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Immigration Law

Migration is not only one of the most sophisticated areas of law, but also one of the most fluctuating in Australia with continual changes and developments to the immigration law. Since it can be tedious to be well-informed of even the slightest changes, the short is to resort to migration lawyers, also known as immigration lawyers.  Our immigration lawyers have the expertise to handle all immigration matters, from a simple visa applications to Australia and citizenship/naturalisation, to complex cases requiring persuasive submissions at the AAT and Federal Court.
A child granted Australian citizenship.

Immigration Lawyers and Services

Our migration lawyers are available to offer full support to anyone seeking residence in Australia, regardless of their chosen visa pathway. While the term “migration lawyers” may seem daunting, our lawyers are very friendly, caring and empathetic help you through the process on a personalised journey tailored to your situation. All our migration lawyers are also registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority.

What criteria are there to assess my eligibility for a visa?

The criteria to obtain a visa changes, depending on what type of visa you are trying to apply for. For example, if you were trying to apply for a study visa, then it would imperative that you have been accepted and enrolled within a school or university. If you are seeking to enter Australia under a work visa then you will need to have obtained employment. If you enter Australia under these types of conditions then it is imperative that you ensure you continue your employment or your education during the life of the visa. A failure to do so would be a cause for the cancellation of your visa and possible deportation.

What Visa Options Are Available to me?

There are various visas that can be applied for as entry into Australia. The criteria and eligibility for each are subject to the respective visa type. Below is a list of possible visa category options which will have various different visa options under each subclass:
  • Visitor or Tourism Visa;
  • Study Visa;
  • Work Visa;
  • Permanent Residency Visa’s;
  • Stay Longer in Australia Visa’s;
  • Join Partner or Family Visa; and
  • Refugee and Humanitarian Visa’s.
This is a fairly comprehensive list of what may be available to you but it will be dependent on your individual needs. If you need help with the application process, contact a specialised migration lawyer Sydney for immigration advice.

What visas do your Sydney Immigration Lawyers offer?

Below are our registered migration agent areas of expertise:
  • Business Innovation and Investment (permanent) visa (subclass 888)
  • Business Innovation and Investment (provisional) visa (subclass 188)
  • Business Owner (subclass 890)
  • Business Talent (Permanent) visa (subclass 132)
  • Distinguished Talent visa (subclass 124)
  • Distinguished Talent visa (subclass 858)
  • Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186)
  • Investor visa (subclass 891)
  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187)
  • Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)
  • Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) 
  • Skilled-Recognised Graduate visa (subclass 476)
  • Skilled Regional (provisional) visa (subclass 489)
  • Skilled Regional visa (subclass 887)
  • State or Territory Sponsored Business Owner visa (subclass 892)
  • State or Territory Sponsored Investor visa (subclass 893)
  • Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408)
  • Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485)
  • Temporary Work (International Relations) visa (subclass 403)
  • Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa (subclass 400)
  • Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482)
  • Electronic Travel Authority (subclass 601)
  • eVisitor (subclass 651)
  • Transit visa (subclass 771)
  • Visitor (subclass 600)
  • Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462)
  • Working Holiday visa (subclass 417)
  • Adoption visa (subclass 102)
  • Aged Dependent Relative visa (subclass 114)
  • Aged Dependent Relative visa (subclass 838)
  • Aged Parent visa (subclass 804)
  • Carer visa (subclass 836)
  • Carer visa (subclass 116)
  • Child visa (subclass 101)
  • Child visa (subclass 802)
  • Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) visa (subclass 884)
  • Contributory Aged Parent visa (subclass 864)
  • Contributory Parent (Temporary) visa (subclass 173)
  • Contributory Parent visa (subclass 143)
  • Dependent Child visa (subclass 445)
  • New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship (temporary) visa (subclass 461)
  • Orphan Relative (subclass 117)
  • Orphan Relative (subclass 837)
  • Parent visa (subclass 103)
  • Partner (Provisional and Migrant) visa (subclass 309 100)
  • Partner visa (subclass 820 801)
  • Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300)
  • Remaining Relative visa (subclass 115)
  • Remaining Relative visa (subclass 835)
  • Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa (subclass 870)
  • Student visa (subclass 500)
  • Student Guardian visa (subclass 590)
  • Training visa (subclass 407)
  • Global Special Humanitarian (subclass 202)
  • Protection visa (subclass 866)
  • Refugee visas (subclass 200, 201, 203 and 204)
  • Temporary Protection visa (subclass 785)
  • Safe Haven Enterprise visa (subclass 790)
  • Bridging visa A – BVA – (subclass 010)
  • Bridging visa B – BVB – (subclass 020)
  • Bridging visa C – BVC – (subclass 030)
  • Bridging visa E – BVE – (subclass 050 and 051)
  • Crew Travel Authority visa (subclass 942)
  • Former Resident visa (subclass 151)
  • Maritime Crew visa (subclass 988)
  • Medical Treatment visa (subclass 602)
  • Resident Return visa (subclass 155 157)
  • Special Category visa (subclass 444)
  • Special Purpose visa
  • Investor Retirement visa (subclass 405)
  • Confirmatory (Residence) visa (subclass 808)
A family migrating to Australia.

Which Legislation do I look to for information regarding the Migration System?

For information regarding the migration system and process within Australia, you will need to look at the Migration Act 1958. The act will give you a break down of Australian Migration law and specifically, how it applies to your individual circumstances. It will also contain section pertaining to the code of conduct expected of the legal profession, specifically, obligations for legal practitioners, professional standards, etc. If in doubt, contact a migration lawyer to help you navigate the legislation.

Should My Migration Agent be Registered?

If you choose to use a migration agent to help you with your visa application then it is prudent to use one who is registered. Primarily, this is because a registered migration agent is required to stay up to date with current legislation and processes. You can only seek immigration assistance from a registered migration agent! Immigration assistance is:
  1. Help in preparing a visa application;
  2. Advice about a visa application;
  3. Preparation of documents for the sponsorship of a visa applicant, or advice to the sponsor;
  4. Preparing for proceedings, before a court or a merits review tribunal such as the Administrative Appeals Tribunals, or representing someone at those proceedings;
  5. Helping to prepare a request to the Minister to exercise certain powers under the Migration Act in relation to a visa applicant.
There are few things however, that a migration agent cannot do:
  1. They cannot influence the outcome you may receive;
  2. They cannot fast track the process for you; and
  3. They cannot guarantee you a visa.
You should always seek advice from a registered migration agent if you are unsure of the process, criteria or your obligations. In the event you do to choose to use a registered migration agent to help you with the process, it is imperative that they notify the Australian Government of this. This can be done by completing and having you sign the following form : Form 956 Advice by a migration agent/exempt person of providing Immigration assistance  This allows the government to discuss your application directly with your migration agent and seek further information about your application if necessary. This also means that as your authorized recipient, your migration agent will be able to receive written communication regarding your application directly from the government thus alleviating some of the stress from the process for you.

How do I find out if my Migration Agent is Registered?

You will be able to find out if your migration agent is registered by contacting the office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA). They are an Australian government authority who register migration agents and also regulate the migration agents profession. They work to ensure a code of conduct so to speak which promotes ethical and responsible practice within the profession. If you ever have any questions or concerns about the migration advice you have been given or the profession as a whole contact the migration registration authority.
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Attending AAT

What is the AAT?

The Administrative Appeal Tribunal (AAT), is a civil tribunal which deals with appeals and reviews on civil related legal matters. If you have been given an immigration decision which you would like to appeal, this is the tribunal you would be dealing with.

Can I represent myself if dealing with the AAT or do I need a lawyer?

You can represent yourself in front of the tribunal however it is recommended that you have a lawyer. If you choose to represent yourself then you will need to present your case to the tribunal as to why you believe they have made an error in their decision. Your statements and evidence submitted must follow strict guidelines and show extenuating circumstances why you should be granted your visa. It is important to provide factual and evidential circumstances and to update the tribunal as to any changes in your circumstances which might warrant them reversing their decision.

If in doubt, an immigration lawyer will always be the best first point of call. Even if you decide that you do not need their help with the physical appeal, contacting a lawyer for initial advice is always a good idea.

Will the AAT be aware of the circumstances of my case?

The tribunal will have already been provided information on your case to date but it is always good to have a quick timeline ready for important dates and information. The process runs smoothly if all parties are organised and prepared.

You should make sure that you have a copy of all necessary paperwork, documentation and correspondence in front of you so that you can easily answer questions if asked. If you have sought legal advice prior to appearing before the tribunal, your lawyer will have been able to help you pinpoint your main arguments and you will most likely have a brief idea of how the process will work.

Can I have support people present?

If you require specialised support for a disability or impairment, then arrangements can be made prior to the day to aid with this. It is important that you contact the tribunal and speak with them directly to make these arrangements or have your lawyer speak with them on your behalf. They will need time to make special arrangements.

It is extremely important that you contact the tribunal if you need to have an interpreter during the process. It may take some arranging to find a suitable interpreter for you and the tribunal will need time to make these arrangements.

My Visa is expiring

My visa is expiring what should I do?

Your visa’s expiry date is printed at the bottom of your visa and you should always take note of when it is approaching. The application and renewal process is long and time consuming and you need to ensure you start the renewal process with plenty of time to spare.

The visa process is very specific and you need to ensure that all information you provide to the immigration department is accurate and factual. If you provide inaccurate or false information then your visa will automatically be denied and you will be automatically banned from reapplying for at least 3 years.

What if my visa renewal is rejected/denied?

Unfortunately, once your visa has expired, you will no longer be able to remain living in Australia. If you are found to be living in Australia without a valid visa, you will be classed as an illegal citizen and extradited back to your country of birth. It will also tarnish your character and make it harder for you to re-apply for entry into Australia.

What if I want to change the conditions of my Visa?

This is a common dilemma but it is extremely important that you abide strictly by the conditions of your visa. If your visa does not allow you to work then you will be considered to have broken the law if you undertake any form of paid work whilst living in Australia.

Similarly, if you are living in Australia under a student visa and you then stop studying, your visa will be invalid because it was only granted with the condition that you undertake study. These conditions may not seem important, but they are detrimental if broken. If you decide that you wish to change the conditions of your visa, you will need to apply to have your visa changed. This process can be quite time consuming and long winded so it is important that when you apply for a visa you are aware of your obligations during its duration.

If in doubt, seek legal advice! An immigration lawyer will always be the best point of call.

How do I appeal my visa decision?

If you wish to appeal your visa decision, you will need to do so through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). This is a civil tribunal which determines the outcome of appeal processes. The tribunal will consider the facts and circumstances surrounding your visa decision and listen to your arguments as to why you believe the decision has been made in error.

It is extremely important to present your circumstances articulately and with precision. The tribunal are similar to that of a court in the fact that they need to be persuaded of your argument. 

Frequently Asked Questions.

The 2 key difference between a migrant and an immigrant are as follows: 

  1. An immigrant is a person who comes to live in a country, in comparison to a migrant who moves from a country;
  2. An immigrant permanently relocates whereas a migrant does not;

A migration lawyer is considered to have a specialised accreditation standard because they have completed additional training to practice in the area of immigration law.

You can contact two different organisations to report a complaint about your migration lawyer, the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA), or the Law Society. MARA is a government organisation who have been established to log the migration lawyers registration within the profession but also to oversee the profession as a whole. The law society, on the other hand, is a much broader organisation which is responsible for issuing practising certificates within the legal profession as a whole and overseeing legal practitioners compliance with their obligations under the profession’s code of conduct.

There are many visa categories in Australia. It is important that you apply for the correct visa to prevent delays and unnecessary expense. Australia has the following visa categories:

Working and Skilled Visas (Work visas):

· Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) Visa

· Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa

· Business Owner

· Business Talent (Permanent)

· Distinguished Talent Visa

· Global Talent Visa

· Employer Nomination Scheme

· Investor Visa

· Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa

· Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme

· Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa

· Skilled Independent Visa

· Skilled Recognised Graduate Visa

· Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa

· Skilled Regional Visa

· Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa

· State or Territory Sponsored Business Owner Visa

· State or Territory Sponsored Investor Visa

· Temporary Activity Visa

· Temporary Graduate Visa

· Temporary Work (International Relations) Visa

· Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) Visa

· Temporary Skilled Shortage Visa

Sponsorship may apply to skilled workers, provided you are unable to find an Australian citizen or permanent resident qualified to do the job. For further information on

whether sponsorship is an option for business, contact our team for a free initial consultation.


Studying and training visas:

· Student Visa

· Student Guardian Visa

· Training Visa


Refugee and humanitarian visas:

· Global Special Humanitarian

· Protection Visa

· Refugee Visa

· Temporary Protection Visa

· Safe Haven Enterprise Visa


Visitor visas:

· Electronic Travel Authority

· Evisitor

· Transit Visa

· Visitor

· Work and Holiday Visa

· Working Holiday Visa


Family and partner visas:

· Adoption Visa

· Aged Dependent Relative Visa (Subclass 114)

· Aged Dependent Relative Visa (Subclass 838)

· Aged Parent Visa

· Carer Visa (Subclass 836)

· Carer Visa (Subclass 116)

· Child Visa (Subclass 101)

· Child Visa (Subclass 802)

· Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) Visa

· Contributory Aged Parent Visa

· Contributory Aged Parent Visa

· Dependant Child Visa

· New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship (Temporary) Visa

· Orphan Relative Visa (Subclass 117)

· Orphan Relative Visa (Subclass 837)

· Parent Visa

· Partner (Provisional and Migrant) Visa

· Partner Visa

· Prospective Marriage Visa

· Remaining Relative Visa (Subclass 115)

· Remaining Relative Visa (Subclass 835)

· Sponsored Parent (Temporary) Visa


Other visas:

· Bridging visa

· Crew Travel Authority Visa

· Former Resident Visa

· Maritime Crew Visa

· Medical Treatment Visa

· Resident Return Visa

· Special Category Visa

· Special Purpose Visa

· Investor Retirement Visa

· Confirmatory (Residence) Visa


The process for becoming an Australian citizen is as follows:

1. Make sure you’re eligible

2. Prepare and copy your supporting documents such as birth certificate, change of name certificates, marriage certificates, passports, etc. Ensure that these certificates have been officially translated into English if necessary. You may be required to have copies of your documents certified.

3. Complete the application form

4. Lodge your application

5. Attend your appointment with the Department of Home Affairs

6. Complete the citizenship test

7. Wait for the outcome

8. Receive the decision

9. Appeal the outcome if necessary

10. Attend the citizenship ceremony

You can become a permanent resident by applying for a permanent visa that allows you to stay in Australia. The three common permanent visa categories that allow this are:

1. Family stream permanent visa

2. Work stream permanent visa

3. Business or investor-stream permanent visa


Before you can apply for a permanent visa, you need to ensure that you meet the requirements of the visa you are applying for. These requirements include medical and criminal record checks. You find the full list of eligibility requirements on the Home Affairs website.


Once you have ensured you are eligible for your selected visa, you can file your application along with any supporting documents. These documents may include certified copies of birth certificates, passports, proof of education, etc. You will also need to ensure that your documents have been translated into English prior to lodging your application.


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