Let’s try and answer some of the most asked

“As we all came to discover the limitations of assimilation,
we grew closer as a family” ― Miguel Syjuco
I am unable to make it to your office, how can I arrange to get advice?

If you are Interstate or overseas, we happy to consult via the following options:

  • Phone – if you would prefer to talk on the phone
  • Skype – if you have the correct software and are happy to communicate via Skype

We also do the same (full) assessment and give you all the written references (on-screen) and advice that you would receive if we met for a face-to-face consultation (F2F).

Are you Registered Migration Agents?

We are a firm of lawyers and a sole Chartered Accountant (ICAANZ), Registered Migration Agents (RMA) – all of whom are registered with MARA (the Migration Agents Registration Authority, which is run by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection) in Australia.

Our MARN (Migration Agents Registration Number) is 0901122 and 1573404. Just so you are aware it is illegal in Australia to give migration advice unless you are an RMA, so that’s a really important question to ask any migration law service provider you might be considering signing up with.

Can I book a Face-to-Face (F2F) consultation to see a migration agent?

We offer a face-to-face consultation at our Brisbane, Sydney or Johannesburg offices.

At that meeting you personally meet with one of our experts for a full visa eligibility assessment.

You can use the website booking form or contact us on +61 7 3878 4252 to book a consultation.

What happens when I order a consultation?

Once you have booked a consultation with a registered migration agent (RMA) we will send you a consultation and background information questionnaire for you to complete and return to us. This will allow us to perform the necessary research to be able to provide you with the correct guidance and advice as to the likely or best visa pathway/s.

I have a general visa enquiry, and I don’t feel that warrants a full consultation?

Please refer to the detailed list of FAQ’s on our website (see below) or the various fact sheets located on the bottom tool bar in our website – they may address your issue without you needing to meet with us.

That together  with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (“Department’s”) website [see the live links] may also provide you with an answer, or additional questions as to the required information. Please note that migration forums and non-expert feedback which are regularly provided on the internet do not provide you with reliable advice, so do not rely thereon – it could end up costing you significantly, in terms of both time and money. If the suggested sources don’t give you a viable answer / solution – a professional consultation with one of our RMA’s is always a good follow-up.

Can we lodge our own Migration application?

You sure can if you wish. You are also free to defend yourself in court, or to take on a matter in the AAT by yourself, if you’re confident. However in these cases you do so entirely at your own risk as the critical risk is losing the Australian Government related fees (visa application charge etc), which can be substantial – particularly if you make a mistake or the application is somehow deficient.

In most cases we manage to stop a client from doing something that would have caused them problems with their applications, maybe even resulting in their visa refusal. However if you do-it-yourself, you are missing out on the services of experienced RMA’s who have been through this process many times before. There is a key question to be answered: What price do you put on your and you family’s future, and would you do it yourself if this were an important medical procedure?

I found a cheaper agent than Lattice why’s that, and shouldn’t I go with them?

The world is full of unregistered “agents”, and some of them even describe themselves as “migration agents” – which is most unfortunate.  We even hear of travel agents who hold themselves out when the opportunity to make some money – out of a tourist to Australia presents itself. Given the circumstances its no surprise they’re cheaper – they don’t have to incur significant fees studying at University to get prior qualifications and then the Graduate Certificate in Migration Law & Practice, followed by annual registration and Legend licensing fees paid to OMARA etc.

We also incur the costs of maintaining a professional library, regularly attending Continuing Professional Development courses, keeping proper administrative and accounting records and running a professional office. Scary thing – there are even some “agents” out there who take client monies and then don’t actually submit an application at all. Sad, but cheap quickly becomes very expensive – so do your due diligence and proceed at your own risk. In Australia it is a criminal offense to give migration advice without being registered with MARA.

With an unregistered agent anywhere, you run a serious risk and you have no recourse to complain or to seek to have that wrongdoer lose their registration, nor do you have any financial protection.

What is included in a migration law consultation?

A Lattice Migration professional consultation will provide you with:

  • Information on the eligibility criteria for each of the relevant visa pathway/s
  • Where relevant, an eligibility check to calculate and confirm your migration points score
  • If applicable, an occupation check on which is the most appropriate occupation for you to nominate for
  • A proper understanding of your options, pro’s and con’s etc.
  • A comprehensive explanation of the visa application/s, associated process and time frame
  • Critical dates which might apply to your application
  • AN outline the costs, next steps etc. you need to take.
  • You will also receive a written copy of key advice given to you during the consultation.
Can I bring a translator or family to the consultation with me?

You are more than welcome to bring a translator (if needed), a partner, family member or friend to accompany you to a consultation, however please be advised that a consultation will only cover one application, not multiple applications.  If someone else other than the primary applicant has questions or needs to see an RMA independently, they will need to book and pay for a separate consultation.

Is there a fee for your initial consultation?

The professional fee for your consultation will be AU$130 (excl. GST) for a 30-45 minute consultation, which will be rebated in full, in the event that you sign a client agreement for professional visa advice, and we hold that offer open for acceptance for a six-month period post your initial consultation.

How many consultations do I get for $133?

Each 30-minute consultation costs $133 (excl. GST) to cover the time and research our Registered Migration Agents have to invest in researching your circumstances and to provide you with appropriate professional advice. When you formally proceed with engaging our services initial consultation fee/s will be rebated in full as a credit against our aggregate professional fees.

How many questions can I ask in the telephonic / online consultation?

Within reasonable bounds and the time constraints of the consultation you can ask as many questions as you see fit. We also encourage you to raise key concerns via an e-mail prior to the consultation so that we cover off on salient issues and you get to fully understand your options.

What if I’m not eligible for a visa, do I still need to pay for the consultation?

Our consultations absorb professional time, AND include significant research into your personal circumstances, so that you get to understand your options and what actions you may need to take to become eligible for a visa. Our consultations are thus not be free of charge – however our rates are framed to be attractive to potential clients as we would like to develop a professional relationship with you, and we rebate fees for initial consultations against future professional fees so that you get significant value.

How many consultation/s do I need before making my application for a visa?

One consultation is generally sufficient to determine eligibility and share other critical aspects relating to your visa pathway/s; however such will depend on your personal circumstances, additional questions which may arise, and the complexity of your case.

Do you have a money-back guarantee if there is a visa refusal?

Migration law firms who generally offer this arrangement, typically charge much higher rates than our firm does so we have chosen not to operate on a “no win, no fee basis”. In the unlikely event that there is a visa refusal we are happy to offer all clients that we will redo their application/s, entirely without charging a professional fee. That arrangement is dependent on the visa refusal not being something outside of our control i.e. because of a serious error, a false statement by the client, fake document submission or an omission of key or important facts on the client’s part, or if there is a serious illness that led to the refusal. In those instances, we will also not be covering the Government related charges as those will be for your own account.

Should I use an Australian-based migration lawyer or agent or a local agent in my own country?

Australian-based registered migration agents are usually the better choice – for sound reasons. Those reasons are they have all been formally trained by Australian Universities, they are also each regulated by OMARA and are required to abide by Australia’s consumer protection laws – none of which necessarily applies to overseas agents (unless they are also RMA’s in Australia). Australian RMA’s are also required to manage separate Trust bank accounts for depositing and controlling their client monies, which are subject to audits and other regulations – and which will provide you as a client with additional safeguards.

What Visa should I make an application for?

That obviously depends on your age, personal circumstances and other factors. These could range from General Skilled Migration, Employer Sponsorship, Student visas and other options. A professional consultation will be needed to determine your exact circumstances and what your specific (as well as best) options might be. You may also not have any viable migration options – as current Australian eligibility criteria are strict. The advice we share will also seek to identify additional steps (e.g. English language test results), or actions which may improve your points score / migration case.

What forms do I need to fill out for my application?

You don’t need to fill out any of the visa application forms – not the Form 40SP, Form 47SP, or Form 1419. You only need to sign your Form 956 after we complete all the relevant details. To be clear – we will handle all the difficult legwork on your behalf – we only require you to check our work; make sure that we have recorded all your critical information correctly, and then attest to that by signing where required.

How much is the typical Australian visa application?

Prices will vary dependent on the type of visa application, which is being made, the number of applicants and timing etc of those application/s. An online consultation with us is tailored to provide you with an accurate fee and DIBP visa application charge/s etc. Our website also outlines broad fee ranges for most of our most popular service offerings, and you can get an indication of the Department’s charges via their website – [see links page elsewhere].

Can you find me an employer or an Australian job opportunity?

We understand that an important part of many people’s migration journey is the process of finding an employed position, in Australia. Unfortunately, Lattice Migration is not a professional recruitment agency thus we are unable to offer career/job search service. We do know and work with a number of reputable recruitment companies who we would be prepared to refer you to – depending on your industry / occupation. You also have the option of conducting your own internet search on some of the most well frequented websites like www.seek.com.au

Can you check my application and supporting documents before I apply?

No, not unless you have made appropriate arrangements with us, and paid the agreed fee in line with our application review/advisory service [link needed]. We do not provide a free document checking or advisory service, nor do we check applications or supporting documentation during professional consultation/s.

Why should I choose Lattice Migration, and not another migration lawyer or migration agent?

As a company we have been operating since 2008, and we have a unique offering – combining specialist focus (we only render migration law advice); highly trained RMA’s who are all lawyers or Chartered Accountants, cost effective services and an obsession with communication and keeping you abreast of progress. Technology enablement, our online business model, and carefully controlled expenditure also evidence our focus on providing you with a premium quality service.

When will we next hear from you?

You will hear from us whenever we hear something from the Department or have an important information request or message to share. There is nothing gained by regularly asking us “Have you heard anything?” If you hear nothing from us, it means we’ve heard nothing from the Department, that is relevant to your application. We’re definitely not ignoring you. We will be supporting you throughout the process of your application/s. Please also bear in mind that many of the visa processes are lengthy and thus you need to be respectful and patient.

What are our visa requirements?

Random callers often phone and ask us “What are my requirements?”. The short answer is that there is no short answer – Different visas, different people, different situations, different requirements – all demand different pathways, fees and supporting documents etc. Once you become one of our ‘clients’, we will give you all the checklists and guidance that you need, and we are always available to answer questions, no matter how simple or trivial they might appear. The flip side of this ‘coin’, is that if you are not our client, please don’t ‘expect’ anything from us – we will certainly not analyse your case and give you free advice on how to lodge your own visa application. If you book a consultation we will assess your situation carefully, and give you a professional opinion on whether you have a strong case, but please don’t ask us to work for nothing – that is unreasonable in anybody’s books!

What is Lattice Migration's success rate?

Our expertise predominantly covers the following areas of Immigration Law: SC457, Business Migration, ENS, RSMS, Points Tested, Student, Family, Partner and Spouse visas. We pride ourselves on working diligently for all our clients, and for developing practical and implementable immigration solutions, which often require us to think laterally. By way of example over the last three years, our success rate across all classes has been in excess of 99.5% – which can be verified.

What is the meaning of “good character and why is it important?

Everyone who wants to enter Australia must be of good character and all applicants are assessed against the character requirements in Section 501 of the Migration Act, 1958. As part of your visa application, you might be required to provide a police clearance certificate or other evidence to satisfy the character requirements. For example, you will not be likely to pass the DIBP character test if you have a substantial criminal record, which means you may have been sentenced to 12 months or more in prison, or you have multiple prior sentences – that collectively add up to more than 12 months in prison. In this regard a “suspended sentence” is considered as a “prison sentence”, even if you didn’t end up going to prison and serving time.

Would you like to know what your current Visa status is?

VEVO is an online portal which can be accessed and provides information regarding visa details and conditions, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. For possibly a faster, more convenient way to view your visa details and conditions, download “MYVEVO” for free from the Android/IOS app store/s.

We all lodged PR visa applications simultaneously – my colleague’s visa has been granted but why hasn’t mine been granted?

There are many variables which affect the length that visas of the same class will take to be processed by the DIBP. Individual applications are allocated to different case officers, some of whom may have light caseloads and some of whom may have much heavier caseloads. Within the broad guidelines, each case officer assesses those application/s in their own way, using the discretion they have under the Migration Act – and specifically to evaluate compliance with the criteria contained within the regulations. Some case officers only work part time, some take longer than others, some are more thorough and obviously each applicant’s circumstances and documents are different etc. Your evidence may need to be verified by overseas agencies, which could be another impediment. There are no standard processing times (although there are processing time guidelines), and accordingly your colleague may have just been lucky that his application was approved prior to yours.

Please ensure you don’t “push” the Department with requests to “speed up” an application unless the application time has exceeded the regulated processing guidelines, as this will aggravate and could jeopardise a positive approval.

What visa do I need if I am only transiting through Australia, en-route to Hawaii?

If you are only transiting then ‘no’ visa is needed. To clarify, arriving in and staying in the international transit area within an Australian Airport, before boarding a connecting international flight to another country, you do not need an Australian visa – provided you do not intend to pass through “Immigration clearance”. By way of example if you’re arriving at Brisbane International Airport on you way to Hawaii, you will not need an Australian visa if you remain in the transit area.

How long does it take before I can become an Aussie Citizen?

To become an Australia citizen, permanent residents must:

  • Have been living in Australia – on a valid Australian visa – for 4 years immediately before applying which must include the last 12 months as a permanent resident, and
  • Not have been absent from Australia for more than one year in the past 4 years, including no more than 90 days in the last year before applying.
    The Department has a handy Citizenship Wizard and some other helpful information, which should be referred to – [see the link elsewhere on this website].
What happens if my medical information results in a visa refusal, what can I do?

Visa applicants are entitled to seek a review of the decision to refuse their visa on health grounds in the AAT, and based on past precedent the Tribunal may offer you the opportunity to seek a further medical opinion from a Review Medical Officer of the Commonwealth.

Review medical assessments are carried out by appointed Medical Officers of the Commonwealth from either Global Health or Bupa, both of whom have significant networks of offices/representatives. The fee for a Review Medical assessment is set out in Regulation 5.41 of the Migration Regulations.

What happens if I am not sent correspondence to my e-mail (which I review daily), because DIBP send such to my mailing address?

There are a number of decisions, some recently, from the Federal Court of Australia, which indicate how important it is to not assume the Department will communicate by email, particularly where an alternative mailing address has also been given by you.

This is especially important when considering visa refusal and visa cancellation notifications – as you can easily become unlawful if you aren’t checking all methods of ‘proper delivery’ to you.

Will the Department contact us directly when they have granted our visa/s?

No, they contact us directly, and then it is up to us to contact you.
Typically that’s such fantastic news, that we want to share it with you immediately (obviously time zone dependent) if you’re in another time zone… it maybe some hours later.

What’s going to be involved in my medical?

Don’t stress its nothing too arduous and the panel doctors involved have done the process 100’s of times if not 1,000’s of times. You also won’t have to strip, nor will you have to do stress ECG’s or other difficult tests – unless that’s specifically requested because of prior conditions or risks. The test typically involves basic eye and hearing testing and having a blood test (ouch), producing a urine sample and having a chest X Ray – which is considered really important because of Tuberculosis (TB). Take it in your stride its just one of a large number of steps you’ll be taking to get your Aussie visa sorted.

Don’t you give your clients “guarantees” like other Migration Agents?

Under Section 2.14A of the Code of Conduct for Registered Migration Agents, we’re not allowed to guarantee a visa result or outcome – as that decision is entirely outside of our control (It is the Australian government’s!) and such would ultimately constitute, ‘misleading conduct’ or “theft” as in a worst case scenario, you would have paid significant monies for something which will be of no value. Also, under Section 2.6 of the Code of Conduct, we need to be entirely open and honest with our clients about the likely success of their application/s, and in instances where we don’t think there is a reasonable prospect of success we should not take on that client matter, as such would give our clients ‘false hope’. As a firm, we regularly turn clients away when we are uncomfortable with, or don’t believe their application will likely succeed.

SPECIFIC QUESTIONS

Working Holiday Visas

Independent Skilled Visas

Partner & Spouse Visas

Temporary Visas