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Should I choose a Registered Migration Agent or a Lawyer to help with my immigration needs?

Up until now, all immigration lawyers have had to be registered migration agents as well. The laws will be changing on this soon, so any lawyer can give immigration advice even if they have no experience in this area. A registered migration agent specialises in all Australian Migration Law and remains accountable to the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Association. The only task an agent can’t do that a lawyer can is to take a matter to court. This in itself is extremely rare for a case to go to court for an immigration matter. A registered migration agent has the knowledge and accountability and specialises in only migration law giving you the expertise required for your immigration needs.

Do I get my money back if my visa is refused?

The Department of Home Affairs requires you to pay a visa application fee when lodging the application. They do not refund this fee if they refuse the visa. At Christie Migration Agents we work as hard as we can and use our expertise to gain a favourable outcome for you. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that the visa will be granted but we will do everything in our power to give you the best chance. We will always be honest from the beginning about your chances for success. Therefore, our fees are also non-refundable if the visa application is refused.  In the unfortunate event your application is refused, we will explain your options and the next steps.

Can I remain in Australia whilst my application is processed?

There are several factors that will determine this. It will depend if you are holding a substantive visa when you apply for your next visa. It will depend on the type of visa you apply for. It will also depend on the conditions of your current visa. If you meet the requirements, at the time of lodging for a further visa, you will be issued a bridging visa. This visa allows you to remain in Australia lawfully whilst your visa application is being processed. The conditions that will be imposed on your visa will be determined depending on the visa you are applying for and the visa you were holding when you made the application. The bridging visa will not come into effect until the visa you were holding at the time you applied for a further visa ceases. Therefore, if you are on a tourist visa and you apply for a partner visa 1 month prior to your tourist visa ceases, you will remain on the tourist visa until the end of your tourist visa and will remain subject to the conditions on the tourist visa even if the bridging visa does not have the same conditions.

How long will it take to process my application?

We discuss your needs and prepare and lodge your application in a timely manner. Once the application is with the relevant authority, such as the Department of Home Affairs or the AAT, processing time will be dependent on the relevant authority.  Processing times with the Department of Home Affairs can be checked here

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