Sunday the 23rd March 2014
Volume 292


Dear subscribers, 


Welcome to A Sunday Story, the latest edition of IMMIGRATION NEWS. 


IMMIGRATION NEWS is proudly sponsored by Australian Immigration Law Services. For new readers you can subscribe using the link on the right hand side. Please feel free to forward this e-mail to any of your friends.


Today we bring to you an interview with a student from India who faces the tough situation of having their visa application rejected because someone gave him well-intentioned but incorrect advice.



Unqualified Migration Assistance
  Mr and Mrs Patel contemplating what they should do next?


With the Department of Immigration tightening the rules for various Australian visa applications and the growing number of applications, it has become imperative that prospective applicants get timely and correct advice from qualified professionals.


In Mr and Mrs Patel case, they have learnt it the hard way that heeding advice from un-regulated sources can lead to complications and heart ache.


Immigration laws are continuously evolving with constant updated regulations, rigorous training is the only way to keep up with the dynamic nature of trying to manage migration applications. 


Mr Kumar Patel arrived to Sydney from India in 2007 to pursue his higher education, went on to finish his qualification and applied for his post study work (485) visa. His wife, Asha joined him after his studies as a dependent on his 485 visa. She had a Bachelors degree qualification from a leading university in India and in the last year and a half began to appreciate the value of an Australian post-graduate degree. 


Kumar says "She's intelligent and wanted to further her skills and career and we've got the funds to fulfill her dream of going to an Australian University." Kumar had used an education agent to assist in applying his initial student visa and went back to them for advice on University options for his wife. While getting her Confirmation of Enrollment (COE), Kumar got talking with the staff and asked them if it was possible that his wife could apply for an onshore student visa while she was a dependent on his 485. 


Kumar says "I had been told, I was eligible to apply for an onshore student visa, my wife and I would have to go offshore if we intended to apply for a student visa with her as the primary applicant and me being her dependent. We were intending to go overseas for three month while her visa application was under process. There was a wedding in the family and we were even assured that shifts at work would be available on our return. All in all we were looking forward to a well-earned vacation"


Kumar was advised by the staff at the education agency that they could in fact apply for an onshore student visa where his wife was the primary applicant and he was the dependent. He says "I thought they deal with cases like this day in and day out and I thought they knew what they were talking about" Heeding this incorrect advice, they applied for a student visa onshore with his wife as the main applicant.


A few weeks later their application was refused and now they have no idea what to do, Kumar says "My wife's classes start soon, orientation is already done, we have no idea if we should apply for review or if we should go back home and apply for the next intake. We've already paid thousands of dollars for this semester's fee"


There is a reason that the Migration Agent's profession is so closely regulated and qualified professionals have to undertake regular rigorous training and constantly keep themselves updated. With the changing nature of the industry one needs to be vigilant regarding the smallest of changes and how it affects actual visa applications.


Sometimes well-meaning friends or even people working in related field may try to help one out with advice and suggestions, however it is highly unlikely that the advice might be timely, correct and complete. There are clear definitions of Migration assistance and what constitutes as assistance in the legal framework of Australia. And un-qualified or under-qualified persons giving migration assistance or advice is against the law.  


According to the extract from the explanations of Australian migration law; 

a person gives immigration assistance if the person uses, or purports to use, knowledge of, or experience in, migration procedure to assist a visa applicant or cancellation review applicant by:

(a)      preparing, or helping to prepare, the visa application or cancellation review

(b)      advising the visa applicant or cancellation review applicant about the visa application or cancellation review application; or

(c)      preparing for proceedings before a court or review authority in relation to the visa application or cancellation review application; or

(d)      representing the visa applicant or cancellation review applicant in  proceedings before a court or review authority in relation to the visa  application or cancellation review application.

(2)      For the purposes of this Part, a person also gives immigration assistance if the person uses, or purports to use, knowledge of, or experience in, migration procedure to assist another person by:

(a)      preparing, or helping to prepare, a document indicating that the other person nominates or sponsors a visa applicant for the purposes of the

(b)      advising the other person about nominating or sponsoring a visa applicant for the purposes of the regulations; or

(c)      representing the other person in proceedings before a court or review authority that relate to the visa for which the other person was nominating or sponsoring a visa applicant (or seeking to nominate or sponsor a visa applicant) for the purposes of the regulations.

As you can see from the explanations and these are just a part of the extract; what constitutes as dispensing immigration advice is extensive in its scope, it is understandable when someone is not fully equipped with the in-depth knowledge there are many things that can go wrong.

Kumar was assisted in filling out the required forms for his wife's application but he says "I asked them if I should write in the forms that I had received assistance from them but the education agents said, there was no need because I was going to drop-off the application myself"
Kumar says he had no idea that someone could confidently dispense incorrect advice but one tends to always discuss and debate with friends and acquaintances but when it comes to something complicated Kumar says "Unwelcome harsh truth from a qualified professional is better than a pleasant half-truth from a helpful non-professional. It might not be what you want to hear but it will help you prepare better and decide the best way to go forward" 




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Karl Konrad
Karl Konrad
Mr and Mrs Patel had a right to expect that the people who were enrolling them into a university course that costs tens of thousands of dollars knew what they were doing.

They were told not to worry for "we do this all the time".

The first warning sign was when the education agency completed the Form for them but told the Patel's they must put their own names on the communication part and do not put the agents name on the part which refers to receiving help with the Form.

By not wanting to declare to the DIBP that they helped with the Form, it really means they should not be helping with the Form and they certainly should not be giving advice about whether someone qualifies for a visa.

Student visas can be complicated, particularly when applying from the 485 visa. Seek professional advice from licensed Migration Agents when it comes to trying to meet the requirements for visas in Australia. 

The wrong advice from well meaning education agents regarding visa requirements may see you forced out of Australia and because they have not taken responsibility on the application form you will have no recourse to seek compensation.

Karl Konrad 



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Sydney NSW 2000


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Jee Eun Han

   Executive Manager

           Jee Eun Han

Australian Immigration Law Services




Karl Konrad

    Managing Director

          Karl Konrad

Australian Immigration Law Services
















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IMMIGRATION NEWS is intended to provide general information on migration issues and does not constitute legal advice and no responsibility is accepted by IMMIGRATION NEWS PTY LTD (ACN:165 846 980) for the accuracy of material appearing in IMMIGRATION NEWS.


People seeking advice on migration law should seek advice from a registered migration agent
 and you should be aware that the law can change tomorrow without notice so you have the responsibility to keep up to date.