Should I use a Migration Agent or a lawyer?

Many people ask what the difference is between a Registered Migration Agent and a Lawyer.

The Australian Government allows both Registered Migration Agents and lawyers to assist people with their migration issues.

Lawyers are usually more expensive than migration agents.

Migration agents focus on one thing: assisting people with migration law. Some lawyers are specialists in migration law, but may also practice in other areas such as family law, criminal law, or property law.

Lawyers and Registered Migration Agents are both highly educated. Lawyers must do an undergraduate degree and then gain professional training. Registered Migration Agents must have an undergraduate degree plus a Postgraduate Diploma in Migration Law, plus undergo professional training.

Both a Registered Migration Agent or a lawyer are qualified to take your appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

Only a lawyer can take your matter to the Federal Court. Taking an appeal to the Federal Court (or Federal Circuit Court) is a big decision. You would normally only do this if you had lost at the AAT and you want to appeal on a point of law. For this you need a good lawyer who knows this area very well. It can be very expensive and very high risk since, if you lose, you may have to pay your own lawyer but also the lawyers employed by the Government.

For most people needing assistance with their visa application or refusal, a Registered Migration Agent provides a high level of knowledge and professional skill, at a more economical price.

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