On 22nd March this year amendments to the Migration Act came into effect, allowing lawyers to provide immigration assistance without having to be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA).
These changes mean that registered migration agents, legal practitioners or others referred to as ‘an exempt person’ – people such as family members parliamentarians or diplomats, are the only persons who can lawfully provide immigration assistance in Australia.
Previously, only lawyers who were registered with OMARA could provide immigration advice. The result of the amendment is that a much broader range of lawyers is now able to provide advice in this complex area.
Anyone seeking help with a visa or immigration issue needs to first determine whether the person they are seeking advice from is lawfully entitled to provide that advice – in other words either a registered migration agent or a lawyer. Once that is established, they then need to be satisfied that the person they propose to seek advice from:
- knows about migration law and in particular, the area of concern – Migration law covers a very broad range of topics and it is necessary to ensure that the proposed adviser has expertise appropriate to the assignment,
- is capable of providing clear advice and recommendations as these will ultimately be relied upon. If the advice is wrong the consequences could be significant,
- has a track record of successful experience – it is important to find out as much about the proposed adviser as possible because at the end of the day they will be playing part a significant part in your life or the lives of people close to you.
Nevett Ford Lawyers has been providing migration services in Australia to clients for over 30 years and is one of longest running law firms in Melbourne to do this. We have significant experience in all types of visa and immigration matters including partner applications, temporary and permanent work visas, AAT and Federal Court review applications.
Contact us today so we can help guide you