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I sure wish I had found this forum before I lodged my 309 partner/family visa application last November. Instead, I found it two months later. As I started to read, I found myself feeling uneasy about my application.

We thought we had done our homework. We even paid for advice from an immigration lawyer and explained our situation. We had done a ton of reading on the DIBP (now DHA) website and we felt good about applying on our own.

Over the months, I started commenting and asking questions for myself on this forum. Recently, with some prodding from others (especially from one person in particular), my husband and I decided to contact a reputable migration agency that was recommended to us here on this forum. Well, the news was/is not good, but it was solid and informative. We now know that we have a long road ahead of us and we have big decisions to make.

I felt the need to say these things, because I want others to know that very knowledgeable people frequent and comment on this forum. Take the advice of the senior members and, of course, the moderators. As you go through the questions and comments, you will get a feel for those that know their stuff. If you question something that is said in a thread, post your own question in your own thread. If the senior members/moderators say you should seek a RMA, then do so (some of them are migration agents themselves). They may even recommend a particular someone. I'm not saying that every piece of information is correct here, but if it comes from a senior member/moderator, investigate it. Don't set it aside and think all will be well.

Hopefully, you are one of the lucky ones that find your way here on this forum before your application is lodged. If I had, it would have saved me and my husband a lot of heartache and money! Good luck to everyone! Hopefully, one day I can call Australia my home. I'm hoping I don't have to give up on that dream.
 

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We also had a migration lawyer. He was crap. Took $500 and did nothing. My partner would of been here sooner if we hadn't of relied on him. We ended up doing it ourselves. From lodgement to visa being granted was 16 months. My partner was given a PR straight away. Must of been my hoarding of all our bits and bobs.
Good luck to you though. I hope you have a lot of patience.
 

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We also had a migration lawyer. He was crap. Took $500 and did nothing.
A lawyer or a registered migration agent ? Offshore or onshore ? What service were they supposed to provide for $ 500.00.

I'm not doubting that you had a bad experience and that there are a lot of incompetent and unscrupulous operators out there (many unregistered and unlicensed) , but it would be helpful if you were more specific.

I sometimes get abused by people with many questions or very complex issues, because I don't want to answer their questions for free. Who knows what they say about me on the various forums out there.
 

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He was a lawyer.

He was supposed to prepare our application and submit it.

The $500 was an initial fee.

I had agreed to pay more when the application had been prepared.

After 12 months I gave up, and asked for my paperwork back and we lodged it ourselves.

He was a little nasty and advised that there was a huge hole in our application as my partner is in the proverbial closet in her country and there was not a lot of supporting data from there.

Anyways with me saving absolutely every receipt and boarding pass and whatever else we now are together here in Australia. With her being granted a PR straight away. No temporary visa. So much for the hole he quoted. :)
 

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He was a lawyer.

He was supposed to prepare our application and submit it.

The $500 was an initial fee.

I had agreed to pay more when the application had been prepared.

After 12 months I gave up, and asked for my paperwork back and we lodged it ourselves.

He was a little nasty and advised that there was a huge hole in our application as my partner is in the proverbial closet in her country and there was not a lot of supporting data from there.

Anyways with me saving absolutely every receipt and boarding pass and whatever else we now are together here in Australia. With her being granted a PR straight away. No temporary visa. So much for the hole he quoted. :)
There is absolutely no point in using a lawyer for straight-forward visa applications, unless they are also registered migration agents and specialise in migration work. Those that just dabble in it are best avoided. I regularly refer clients to specialist migration lawyers for complex issues, but there is only a handful that I will use.

Other than that, it is like any profession or trade, there is good and bad everywhere.

I'm sorry you had a bad experience, as every bad experience makes our industry look bad. The fact is that there are many hard-working, dedicated, honest ,compassionate and professional operators out there ( and you can count all migration agents and lawyers regularly posting on this forum amongst them). Unfortunately the bad ones tend to get all the publicity.
 
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Oh if he had of been a good one I would of sung his praises left, right and centre.

Huge advocate of word of mouth referrals.

Have a nice day in Cairns. Beautiful spot.
 

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Oh if he had of been a good one I would of sung his praises left, right and centre.

Huge advocate of word of mouth referrals.

Have a nice day in Cairns. Beautiful spot.
Thank you and congratulations on the good outcome of your visa application !

I do hear a lot of horror stories about unhelpful or incompetent agents and lawyers and I do not understand why these people are in business if they have such an awful attitude towards their clients.

Yes Cairns is a wonderful place.
 

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I'm glad you had a good experience on the forum and got connected to a reputable agent. Sometimes visa matters seem straight forward when they are not and it's useful to get personalised advice. On that note (while I'm on the soapbox!) I would just flag that caution should be taken in relying on peer provided information as migration law is very specific to each person's situation. More importantly, it is always changing so someone's well-intentioned advice based on the visa they were granted 3 years ago may very well not apply any more.

Kind regards

Lisa Ira (LLB.BA.GDLP)
Principal Migration Consultant (MARN 1467616)
Proxy Migration

e: [email protected]
w: www.proxymigration.com.au

Disclaimer: This message is general in nature does not constitute migration or legal advice and should not be relied upon. To provide you with migration advice, we need to consult with you to obtain your full information and circumstances. If you wish to receive migration advice please email us to arrange an appointment.
 

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Well said, Lisa.
 

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QUOTE=MJAus!2018 -I sure wish I had found this forum before I lodged my 309 partner/family visa application last November. Instead, I found it two months later. As I started to read, I found myself feeling uneasy about my application.

*** Yes many of us have had that 20/20 vision.

We thought we had done our homework. We even paid for advice from an immigration lawyer and explained our situation. We had done a ton of reading on the DIBP (now DHA) website and we felt good about applying on our own.

*** My personal view is that home work and research is important well before a consultation with a immigration lawyer (RMA) and DIBP (DoHA) website information and questions put to their staff are to be taken as a guide only and often a bad one.

Over the months, I started commenting and asking questions for myself on this forum. Recently, with some prodding from others (especially from one person in particular), my husband and I decided to contact a reputable migration agency that was recommended to us here on this forum. Well, the news was/is not good, but it was solid and informative. We now know that we have a long road ahead of us and we have big decisions to make.

*** It is always best to ask your own questions on your own threads here - even if that question has been asked 100 x's before. A bit of detail always helps as every case is different. The end goal is to have "solid and informative" information to work from. Road trips often build fond memories, and decisions made are best made with understanding of the variable options.

I felt the need to say these things, because I want others to know that very knowledgeable people frequent and comment on this forum. Take the advice of the senior members and, of course, the moderators. As you go through the questions and comments, you will get a feel for those that know their stuff. If you question something that is said in a thread, post your own question in your own thread. If the senior members/moderators say you should seek a RMA, then do so (some of them are migration agents themselves). They may even recommend a particular someone. I'm not saying that every piece of information is correct here, but if it comes from a senior member/moderator, investigate it. Don't set it aside and think all will be well.

*** The fact is often information given by non RMA's is wrong (or very flawed), this is done often unknown at times or is close to the fact, but easier to explain to a poster until they understand a factor they have zero comprehension about. Then we can deal with very basics of visa requirements and show the problems they need to think about. A number of us post very bluntly at times - this is to be clear and reduce confusion for persons with limited English.

Hopefully, you are one of the lucky ones that find your way here on this forum before your application is lodged. If I had, it would have saved me and my husband a lot of heartache and money! Good luck to everyone! Hopefully, one day I can call Australia my home. I'm hoping I don't have to give up on that dream.

*** Your obviously a bit down just now, It is just a challenge but yes it requires effort - stay strong and focused. Money, well I am much happier with less these days. Family is the important thing.

Regards and best of wishes

Aaron
 

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MJAus!2018

For the benefit of others can you supply a bit of info about the consultation service you had with the recommended RMA?

I know each case is different and RMA's have different fee structures and services, but it can be very handy if people know a bit of the process and the cost in getting good advice.

Personally many moons before I found this site, I paid $200 for a consultation with a migration company I found on the net - no idea if they were registered or not. Long story short it was a waste of money. Then there is the other side, when I used Mark Northam. They were chalk and cheese agents and Mark made sure I understood all requirements and obstacles, I felt it was money very well spent. But our obstacles were large and Mark work hard, we eventually won and my guess is that the hours he put in would have worked out to be $20-30 per hour for his time. Getting sms at just before midnight "are you still awake?" and replying yes. He said we had one visa approved waiting on the other two, the next came about 30 mins later. It was then about an hour and a half later his sms came "the final visa was approved". He was very dedicated to us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
MJAus!2018

For the benefit of others can you supply a bit of info about the consultation service you had with the recommended RMA?

I know each case is different and RMA's have different fee structures and services, but it can be very handy if people know a bit of the process and the cost in getting good advice.

Personally many moons before I found this site, I paid $200 for a consultation with a migration company I found on the net - no idea if they were registered or not. Long story short it was a waste of money. Then there is the other side, when I used Mark Northam. They were chalk and cheese agents and Mark made sure I understood all requirements and obstacles, I felt it was money very well spent. But our obstacles were large and Mark work hard, we eventually won and my guess is that the hours he put in would have worked out to be $20-30 per hour for his time. Getting sms at just before midnight "are you still awake?" and replying yes. He said we had one visa approved waiting on the other two, the next came about 30 mins later. It was then about an hour and a half later his sms came "the final visa was approved". He was very dedicated to us.
I've been taking a mental break from this immigration stuff over the last couple of days, but would be happy to share some details about my consultations. Before we lodged our own application (309), we sought the advice of a registered migration lawyer. The cost was $1000 AUD. Then we paid for another consultation a couple of weeks ago 6 1/2 months after lodgment with a registered migration agent recommended here on the forum. He is a retired lawyer by profession, but now works as a registered migration agent. We paid $330 AUD. Through this process we have found that the laws are complex when it comes to disabled adult children. We received conflicting advice with the two consultations. The lawyer before we lodged thought our evidence and background proving dependency of my adult son was adequate and we had a reasonable chance for approval. On the other hand, the RMA we consulted with after lodgment felt differently. At this point, I don't think that either of these people gave us bad advice. I just think that laws are written that cannot fit every person's circumstance and interpretation of these laws are not exact - each person may interpret the law differently and is also based on that person's experiences. I do think that the money was well spent though because we were able to educate ourselves further and feel more prepared to answer any further questions a case officer may have for us or, if needed, help us if we have to appeal to the AAT. Overall, we just feel more prepared then we were before.

Honestly, we didn't think we had that complex of a case until I started following this forum. Now I wish I had hired someone to help us lodge our application from the beginning instead of doing it on our own.
 
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