Top twelve reasons why you need an experienced migration lawyer
“He who acts for himself has a fool for a client” – it is impossible to be objective when acting for yourself, because your emotional connection to the outcome will infect how you communicate.
You will jeopardize your visa application if you say something inconsistent with your application or contravene some other visa requirement, so direct communication is to be avoided!
The rules are strict and it takes years to become familiar – you would get a builder to build your house, a mechanic to fix your car, and for the same reason you should get an experienced migration lawyer to apply for your visa.
Anything you say to a lawyer is privileged and does not have to be disclosed (if you engage a migration agent, then they have to disclose all information and documentation to the Department irrespective of how harmful it is).
Applications lodged by reputable professionals get processed more quickly and with less vigour, than DIY applications.
Reputable migration lawyers develop a relationship with the Department, which helps ensure warnings are given before an adverse decision is made, and which also helps secure extensions (when needed) and guidance on what the relevant government officer will accept as good evidence.
If you act for yourself, the Immigration Officer will be talking directly to you, without you having the opportunity to filter or consider your answers, and without the opportunity to cross reference your answers to ensure everything is objective, and consistent with the visa requirements and evidence already submitted.
People who represent themselves are usually emotional, frustrated and stressed when dealing with their visa application, and cannot resist venting that frustration at the government officer who is processing the application – it never pays to upset the decision-maker, and if you do, then this leads to more requests being made for information than would otherwise be the case, and increases the risk of a refusal.
The Migration Laws are a complex minefield complex, and you need someone who stays abreast of the frequent changes in law and policy.
Immigration often request further information and documentation that is impossible to find, or awkward to provide. An experienced migration lawyer knows how to find alternative solutions, and how to extend the time within which to provide same. The reality is that even apparently simple applications require the ability to handle complications, within strict time frames, correctly, or the visa application will be refused. You are not trained to deal with this and you need someone who is.
If your application is rejected (government officers do make errors and the refusal rate exceeds 50% of all applications lodged), then:
you will have lost significant time waiting for the decision.
You potentially face restrictions on your ability to apply again.
The application will be difficult to fix on Appeal or Review, because it has not been set up in the same way that a lawyer would set it up.
Then there are the other obstacles to effective communication with the immigration department:
English is not the primary language of most visa applicants.
Most applicants have little or no experience in visa matters or our Migration Act.
Most applicants have no professional training in law, or in dealing with government bodies, or in how to set up an application so that you have a right to Appeal an incorrect decision.