Using immigration agent/laywer?

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Using immigration agent/laywer?


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Old 08-01-2020, 04:05 AM
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Using immigration agent/laywer?

Hi Guys,

My partner is on a student visa and is looking to move to a partner visa. Her student visa expires March 2021.

We want to start the process of obtaining the partner visa but want first want to understand if we do it through a migration agent/lawyer or just do it ourselves.

Is there significant benefits of using a migration agent/lawyer for the additional cost (which i think it's about $3k in addition to the $7k)?

Thoughts?

Cheers.


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Old 08-01-2020, 06:28 AM
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It is very possible to do a DIY Partner Visa application, you will need to do a lot of homework.

Using a RMA or not you will need to do all the leg work, they them assemble it and submit a valid application (some DIY fail to do).

If you plan to do a DIY, I think you should start now, to get ready for an application can easily take +3 months at a high work rate per day/week for a good valid application.

DYI or RMA also depends on any "issues" that may need special attention.

Should you use a RMA, I recommend any on the sticky thread - it is hard to get on that list, they are all good.


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Old 08-01-2020, 06:36 AM
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If I had to do it all over again (which I never want to), I would use an immigration agent/lawyer. I wanted to, but my partner did not want to. There was a lot of worry and occasional panic, mainly because there is no guidance when you do it yourself. Think of hiring an agent as foregoing one or two overseas holidays. If you have a good agent/lawyer, I personally think its worth the sacrifice.


Last edited by jeanros; 08-01-2020 at 06:39 AM.

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Old 08-01-2020, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie007 View Post
Hi Guys,

My partner is on a student visa and is looking to move to a partner visa. Her student visa expires March 2021.

We want to start the process of obtaining the partner visa but want first want to understand if we do it through a migration agent/lawyer or just do it ourselves.

Is there significant benefits of using a migration agent/lawyer for the additional cost (which i think it's about $3k in addition to the $7k)?

Thoughts?

Cheers.
A migration lawyer would only be needed if you have a complex case, requiring that legal expertise.

A registered migration agent (RMA) can be very handy for those who have troubles with forms and sorting out what is needed.

Some people are fully able to do it themselves, although if they can afford an RMA, it would make life easier and make it less stressful.

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Old 08-01-2020, 06:57 AM
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Registered Migration Agents not only ensure that your application is properly presented, that forms are completed correctly and that all your evidence meets the requirements, they also liaise with the Department on your behalf until a decision has been made on your application.

It is really up to you to decide how organised you are, how much time you can spend doing your research and whether you want to deal with all this by yourself or outsource it to a professional.

Feel free to contact me for an obligation free quote.

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Old 08-01-2020, 08:09 AM
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The thing I found is that I spent a significant amount of time searching old emails for bookings, flight tickets, bills, anything with evidence of our relationship etc.

Even with a RMA I would still have to do that.

I also spent a lot of time filling in various aspects of forms which even with an RMA, only we know so we would still have to compile that evidence.

For example, form 80, which isn't required but looks good on your application, has a section asking for all previous travel in last 10 years. Well my partner and I have travelled to 40+ countries so we spent a good amount of time just compiling stuff like that (passport stamps makes this easier, but my partner had lost her previous passport so it came down to memory and emails).

If I had to do it again, I would happily do it myself again but I would make sure I wasn't stressing. If you have a legitimate relationship then it shouldn't be hard to show that and hence you have no reason to stress. Just put a lot of effort and care into the application and you'll be fine.

One final tip is to compile your evidence in a way that is readable for the CO. The way I did it was two-fold.

Firstly, I wrote a chronological "essay/statement" which was split into the significant date ranges of our relationship. It was laid out so that for each paragraph the first line was the date range, then a short sentence or two describing what we did during that date range, then dot points referencing uploaded documents which are evidencing which I described in the sentences. Then repeat. So as an example:

Jan 8 2018 - Jan 28 2018
Trip to Italy. Partner and I flew with xx airline and stayed in xx hotel. We did this and that. Went here and there. Then we flew home.
- 'Airline tickets.pdf' pages 2 - 4
- 'Hotel bookings.pdf' page 4
- 'Photos of Us 2018.pdf' pages 3 - 5
Jan 29 2018 - March 15 2018
Stayed home. Did this or that. Went here and there.
- 'Joint Mail.pdf' pages 3-4
- 'House Bills 2018.pdf' page 1
- 'Photos of Us 2018.pdf' page 6
You get the idea.

Then, at the bottom of that document, I created a table. The table had 4 columns. The first column was the month, the second was my name, the third was partners name and the fourth was both of names.

Then, for each month, I referenced the various evidences I uploaded. The columns with one of our names was for evidence such as letters that only showed a single name. The column with both names was for anything with both our names on, such as airline tickets. This column is obviously the most important. You should try get at least 1 evidence with both your names for each month of your relationship. This seemed impossible at the beginning for us but we ended up searching hard enough and finding enough. An example below

--Month-- ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣|-------Evidence with Sponsors Name-------|Evidence with Applicants Name|--------------------Both Names
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ____
Jan 2018 | Amazon package - 'Bob Mail.pdf' page 2 | Letter - 'Mary Mail.pdf' page 1 | Airline Ticket to Italy - 'Joint Tickets.pdf' page 4
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ____
Feb 2018 | University Letters - 'Bob Mail.pdf' page 3 | ......etc
_______________
Mar 2018 | ......etc


Apologies for the terrible formatting, I seem unable to space it nicely. But you get the idea. Just be sure to be very descriptive with what the evidence is for that month and where to find it. This table of evidence overlaps with the previous chronological statement, but it just makes the life of the CO easier. They can easily find evidence for any month.

This is what we did anyways and got the 820 after 10 months. Applicant from Thailand.

One final thing, which you probably gathered from the post, is that I compiled all evidence into relevant pds. So all my mail from 2018 that I had photos of went into a pdf, all our airlines tickets into another pdf etc.

You will have to get used to pdf compilation, and also pdf compression for the photos.


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Old 08-01-2020, 12:41 PM
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My partner and I used an immigration lawyer. We utilised a firm local to us with good reputation, and paid just shy of $4k including GST. Looking back on it, COVID-19 aside, I am very happy we decided to use lawyer.

Having the confidence that it has all been done properly, t's crossed and i's dotted, by someone with experience does wonders to reduce your stress level. It is such a lengthy process too, and although for us, who are certainly not wealthy by any means, it was well worth the money.

If your case is not complex and you do plenty of research, you can probably be comfortable doing it yourself... however I wouldn't be surprised if you contacted a professional agent/lawyer to answer questions during the process to ensure mistakes are minimal.

TLDR: I think spending the extra 2-4k is worthwhile to ensure you are getting the best opportunity for your (now $7,750 + additional costs) visa to be granted. Doable by yourself, but requires a lot of time to present properly.


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Old 08-01-2020, 12:51 PM
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Whether you should hire an agent or not, doesn't depend on how complex your application is. It depends on how you are comfortable with that kind of procedures.

I tend to say: if you are asking whether you should hire an agent or not, then you should hire an agent, because if you were comfortable enough to do your own application you would not ask the question, you would be doing the application and come here to ask for precisions or details.

It is possible to get a visa without an agent even if it is very complex. I got both my visas and my wife's visas even though they were extremely challenging and required waivers. Then again, I am the kind of person who does all the paperworks in private an professional life: visa applications are far from being the most complex bureaucracy I ever had to face. But this is not how everybody feels about it.

See it as fixing a car: personally I am so inept in cars that I would hire a mechanic to change a lightbulb, other people are comfortable doing advanced repairs themselves. It entirely depends what you feel okay with.

Agents are not a guarantee you would get a visa: if you are not eligible and/or cannot provide the supporting docs, you will never get a visa, ever. Agents are not going to create proofs out of thin air. They cannot perform miracles.

The application is not that hard. It is unfair, cruel, inhumane to charge so much and make people wait for so long, but complicated? Not that much, all you need is written plain in the immigration website. If you have doubt you can read plenty of success stories here.

But then again, the instruction manual of a car is very clear in explaining how they work. So it's up to you. Again, I tend to think if you were able to do the application yourself you would already have done your homeworks and would be doing it, if you are asking this question, you probably need to hire an agent.

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Old 08-01-2020, 06:15 PM
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I think the above post is spot on and pretty much exactly what I tell prospective clients.

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SunCoast Migration Ltd

All comments are general in nature and do not constitute legal or migration advice. Comments may not be applicable or appropriate to your specific situation.

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Old 08-02-2020, 05:02 AM
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Yes, pretty much on the money that comment.

Except.

If you follow the car instruction manual, the requirements and results are the same in each country.

Not many car repairs carried out in accordance with the instruction manual get referred to the AAT and overturned.


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