Proud to offer legal advice and assistance to all
There are some documents available to download (below) which are specific to my practice. Most law firms have similar documents and you are entitled to a copy of them upon request.
Why have I published them? Why do others choose to hide them? I believe they contain important information that you should know and understand before you enter into a relationship with any lawyer. There's nothing nasty, nothing tricky, no surprises. Just information about your rights and what you can expect from me throughout the course of our professional relationship.
The Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) was created to regulate the migration agent profession. The OMARA documents available for download below are the Code of Conduct and the Consumer Guide. Both are also available on the OMARA's website, http://www.mara.gov.au.
This is the bottom line: I don't believe that you should be charged some exorbitant amount of money just because I have a law degree. I am required to give you an estimate of my professional fees before our relationship commences, and I promise to keep these as reasonable as possible.
There is an initial consultation fee for our first appointment, the cost of which depends on the scheduled duration of the appointment. This needs to be paid before we meet. Shortly after our meeting I will provide you with a document called 'costs agreement and disclosure statement', which sets out the work I agree to undertake and my professional fees for that process. Where I can, I will charge you a lump sum instead of billing you at an hourly rate. The cost of our first appointment will be credited towards this agreement. I also won't ask that all of my professional fees be provided upfront. I have a young family and I know what it's like to have to juggle the cost of things like of school excursions, nappies, and swimming lessons on top of everyday living expenses.
Some matters will include disbursements - fees payable to other parties. In my areas of legal practice, this is most likely to be application fees to the Department of Home Affairs (Immigration); but it may also be things like paying barristers for their professional opinion, interpreting fees, or travel costs (in extreme circumstances), You will always be advised of these disbursements as soon as I know about them, and no disbursement will be incurred on your behalf without your permission.
The COVID-19 virus is affecting all of us, but if you are "stuck" in Australia or if the conditions of your visa are no longer able to be met - such as your have been made redundant by your sponsoring employer or if you have to quarantine yourself for 14 days and cannot go to work - you might need a bit more advice than just "stay home, wash your hands, don't panic buy" (seriously - who needs that much toilet paper, and where do they store it in their house?!?).
For many temporary visa holders in Australia right now, there will be logical and relatively simple options which mean you can easily make sure you don't become an unlawful non-citizen. However, other times the answer may not be so apparent, or they may be obstacles preventing you from lodging the application you want. This is where we can help you.
Please don't hesitate to contact us if you are the holder of a temporary visa and you have questions about the possibility of extending your stay in Australia or making sure your visa isn't cancelled during this time. No time is too soon to find out what you can do.
So contact us. There's enough to worry about in the world at the moment: having to worry about your visa shouldn't need to be added to that list.
This website is for informational purposes only. Using this site or communicating with Stewart Administrative & Migration Lawyers through this site does not form an attorney/client relationship. This site is legal advertising.
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