Applying for a visa is no piece of cake: Why you should engage an immigration lawyer.

In making the visa application process user-friendly, a false sense of security has emerged that it’s easy to apply for Australian visas. There are certain instances when visas can be straightforward, but every individual’s case is different. With a lack of understanding the layer of laws and policy behind a visa application process, we have witnessed clients bewildered by negative visa outcomes of late.

Australian migration law stems from the Migration Act 1958 (Cth).  The online visa forms that individuals see are the simplified version of these laws. At a glance, these forms are a series of straightforward questions. What is not told to applicants is that each question on the form is crafted to meet a point of law or government policy, determining your visa eligibility. Therefore, there are serious ramifications for missing questions or not answering questions correctly.

A good migration lawyer can safeguard you from making these errors. Even if a client feels they have only received one good piece of advice in the process, this alone can save them the anguish of losing thousands in visa application fees (in most cases which are non-refundable).


To give you an example on how questions can be multifaceted, here is a question that’s commonly asked in permanent residence applications:

‘Non-migrating members of the family unit. Does the applicant have any members of their family unit not travelling to Australia who are not Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents?’

Clients would usually answer ‘no’ to this question if they believe they’ve addressed this earlier by naming accompanying family members. A good migration lawyer would tell you instead that this question is really asking if you have ‘dependant’ family members, such as children or stepchildren remaining in your home country. Why is this an important question? Because if you become a permanent resident, there’s a chance you may eventually bring these children to Australia. Therefore, their health conditions are just as important an issue to address for your application. If any of these ‘unaccompanied’ children are found to have a serious condition, this compromises your whole permanent residency application, even if the rest of your accompanying family are healthy.

Migration law is an expertise built over time and an advisory service that keeps in mind how the relevant legislation applies to each client’s situation. The online form and the Department of Home Affairs’ website is not sufficient to give the full picture. There is quite a great deal of analysis that goes into answering each question on the form and preparing a client’s application to ensure it meets the technical visa requirements. Having a good migration expert to guide you can make a significant difference to your chances of securing an Australian visa.

Please contact M Legal’s immigration lawyer/agent should you wish to discuss your case further.