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:
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.
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.
- 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.
- Standards of conduct
Migration Agents are subject to:
- the OMARA Code of Conduct.
Immigration Lawyers are subject to:
- the Legal Profession Act;
- the Legal Profession Conduct Rules;
- the Legal Services Board & Commissioner;
- 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.
- Services Provided
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.
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.
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
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.