Professional tips* from Justin Rickard’s 20 years’ international legal experience

1. “He who hesitates is lost – Apply to migrate now!”

You should always apply for your visa now while you are eligible, rather than later because the rules are always changing, your circumstances never stay the same and as you grow older migration becomes more difficult. A combination of these three factors proves the age old wisdom of the proverb above. Even if you can’t get exactly the visa you eventually want just get a better visa than the one you have now. So don’t wait – it could be too late!

2.”Always ensure you use an experienced successful immigration law firm – Do not apply on your own use an experienced migration agent”

Our firm has over 15 years’ successful experience in immigration law and is headed by a fully qualified lawyer with well over 20 years international legal experience – why would you trust your own or family’s future to an adviser who had only done a course for a few weeks or months and had minimal, if any, experience? That would be like asking a nurse to operate on you rather than an experienced surgeon. Choose an experienced, case hardened professional always!

 3. “Don’t believe dinner party visa gossip & rumours – no two visa applicants are the same”

Don’t listen to dinner party rumours, gossip and the advice of friends and family about visas: no two cases are alike, so get professional advice from us; your licensed immigration lawyers. No one but a migration agent is really allowed by law to give migration assistance in Australia – if you are getting advice ask to see that person’s license to give advice or else tell them you aren’t interested as they could be telling you the wrong thing and it could detrimentally affect you forever!

4. “You can have more than one bite of the cherry with migration”

If your first application fails you can lodge another application. Often the only problem with lodging a second application is whether you lodge it inside or outside Australia. Just because your first application failed the Immigration Department has not put you in a “black book”. Obviously, your second application will have to address any of the problems of the first application but you can still re-apply, or even appeal to a tribunal or court in some cases. The most important thing is not to ever give up.

5. “You should always build your migration application on your strengths and australian family connections”

Every person should look at their background and their resume (which they must bring to their interview with us) to see where their strengths pay because that is where they are most likely to succeed in their migration application. For example if you are a business man, look at where you are most successful, where you made the most money, where you had the greatest responsibility.

These are the areas that will give you eligibility to migrate.

If you are a professional or a skilled or trades person look at where you have got the most amount of qualifications and or experience. This is particularly relevant for people who have changed careers or occupations recently because often the second career or occupation can’t be counted by DIMIA as there is not enough experience of track record there to “score points” with the Immigration Department. Also if you have family in Australia you must tell us who they all are and where they live as close Australian family can help you get more points for eligibility.

6. “Immigration is an emotional roller coaster”

J.M Coetzee, who was awarded the 2003 Nobel prize for literature and who migrated to Australia from South Africa in 2002 said, “leaving a country is, in some respects, like the break-up of a marriage. It is an intimate matter.” In the heat of pressure, problems loom larger; crises seem more severe. Never underestimate the emotional stress involved in migrating from one country to another. We even provide counseling services for some of our clients who find the migration journey too stressful to handle on their own.

7. “We need your documents to make your application succeed”

We can’t get your application to succeed unless you give us the documents we need – just like a plane can’t fly without wings, it is totally 100% important for you give us ALL the supporting documents we ask for, when we ask for them (translated into English and certified appropriately if they are not originals). We see the immigration forms as similar to the body of the plane – the documents are the wings that make your application fly.

8. “No two Australian embassies or immigration officers act alike”

Every Australian Embassy overseas has its own ways of making visa decisions which include consideration of local conditions and the attitudes of their locally engaged staff in interpreting the migration legislative requirements. Overseas Embassies can be very difficult and or expensive to communicate with.

9. “Time flies when you’re having fun … but not in anticipation of a visa decision”

We will always do our best to estimate how long your immigration case might take but the actual processing time is virtually outside of our control. Immigration is essentially a political tool subject to the whims of the politicians who change laws at will. We always keep you informed of case progress and have it processed as quickly as possible.

10. “We aren’t running a kindergarten as your immigration lawyers – You must listen to our advice and act on it”

It is vital for you to fill in the application forms yourself correctly and completely as only you know your personal information. All we can do is check that the information is correct as per your instructions to us. We will then advise and assist you with the rest of the entire immigration process – all you have to do is follow our advice. You also must accept responsibility for any contract you sign with us and be aware of its terms and conditions – feel free to ask us any contract questions before you sign, and structure your contract to suit us both, including fixed fees if you like.

 Our commitment is to legally obtain you the best possible visa as soon as possible with the least stress to you!

Take the first step to your new life in Australia with our Free Immigration Consultation – learn more.


* These points are practical tips based on Mr. Rickard’s experience alone – they are not intended to be relied upon as legal advice.