When we think about immigration to Australia we should not be blamed for believing that it started in the last 200 years or so. The commencement of migration to Australia infect begun some 51,000 years ago!
Modern day migration however is what we are going to cover here; it requires the knowledge of the law of the land, in particular, immigration laws. This is when a would-be permanent resident of this great land would need an immigration lawyers or a migration agent.
First of all, let’s examine what the difference is between immigration lawyers and what is commonly known as migration agent.
As the case is in Australia, anyone giving migration advice and charges a fee for it must be registered by the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA). They are also obliged to renew their certificate every year by this same government department. Migration Agent number needs to be clearly shown on the agent’s website and in the office.
Immigration lawyers however fall under different rules and these are pretty much similar to practicing law in any other field like commercial or the employment law for example. Basically, anyone charging for law advice must hold a practicing certificate.
Having a degree in law and then being admitted to practice in the State or Federal court is typically only done once – after the person graduates. Practicing certificate however needs to be renewed yearly; hence admission and practicing certificates are two totally different things.
Since the latter is renewed yearly, there are certain criteria for a successful approval. This includes immigration lawyer attending certain amount of ongoing study and possessing current professional indemnity insurance.
As with any profession, migration expert can be used in a loose context. If you require assistance with any migration matter for yourself or you are trying to sponsor somebody over from overseas, it is prudent that you get yourself a highly experienced professional. How can you know if someone claiming to be an experienced migration agent really is; ask questions.
Commissioning an immigration lawyer in Australia who holds a practicing certificate to assist you with your migration matter will insure that your communications are confidential and protected. This is also known as legal professional privilege between a lawyer and a client.
Immigration lawyers will be aware of other kinds of law which is particularly important given that immigration cases have implications for individual’s responsibilities and rights in other areas of law and society; employment law, family, tax and criminal laws are worth mentioning.
To conclude, migration agents can assist with the wide range of migration matters and visa applications, however if they are also backed by immigration lawyers in the same office or they are teamed up in this manner – this is the best combination.
This way you get the best of both worlds; the day to day knowledge of the migration agent while he or she will provide you a cost effective service and at the same time if you require to appeal, immigration lawyers can step in and represent you in front of Migration or Refugee Review Tribunal.