With over 200 Australian visa subclasses on offer and migration laws that are becoming increasingly complex, obtaining an Australian visa is not longer a walk in the park.
There are those visa applicants who choose to apply for their visa without the assistance of a Migration Agent or Lawyer. A process as critical as moving countries is a complex legal process, and not one we would recommend undertaking without professional advice. In fact, we urge potential applicants to engage the services of a Migration Agent or Lawyer at the earliest stages of your application. This can only help to ensure you avoid oversights and/or mistakes that may affect whether your visa is eventually granted or refused.
In Australia, only a registered Migration Agent can legally provide immigration assistance. Before you engage a Migration Agent it is important to ensure they are legitimate by searching the Register of Migration Agent.
Mandatory registration and professional development requirements ensure migration agents are aware of the current laws, procedures and offer correct advice.
‘Immigration assistance’ is classified under section 276 of the Immigration Act 1958 as help with preparing a visa application or documents, offering advice, as well as preparing for proceedings and representing a visa applicant before a court or review authority.
The laws and processes surrounding migration to Australia can often be difficult to navigate, especially when there’s an English language barrier. Given their expertise and knowledge, engaging a Migration Agent can save you time, costs and the high levels of stress associated with the lengthy bureaucratic migration process.
Not all Migration Lawyers are Migration Agents. A Migration Lawyer acts in their capacity as a certified Australian legal practitioner, and unlike a Migration Agent, a lawyer is able to provide ‘immigration legal assistance’.
Section 277 of the Migration Act 1958 where the main difference between the two is the Migration Lawyer’s ability to act for the visa applicant and provide legal advice, something a Migration Agent is unauthorised to do.
Another important thing to note is the nature of the relationship between and lawyer and their client. An immigration lawyer is legally bound to keep any and all information that you have provided confidential. This means that he or she cannot disclose any of your details to the Department of Home Affairs.
Still unsure what type of assistance you need? PocketLegal is composed of Migration Agents and Migration Lawyers. Contact us on 1300 92 11 14 and one of our migration experts will be able to advise you appropriately.