Over a period of about 20 years the firm has assisted many prospective visa applicants. Some of the cases have been straight forward and some highly complex. We have dealt with most areas of migration law from initial advice to having the conduct of applications to lodging appeals.
Family | Partner Visas
Skilled Work | Business Visas
Areas, in particular, in which we have expertise include:
- Family (parent, relative, partner and child)
- Skilled (including independent or sponsored)
- Business (skills including business experience and investor)
- Humanitarian/Refugee (onshore or offshore applications)
- Citizenship (usually character issues or period of residence in Australia are issues)
- Applications for review to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (on the merits or the decision) or the different Federal Courts of Australia (usually on a question of law)
Please see out testimonials for a cross section of satisfied clients who have been provided service by
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- Permanent and provisional business skills visas
- Fiancé , spouse, partner, de facto, same sex
- Employer Nomination Scheme visas
- Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme
- Subclass 457 visas
- Skilled visas
- Work visas
- Family, children, adoption and parent reunification visas
- Resident return if you previously held citizenship or permanent residency
- Refugee and humanitarian visas
- Retirement Visas
Visa Condition Breaches
- Breaching a visa condition (Section 116);
- Ceasing employment with a sponsor (Section 116);
- Where grounds no longer exist for the holding of a visa (Section 116)
- Providing incorrect information (Section 109);
- Business visa holders failing to abide by the conditions of their visa (Section 137);
- Consequential cancellations (Section 140);
- Failing to pass the character test (Section 501).
Even “minor” criminal offences can affect Australian citizenship applications
1. An Australian Permanent Resident’s application for Australian citizenship was refused on the basis that he was not “of good character at the time of the Minster’s decision on the application.”
2. Application was made to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of Australia (Tribunal) for review of the refusal. A decision was handed down on 29 June 2017.
3. The Applicant had 16 relatively minor traffic offences over the period August 2007 to March 2015. The penalties varied from fines of as low as $88 to suspension of licence.
4. None of the incidents were particularly serious. So why was the citizenship application refused?
5. He made the following mistakes in his application:
a) He failed to fully disclose his convictions on the basis that they had “almost slipped from my memory”
b) He downplayed the convictions and minimised them.
c) He referred to a number of offences as a singular mistake.
d) He advised the Tribunal that he had learned from his mistake. Yet he had told the Tribunal that he had forgotten about the offences. The Tribunal said “it is difficult to understand how someone can learn from something they have forgotten;” and
e) He failed to “satisfactorily explain why he did not pay a certain speeding fine.” The Tribunal found that the evidence provided to the tribunal “displays a lack of insight into his offending conduct, albeit of a relatively minor nature.”
6. The Tribunal commented that:
(a) although the offences were each not a “serious offence” “…his lack of insight in the repetition of offending conduct, most recently in March 2015, displays a low level of reckless disregard for the safety of road users”. The Tribunal found that “these considerations weigh against an assessment of good character for the purposes of Section 21 (2) (h) of the Citizenship Act.”
(b) in relation to the witnesses who gave evidence on his behalf. “But these witnesses were unaware of his full record of offending conduct, albeit of a minor nature.” In the Tribunal’s mind this tended to “…diminish the weight that can be given to their (the witnesses) evidence”.
7. Lessons to be learned?
(a) Even relatively minor criminal offences can weigh against one in an application for Australian citizenship.
(b) The best course is to be open and forthright and offer as detailed an explanation as possible as to why each criminal offence occurred.
(c) This adds weight to any argument about the Applicant’s remorse and having learned from his mistakes.
New Zealand citizens and Permanent Residence
Rothstein Lawyers Talks Visa Cancellations on Character Grounds
On 18 October 2016, Mervyn Rothstein and Sophie Manera, Registered Migration Agents and lawyers of Rothstein Lawyers, addressed students undertaking the Graduate Certificate in Migration Law at Murdoch University.
Visa Cancellations/ Unlawful Residence Status
Proposed Change to Dual Registration Requirement for Migration Lawyers
Currently, lawyers practising in migration law are required to hold registration with the Office of the Migration Agents Regulation Authority as well as the professional body regulating lawyers in their State.
A 2014 Independent Review of the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (“the Independent Review”) by Dr Christopher N Kendall has recommended that migration lawyers no longer be required to hold dual registration.
The Independent Review made the following recommendations:
1. lawyers cannot register as migration agents; and
2. lawyers are entirely regulated by their own professional bodies.
The Australian Government has accepted the above 2 recommendations. The proposed implementation date is 1 July 2016. However this is still to be confirmed.
Proposed cessation of registration as Migration Agents will not affect the professional migration advice that Rothstein Lawyers will continue to provide its clients.
Article Updated August 2016
Four recent cases were reported by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (Tribunal) dealing with applications to revoke the cancellation of non-citizen of Australia on character grounds. All four were decided against the visa applicants. These are complex matters which...
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