Visa and citizenship applications, Administrating Appeals Tribunals, and other matters of migration can be confusing, overwhelming, and incredibly stressful. That’s why many people choose to enlist the services of an migration agent.
Immigration – or migration – agents are highly specialised, registered law professionals who can provide expert migration advice, help with lodging citizenship and visa applications, act on your behalf in court, and other relevant services.
But how do you find an migration agent you can trust? In this article, we’ll outline some key things to consider when looking for a migration lawyer, and a list of some of Canberra’s best services.
What makes a great migration agent?
When it comes to something as important as your visa or citizen application, you need a trustworthy migration agent with a wealth of knowledge and a passion for helping people. An unskilled, unreliable migration agent could sabotage your chances of approval.
So, what exactly should you look for in an migration agent? Here are a few traits we believe are important:
- Expertise. You want a migration lawyer that knows exactly what they are doing. They are familiar with the ins and outs of migration laws and processes and can help you achieve the best possible results given your unique circumstances.
- Experience. More often than not, the more experience a migration lawyer has, the more reliable they are. With years spent on the job, they’ve seen it all. They know exactly how to respond to cancellations, rejections, and other less-than-perfect situations.
- Qualified and registered. Migration agents must be registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority. This registration is only awarded to specialist lawyers who have demonstrated proficiency in the area of migrations.
- Prompt. Sometimes issues of migration and migration are time sensitive. If that is the case, the last thing you need is an agent that takes far longer than necessary to get the job done.
- Understanding. As we mentioned, matters of migration can be stressful. Your agent should be compassionate toward your situation and supportive of your decisions.
- Fairly priced. Yes, lawyers can be expensive. But, if their services help you achieve your goal, the cost is certainly worth it. That being said, the best migration agents charge a fair price. They certainly do not take advantage of your situation by demanding a small fortune.
The best migration agents in Canberra
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
Baker Deane & Nutt (also known as BDN Lawyers) is a full service law firm that has helped Canberrans resolve legal problems for more than 150 years. With so much experience, you can trust its team to help you make informed decisions about your migration issues and guide you through the difficulties of the process.
BDN recognises that Migration Law in Australia is both complex and subject to rapid change, and that it is absolutely crucial for your agent to be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority. BDN's own Connie Park, solicitor, is a Registered Migration Agent and can guide you through what can be a complex and challenging process. Whether you are a migrant, family member or employer, Connie can assist you with a range of services to make migration simple.
As Google reviewer Ben Day writes, "Absolutely hands down the best lawyers in the business. Compassion, empathy and understanding. Professionals to the highest degree. I will never use anyone but Baker Deane & Nutt again."
As registered migration agents and immigration lawyers in Canberra, you can trust in Snedden Hall & Gallop’s highly specialised and reputable migration advice. They can help you navigate the ever-changing legislation, obligations and policy framework applied by the Australian Department of Home Affairs
Led by Gerald Santucci, the Migration Law team can help both potential migrants and employers interested in sponsoring migrants. Whether you need help with skilled migration, family migration, student visas or other temporary visas, the empathetic and experienced team can help you solve your migration problems.
As Don Archer writes in their Google review, "Dominic Cookman provided sound advice and wonderful service in assisting our application for permanent residency."
Heenan & Browne Visa and Migration Services is an independent law firm that only works in the area of migration law. All agents are registered and have years of experience helping people all around the world settle here in Australia.
Their services are strategic and personalised and cover all areas of migration matters. With help from their qualified team, their clients successfully navigate the ins and outs of complicated laws, processes, applications, and more. Heenan & Browne works with both individuals and businesses and can help with both visa and citizenship matters.
As Emma Stevens writes in their Google review, "Throughout my time of applying for a partner visa, Zhanna was super helpful and attentive. She was quick at responding to my emails and was always accommodating. She made the whole process easy and stress-free. I can’t thank Zhanna enough for everything she did for my partner and I. I would highly recommend Heenan and Browne to anyone looking for a visa agent."
LC Migration, established in 2015, is a law firm that specialises in helping people apply for visas to Australia and other countries around the world. The team includes Registered Migration Agents, Chartered Accountants, Education Counsellors, and IT specialists who speak multiple languages to help guide you through online applications. Rest assured you are in safe and capable hands.
LC Migration promises to listen, understand, respect cultural differences, work cooperatively, empower their clients and focus on solving adding value to benefit you and your experience with them. They also offer an unbeatable 20 minutes phone consultation at no charge - all the staff have been through their own migration journey, and are here to help you through yours.
As Mel Bevan writes in her Facebook review, "I had a truly great experience with Liz and her team. Out of the various different agents I consulted with and researched, Liz is the most knowledgeable, kind and helpful, while still being very professional and striving to reach the best solution for you. I will definitely come back to her in the future, when needed. Highly recommend!"
NewStars Migration and Education Group is a migration and education firm with its service covering migration, visa, and school application. NewStars now has 6 branches in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart.
NewStars always offers excellent services and helps clients get their permanent residency with the least costs. More than 20 Registered Migration Agents in NewStars provide individualised plan for each client and regard the requirements of clients as the priority. Now NewStars has got more than 1000 five-star Google Reviews.
NewStars offers services for immigration and school application for overseas clients, and currently boasts a highly impressive international spread with clients from all over the world including Malaysia, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Korea, Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The team at NewStars prioritises the unique requirements of each client, and their professional immigration consultant provides individualized plans for our individual clients so as to achieve the best effects with the lowest costs.
As happy customer Yin Yang writes in their Google review for NewStars, “We were more than lucky to have NewStars to guide us on our road to get the permanent residency. The road was a tad difficult, but NewStars somehow made it easy for us. Agents in NewStars had always been super helpful, friendly, approachable with professional manner, most importantly, was very responsible in dealing with all of our documentations and answering our queries. NewStars is definitely the go-to and the best immigration agency! Thanks once again for incredible experience and journey with NewStars!”
If you’re looking for more recommendations of legal services in Canberra, you might also like to read our article on the best law firms in Canberra.
Have you had experience with an migration agent in Canberra?
Have you worked with a migration agent in the Canberra region? Whether your experience was positive or negative, let us know in the comments below. Your story will help our readers make an informed, educated decision.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does an migration agent do?
Registered migration agents provide immigration advice and assistance to potential immigrants. A qualified migration agent must hold a current legal practicing certificate issued by the Migration Agents Registration Authority. They can help you prepare a visa application, advise you on which visa will suit you best, liaise with the government on your behalf, and even represent you in court in relevant disputes.
What do I need in order to apply for a visa?
In order to apply for a visa, you must be able to produce a passport and proof of residence, and any other relevant documentation depending on what kind of visa you are applying for. Your immigration agent will be able to give you accurate, up-to-date advice not only on what exactly is required for your visa, but also which visa will suit your needs best.
Should my migration agent also be a lawyer?
While it is possible for registered agents to not be lawyers, having your agent also be a qualified lawyer means they will possess a broader skill set and the ability to take the client right through the review and appeal process. The added expertise and know-how will only benefit you in the long term.
How do I apply for permanent residency?
Talk to your migration agent - they will know exactly what is required of you for the visa you need in order to comply with current legal requirements and prerequisites. In a world where immigration and travel laws seem to shift and change almost constantly, having a professional on your side is crucial.