In Australia, anyone who gives assistance relating to immigration for a fee must be a Registered Migration Agent – under the Migration Act 1958. This means that, although someone may be registered to assist with factors relating to immigration, they are not always qualified lawyers.
If you need somebody to advise and assist you with the laws and procedures governing migration to Australia, as well as with visas and their requirements, issues relating to permanent and temporary residence and citizenship, and even cancellations, deportations and appeals processes, you will need a representative who has in-depth and up-to-date knowledge in each of these area.
This process isn’t a requirement however, and therefore many individuals simply finish the course and set up as a migration expert. This has led to a number of unqualified institutions cropping up in and around Australia, so it pays to be aware of this before you settle for a particular practitioner.
Current practising certificates are subject to rules and regulations and provide practitioners with professional indemnity insurance (which protect the client), so if a potential lawyer, migration agent, or specialist doesn’t hold one for the year in progress, consider looking elsewhere.
When you many need an Immigration Lawyer and not a Migration Agent
Immigration lawyers are often lawyers who have good knowledge of general law and a specific skill set when it comes to matters of migration. This means that, if you have very precise or important issues relating to immigration, they will have the necessary abilities to deal with them.
As the subsequent procedures are not compulsory, there are a whole host of dishonest migration practitioners working in the field of immigration law. Many individuals take their initial qualification and set up business, which they are perfectly able to do, but they will not be skilled enough to handle many immigration cases, and they will not be privy to the same professional indemnity insurance that holders of current practising certificates will be covered by.