the AAT and can draft legal submissions to support your merits review.
  6. An immigration lawyer can give you advice on Australia Citizenship matter (click here for example of a child born in Australia to non-Australia citizens or permanent residents; a child born on a Qantas flight to Australia; how many years do I have to live in Australia before I can apply for Citizenship).

What can’t an immigration lawyer do?

  1. An immigration lawyer cannot guarantee you that your visa application will be successful, or the AAT will remit your visa refusal back to the Department of Immigration.
  2. An immigration lawyer cannot help you to obtain a visa if you are unable to satisfy the visa criteria.
  3. An immigration lawyer cannot promise you that the Department of Immigration will treat your visa application more favourably or even to prioritise your visa application.
  4. An immigration lawyer does not normally help you with securing a sponsor or a nominator or a partner.

According to the Law Council of Australia, the main differences between lawyers and registered migration agents are:

  • Qualifications – lawyers are required to study a broad range of laws and registered migration agents are only required to know certain areas of migration law and are not required to study citizenship law or other areas of law that may clients.
  • Scope of service – only lawyers can assist clients with migration matters before the courts and the General Division of the AAT. Only lawyers are qualified and authorised to provide legal advice where the clients’ matters involve issues other than migration.
  • Insurance – lawyers require a higher level of insurance than a registered migration agent.
  • Legal professional privilege – whatever you tell your lawyer is protected by the confidentiality of legal professional privilege whereas communications between registered migration agents and you are not protected in that way.

How to choose the right immigration lawyer?

Choosing a right immigration lawyer is important to help you with your visa application or visa cancellation or AAT merits review.

Before you engage an Immigration Lawyer & Migration Agent, you should first list down all the questions you need to ask, for example:

  • visa options best suit your circumstances;
  • what sort of assistance is available to help you;
  • does he or she speaks your language, if you are not fluent in English (移民律师 or peguam imigresen or abogado ng imigrasyon or pengacara imigrasi or ทนายความด้านการเข้าเมือง or luật sư di trú);
  • what are the fees – fixed or payable by the hour (for example, blocks of 6 minutes);
  • will you be given a written contract (or retainer agreement) – an immigration lawyer will usually give you a contract if his professional fee is more than $750;
  • will your payments be held in a trust bank account – an immigration lawyer will usually hold your payments in trust until work is completed;
  • will you receive a receipt each time you make a payment – an immigration lawyer will usually issue you with a trust receipt;
  • will you receive an invoice for work completed – an immigration lawyer will usually issue you with an invoice for work that is completed, and you will usually have 7 days to challenge the invoice

The OMARA maintains a public website to allow you to make sure your immigration lawyer or registered migration is registered (click here to find an registered migration agent).

If your immigration lawyer is practising in the State of Victoria, you can search on the LSB’s website whether he or she is a currently allowed to practice as a lawyer or solicitor.

Are all registered migration agents also lawyers?

From 22 March 2021, lawyers do not need to be registered migration agents. All lawyers have to complete at least 3 years of tertiary studies and a postgraduate legal practice course. All lawyers have to complete a Bachelor of Laws or a Master of Laws or a Juris Doctor degree to be admitted to practise as a solicitor or lawyer.

Immigration lawyer & migration agent can help you explore Australia visas

  • Bridging visas. Immigration lawyer & registered migration agent can help you to:
    • decide if you are able to apply for a bridging visa or
    • to change your bridging visa condition, for example, to travel overseas or for permission to work or
    • to get out of immigration detention (click here to learn more) or
    • your visa has been cancelled at the airport (click here to learn more).
Australia Student visa

Student & Student Guardian visas

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Business, Investment and Entrepreneur visas

移民律师可以帮助申请家庭签证 immigration lawyer can help with family visa application

Family visas

Immigration lawyer & migration agent can help with professional and skilled visa application

Professional & Skilled visas

Tourist or Visitor visas

  • Immigration lawyer & registered migration agent can advice you on which tourist or visitor visa to apply if you plan to visit Australia for a holiday or visit family and friends or to explore business opportunities (click here to learn more about Subclass 600; Subclass 601; Subclass 651)
Working holiday visa

Working Holiday visas

  • Immigration lawyer & registered migration agent can advice you if you can or help you to apply for working holiday visa (click here to learn more about Subclass 417; Subclass 462).
Chinese immigration lawyer & registered migration agent in Melbourne

Australia permanent Resident Return Visas

immigration lawyer speak Malay can help with Protection Subclass 866 visa application

Protection, Refugee & Humanitarian visas

Australian migration law is complex and difficult to understand, contact our immigration lawyer & registered migration agent for a consultation (fee applies) to review your Australia visa matter or you can try to find answers to your questions on our FAQ (click here).

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Immigration lawyer provide free migration advice

041 222 4020 or WeChat: AUDvisa

This article is not intended to be or taken as migration legal advice. The author of this article disclaims any liability for any action or omission on the information provided or not provided in this article. You should always consult an immigration lawyer or a registered migration agent to form an informed opinion on your immigration matter.

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