Are you applying for a Visa and need some guidance from a professional about it? Migrating can prove to be a daunting task if we don’t have the required knowledge about the know-how of it. But it may become easier if professional steps in to carve your way beforehand. Moreover, the entire process can be time-consuming and stressful for first-timers. In this post, we intend to inform you about the differences between an immigration lawyer and a migration agent.
What Are The Differences Between A Migration Agent And An Immigration Lawyer?
Migration agents have to be registered with Australia’s government authority Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA). These agents can:
- Offer advice on the requirements of a visa.
- Assist you with lodging the visa applications.
- Talk with the Department of Home Affairs in place of you.
Migration agents usually complete a diploma or a 12-month certificate in Australian Migration Law, along with a tertiary institution. Due to this, they can now register with MARA and practise and deal as a migration agent.
At the same time, there are many lawyers who practise completing migration procedures as well. If a lawyer wishes to practise as a migration agent and immigration law, they need to register with MARA first. Moreover, immigration lawyers generally retain their dual registration, so as to offer immigration assistance and advice. But unlike migration agents who do not possess legal qualifications, immigration lawyers can appeal cases as well in the High Court or the Federal Court.
Following is a list of factors where migration agents and immigration lawyers vary.
- A migration agent has completed a diploma or a 12-month certificate in Australian Migration Law.
- On the other hand, immigration lawyers in Melbourne, Australia, have completed Practical Legal Training along with their law degrees.
- Migration agents are registered with MARA, as is mentioned earlier.
- Immigration lawyers are registered with the Legal Admissions Board, MARA and the Law Society.
Administrative Appeals Tribunal
- Both migration agents and immigration lawyers can assist with lodging visa applications and aid the eligible in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
- Migration Agents cannot assist in appealing to the Australian courts.
- Immigration lawyers are capable of assisting with appeals in the Federal Court of Australia (FCA), Federal Circuit Court of Australia and the High Court of Australia as well.
Therefore, before approaching either a migration agent or an immigration lawyer, make sure you know what services can be offered by them both. Based on that, you can decide to choose the person apt for your specific case.
After having known the purpose of migration agents and immigration lawyers, let us see why they are important and in what all ways can they help us.
Why Go For A Migration Agent Or An Immigration Lawyer?
Here are a few reasons which will tell you how they make the process of visa application or immigration easier for you.
There are 100 visa subclasses currently available in Australia. This can make it difficult for the applicant to navigate which one suits them the best. And then there is the added risk of the application being refused for the diminutive of mistakes, as this will be quite costly for a common citizen. Although it may seem that you are saving on your money while completing the procedure yourself, if the application gets rejected, you will have to redo the process and spend even more on it.
Certain visa applications go up to $8,000. Refunds for lodging the application cannot be availed by all the applicants. Additionally, you need to pay the SAF Levy if you are an employer or own a business. And if one wants a refund for this levy due to the application getting rejected by the Department of Home Affairs, only in certain limited circumstances can this happen.
Say, if you are not happy with the decision of their rejection and you appeal for a Tribunal case, then it will, no doubt, further increase your costs.
Evade Extensive Delays
An experienced immigration lawyer or migration agent can get our application ‘decision ready’ for the case officer that has been assigned for your matter. If in case you have not filled some important information as per the required mandate, it could lead to a prolonged delay. You may also receive a PIC 4020 invitation for commenting and giving clarification for something. The authorities can request information (RFI) or send a request to respond to the natural justice letters.
All these requests and letters can leave one in a puzzled state if one does not know how to respond appropriately. It can become overwhelming and stressful too. Moreover, a well-organised and near-perfect application has more chances at the success rate.
The authorities often refuse the visa applications due to the individuals not meeting the eligibility criteria. But if you invest in preliminary consultation with a migration lawyer or agent about your visa options and eligibility, they will ensure
- Your high prospects of success
- Your suitability
- The duration and process
- The costs that you will incur
Often, family and partner visas are also difficult to file an application for. So, there are partner visa lawyers present who can help you with the complex process and advise you about what options will suit you the best. Because they have become experts by their years of experience, they know the points where generally the authorities focus on and where your application is likely to get stuck. Their hawkeye can see through the application and point out even the most complex mistakes and ask you to rectify them.
They Help You In Stressful Conditions
For a first-timer, the entire process of visa application can be daunting. As this may increase your stress, which may further increase your chances of making mistakes while filling out the application, these agents and lawyers can help you get the process done without any stress.
There are quite a few immigration law firms in Australia that offer credible legal services to their clients with complete transparency. All you need to do is make sure what your requirements are and get in touch with them.