Do I Really Need an Immigration Lawyer?

Posted on May 14, 2018 by Benson Shi

Do I really need an immigration lawyer?

You may be wondering why you would need to use an immigration lawyer to help with your visa or citizenship matter when you could simply fill out the form yourself and use Google to answer any questions you may have.

While you are allowed to handle your immigration matter by yourself, it is not recommended for the following reasons:

 

  1. Immigration lawyers have extensive and up-to-date knowledge and all migration matters

The environment of immigration law is constantly changing with the Department of Home Affairs (previously known as the Department of Immigration and Border Protection) continuously introducing new changes to visa requirements. Visa application forms are also often changed to reflect new policies.

Immigration lawyers are always aware of new changes and have great knowledge of the Migration Act, Migration Regulations and other relevant legislation and policies relating to migration procedure. As a result, they will be able to explain to you everything you need to know about your matter and your application, whilst also explaining all the options and alternatives available to you. It is essential that you understand and comply with all requirements of the visa or else your application will be delayed, or worse, refused. It can be difficult and confusing to navigate through legal matters so receiving help from an immigration lawyer is always advised.

 

  1. Using an immigration lawyer will ensure that your application is complete and accurate

Applications are often refused as the applicant has provided the wrong information, did not provide enough information, or did not provide all necessary documents.[1] In fact, it is quite common for applications to be refused due to these types of minor errors and inconsistencies. Whilst it is not too difficult to contact the Department to correct mistakes on your application through an additional form, it should be noted that the Department are not obliged to contact you about documents missing from your application. Any mistake may delay your application process, potentially costing you more money, and risk a denial. You could also be banned from re-applying and, if you are refused, it will reflect poorly on your immigration history in future visa applications for Australia and overseas.

For example, a common problem faced by applicants applying for an Australian partner visa is what evidence to provide to prove they have a “genuine and continuing” relationship.[2] Types of evidence can include joint bank statements, photographs, and statements from friends and family. However, due to the high number of false partner applications, these applications are thoroughly scrutinised. An immigration lawyer with years of experience will know exactly what evidence is needed to strengthen your case and their great attention to detail will ensure that all evidence has been cross-referenced and is consistent.

Your application must be 100% accurate and complete – even 99% is not good enough. Allowing an immigration firm to handle your case means you have a team of qualified and expert lawyers who are will prepare your case and ensure that it meets all of the necessary requirements.

 

  1. Immigration lawyers are skilled in research and interpreting the legislation

An immigration lawyer can also prepare submissions on your behalf, whether it be requesting to alter your visa conditions or appealing a negative outcome. Writing submissions, such as these, requires great research and technical skills as well as practical knowledge to ensure that all the legislative requirements are addressed and satisfied. Often, these requirements are at the discretion of the Minister (or the Minister’s delegate), so it is imperative that the submission is as in-depth as possible. For example, to be granted the permission to work, the Minister must be satisfied that the applicant is suffering “financial hardship”. “Financial hardship” is not explained or defined, so it is up to the applicant to know what information is relevant and should be provided.

Immigration lawyers know exactly what information is required and are extremely skilled in writing persuasively and can frame your case as succinctly, yet as comprehensively, as possible. Owing to their experience, lawyers can also pre-empt potential problems or concerns that the Department may have and be prepared to address them, allowing your application to progress more smoothly.

 

  1. Immigration lawyers are held accountable by professional standards

Some applicants may understandably be hesitant to use a lawyer due to their previous experiences. However, the lawyers in Immigration Solutions are sincerely passionate about their work and are extremely dedicated to helping their clients.

Furthermore, all migration agents (including immigration lawyers) are bound by a Code of Conduct,[3] requiring them to only charge reasonable fees and to always act in the client’s interests. This promotes accurate work and ensures you receive quality assistance in putting forward the best application for your case.

 

Your immigration application could have a huge impact on your life and on your family’s life and could mean the difference between building your life in Australia or being requested to leave. Why put that in the hands of Google searches, online forums, and anecdotal advice from unqualified people? Immigration Solutions Lawyers will assist you in every step of your application and ensure that your application is complete, consistent and correct.

When dealing with something so important, such as the ability to create your life in Australia, it only makes sense to allow a team of qualified immigration lawyers to prepare and finalise a strong and credible case to give you the best chance of receiving a positive outcome.

 

[1] https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/lega/lega/form/immi-faqs/why-has-my-visa-application-been-refused

[2] https://www.sbs.com.au/topics/life/relationships/article/2016/11/29/9-things-you-need-know-about-your-partnership-visa-application?cid=inbody:10-insider-secrets-for-successful-australian-visa-applications

[3] https://www.mara.gov.au/media/553229/Code_of_Conduct_April_2017.pdf