Immigration Lawyers and Migration Consultants

Moving to Australia is a big decision to make, whether it be permanently, for the purposes of work, study or even just to experience the beautiful landmarks that Australia brings and to embrace the Australian culture as a tourist. Therefore, it is important to make a wise choice from the beginning on who you entrust with your migration matter. 

In Australia, only immigration lawyers and registered migration agents (RMA) are permitted by law to provide paid immigration related advice and services to clients. There are several differences between an immigration lawyer and a registered migration agent (RMA). Often these terminologies can be confusing and may cause uncertainty for those seeking professional immigration assistance.

Whether you select an immigration lawyer or migration agent to assist with an immigration matter, it is crucial to ensure that they are registered with the relevant state and/or national regulatory bodies. RMAs are required to hold registration with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) and immigration lawyers are admitted to practice law in a particular state/territory in Australia and must hold a legal practicing certificate.

Below are not just 5 distinctions between a registered migration agent and an immigration lawyer, but also ways in which they complement each other in this highly regulated area of Australian immigration and citizenship law:

  1. Qualifications

Migration Agents are required to:

  • Complete a Graduate Diploma in Australian Migration Law and Practice;
  • Pass the Capstone assessment;
  • Be registered with the OMARA.

Immigration Lawyers are required to:

  • Complete a Bachelor of Laws degree or a Juris Doctor (JD);
  • Undertake practical legal training and work experience;
  • Be admitted to the Supreme Court as an Australian legal practitioner;
  • Hold a legal practicing certificate issued by the Legal Services Board of the state they practice in.
  1. Knowledge 

Immigration law is a complex area of Australian law, wherein the intricate legislative, regulatory and policy requirements are constantly developing and evolving. Therefore, engaging the services of an Australian immigration lawyer and/or a migration agent, is a vital factor in achieving the best outcome in a migration application, as these professionals are trained to have a greater understanding of the country’s migration regime.

  1. Legal Professional Privilege

A major distinction between using the services of a migration agent in comparison to an immigration lawyer involves the notion of ‘legal professional privilege’. Whilst migration agents are required to preserve the confidentiality of their interaction between themselves and a client, immigration lawyers may claim legal professional privilege.

This means that immigration lawyers are unable to disclose any details from their consultations with clients to the Department of Home Affairs, even if it is requested to be used as evidence against the client.

  1. Standards of conduct

Migration Agents are subject to:

  • the OMARA Code of Conduct.

Immigration Lawyers are subject to:

  1. the Legal Profession Act;
  2. the Legal Profession Conduct Rules;
  3. the Legal Services Board & Commissioner;
  4. the Law Society Ethical and Practice Guidelines. 

The benchmark of professional conduct as mentioned above, have been established to protect clients and make sure that professional integrity is upheld. 

  1. Services Provided

Migration Agents:

Migration agents can assist clients with a visa application process and merits review applications to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) in relation to a visa refusal or cancellation decision. However, migration agents are not able to assist with judicial review applications and other matters before the courts.

Immigration Lawyers:

In addition to being able to provide similar base level services as registered migration agents, immigration lawyers are able to extend their professional services to include full legal representation in the courts and an in-depth analysis and interpretation of complex legislative and regulatory principles, specifically applicable to an individual and/or their circumstances. 

At Augustine & Co., our Migration Consultants (RMAs) complement our Immigration Lawyers by offering a reduced consult-rate to individuals that seek a low-priced consultation alternative due to budget constraints, etc. 

You can schedule a consult with one of our Immigration Lawyers or Migration Consultants here




1. 人员资质和专业性










移民中介: 签证申请和AAT行政上诉仲裁庭上诉.

移民律师: 签证申请, AAT行政上诉仲裁庭上诉, 联邦法庭上诉, 移民部长干预, 其他疑难杂症


3, 移民律师享有法律专业保密特权

移民律师享有法律专业保密特权, 如果您被法院调查或起诉,被要求提供资料或信息时,移民律师可以行使法律专业保密特权,来保护您的所有资料和信息不被披露。除非特殊情况,移民律师才会提供客户资料或信息.

4, 移民律师的行业规范程度更高

移民中介: 只受到移民中介登记管理处(OMARA)的行为准则规范

移民律师: 移民中介登记管理处(OMARA)的行为准则,法律职业法,法律职业行为规范,律师协会道德及实务指引.


5, 移民律师对法律了解更透彻,执业能力更高

Augustine & Co.绝对是您移民道路上的首选, 我们成立于2019年,是一家专业从事移民及公民法的律师事务所.秉承诚信,高质,高效的理念为无数客户服务.优秀的服务和成果使得我们在短短几年间快速成长为行业中的佼佼者,我们将不遗余力的为您的移民生活保驾护航.


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Calvin Augustine is the founding solicitor of Augustine & Co. Immigration Lawyers. He graduated with Honors from the University of London law school, before being admitted to practice in Malaysia and Australia (admitted in SA, appears in all Victorian Courts and Tribunals, at trial and appellate levels).

Immigration Lawyers