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Migration & Citizenship

The team at MSM Legal understands that Australia’s visa and migration system is complex, confusing and often daunting. That’s why having considered advice and assistance from migration lawyers and migration agents is important.

With some of Adelaide’s most experienced migration lawyers and one of only three accredited migration law specialists in South Australia, and registered migration agents, MSM Legal can provide you with expert advice that’s tailored to your circumstances in relation to all aspects of the migration process including Australian citizenship and appeals processes.

Migration & Citizenship Services

Skilled Visas

Applying for a skilled visa in Australia is a complex and multi-tiered process. Both the visa requirements and skilled occupation lists change on a regular basis and it’s important to consider your long term goals (like permanent residency) and whether your proposed visa will get you there.

Employer Sponsored Visas

There is a range of employer sponsored visas available depending on the needs and specific circumstances of the employer, visa applicant and nominated occupation. Some visas are only short term, some allow the visa holder to remain for several years, some are permanent and some are provisional with pre-determined pathways to permanent residency. All employer sponsored visas have specific requirements that the employer and prospective employee must meet and ongoing obligations that must be met, after the visa has been granted.

Business Visas

The requirements for business visas have become more difficult to meet over the years and the Australian government regularly changes the options available. It is important to make the right choice at the outset, because committing to the incorrect pathway can significantly impact the relevant business and investment interests, as well as delay the visa holder’s ability to obtain permanent residency.

Partner Visas

Partner visas are for married couples, those in a de-facto relationship and those who may not meet the requirements of a de-facto relationship but who are in a relationship and have an intention to marry. Selecting which visa is right for your relationship is important to ensure the greatest prospect of success.

Parent Visas

Parent visas can be complex and there are a number of different visas to choose from. It is imperative to choose the correct visa from the outset as mistakes can result in years’ worth of delays.

Child Visas

There are a small amount of different child visas that children may be eligible for which, depending on your circumstances (including whether you are an Australian citizen or Eligible New Zealand citizen). Such visas include a permanent visa, dependent child visa and adoption visa. The requirements that must be met and evidenced are complex and multi-faceted.

Humanitarian Visas

There are several humanitarian visas that can be granted depending on the applicant’s specific circumstances, including refugee category visas (which are the Refugee, In-country Special Humanitarian, Emergency Rescue and Woman at Risk visas) and the Global Special Humanitarian Visa. Applicaticants onshore in Australia can consider Protection Visas.

Other Visas

Other types of visa we can advise you on are numerous, but include the:

  • Visitor Visas (6 types);
  • Education and Training Visas (3 types);
  • Graduate and Temporary Work Visas (6 types);
  • Crew Travel Authority Visa;
  • Former Resident Visa;
  • Maritime Crew Visa;
  • Medical Treatment Visa;
  • Resident Return Visas;
  • Special Category Visa;
  • Investor Retirement Visa; and
  • Confirmatory (Residence) Visa.
Bridging Visas

A Bridging visa lets you stay in Australia lawfully. It is a temporary visa that allows you to stay in Australia while your main visa application is being considered. There are different types of bridging visa and you may have been granted more than one over the course of your immigration journey. Determining which one is in effect at which time can become complex and ensuring that you do not inadvertently breach any conditions of a bridging visa is imperative to the success of any subsequent substantive visa applications. You may only leave Australia under certain conditions when you are on a bridging visa, departing Australia while holding a bridging visa and without seeking legal advice first is not advisable.


Living in Australia and becoming an Australian citizen has many advantages. Applying for Australian citizenship is not always straight forward. Depending on your circumstances, there are a number of issues that can cause the application process to become very complicated, such as criminal convictions, long periods of time spent outside of Australia and lack of identity documents. If your citizenship application has been refused, you may have appeal options and should seek legal advice as soon as possible. You can renounce or resume Australian citizenship in certain circumstances, but both involve complex legal issues and receiving advice is important.

Revocation of Citizenship

Australian citizenship can be revoked if a person has committed a serious offence. A conviction with a sentence of 12 months or more might result in the revocation of citizenship. This conviction could be from any time prior to the grant of Australian citizenship. Citizenship can also be revoked if it is found that there was third party fraud in the process of applying for Australian citizenship. There are other grounds for revocation of citizenship but it is important you seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity.

Visa Cancellation

Temporary and permanent visas can be cancelled and the actual or potential cancellation of a visa is a serious issue. You must act quickly as strict time limits apply. If your visa is cancelled, you may also be detained in immigration detention until you are removed from Australia, or for the duration of any appeal. Having a visa cancelled can also impact on your eligibility for future visas. There has been an increase in the number of visa cancellations on character grounds in recent years. This is partially due to amendments to the Migration Act 1958 (Cth), introduced in December 2014. These amendments expanded reasons for which the Department of Home Affairs can cancel visas.

Immigration Detention

Without a valid visa a non-citizen may be detained and possibly removed, from Australia. If you are an unlawful non-citizen, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible as strict time limits apply.

Administrative Appeals Tribunal

The AAT is a merits review body. It is separate from the Department of Home Affairs/Immigration. The AAT will look at the application with ‘fresh eyes’ and is bound by the same laws and requirements that guide the Department of Immigration. Not all visa decisions can be appealed to the AAT and it is important to get legal advice about your eligibility. Strict time limits apply.

Judicial Review

Judicial review is about a court considering an error of law. The Judge cannot decide whether you should or should not be granted a visa. If the Court finds that jurisdictional error has occurred, it has the authority to refer your application back to the preceding decision-maker (the AAT or the Department of Home Affairs/Immigration). The Court can prevent the Minister from acting on the decision. Appealing to the Court generally means appointing a lawyer and a barrister to represent you. Generally, the lawyer will choose a barrister for you. If you are facing complicated issues within Australian migration law, it is best to seek urgent legal advice. The issues can often be incredibly complex and you will need experts to guide you. Do not delay as appeals and judicial reviews are time-sensitive.