I was admitted to practice law in Australia in 1993. I first became registered as an Australian Migration Agent when launching MyVisa® in 1999. Managing immigration applications is all I've ever done since. And I love it!
My first desk (one which I could truly call my own) was a crude bench in a shared cubicle, above an inner-city chicken shop.
Today I still share one cubicle, but now in several offices across Australia. We are located in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
As of today, I have spent more than 20,000 hours advising visa applicants and their sponsors. Everyday I travel to one of our MyVisa® offices Australia-wide. I meet with clients like you, face-to-face or offer my advice by telephone in cases where things need to be actioned urgently.
I migrated with my parents, two older sisters and younger brother to Australia in 1976, after the Australian Labour party abandoned the White Australia Policy. Landing in Australia by boat (not at Ashmore Reef), I started school at the local public primary school, riding there daily on my Madison 10-speed racer. I became studious in the hope that better marks would immunise me from school-yard bullying. That didn’t work. I attended Brisbane Grammar School, loved maths, reluctantly learned Latin, and played rugby before getting to study law and accounting at QUT. The QUT program in 1987 was one of Australia’s first combined degrees. In 1990, I attended Harvard University and completed their Business Case Study Program, a foundation program for their MBA. I returned from the US to Queensland and completed a Bachelors of Business, Bachelor of Laws and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. I also completed an MBA in International Business.
Ieva Vaityte is my Chief Immigration Advisor. She manages new visa application lodgements, from refugees through to students and investors and retirees.
Ieva is creative yet conservative – and like me, relentless in her quest for a better immigration outcome. At times the best outcomes are elusive and that is when she (and I) are the hardest on ourselves.
Ieva joined our practices more than 7 years ago. There is something very refreshing about her approach. What clients comment most about with Ieva is that she takes on every new visa application as if it were her own visa case.
Ieva is very immigration-savvy, persuasive and one of the sharpest problem-solvers in the migration advice industry.
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Maria has over 25 years experience with the Department of Immigration, joining the Department after completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional Writing.
Maria held a number of senior positions in the Department including two Diplomatic postings in Berlin, Germany and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
As a diplomat in Berlin, she managed the satellite posts in Paris, The Hague, Madrid and Lisbon and oversaw the expansion of the Student E-visa lodgement strategy across Western Europe. On return from her posting she managed a settlement team in the Multi-Cultural Affairs Unit where she was responsible for the delivery of services to a number of communities and chaired the Settlement Service Providers Forum (SSPF).
In Kuala Lumpur, she was the head of the Immigration Section and was also responsible for the Visa Section in Brunei. She implemented the collection of biometrics and a Service Delivery Partner and also delivered the largest refugee programme for the Department following the signing of the Malaysia Australia Agreement.
On return from posting she led the implementation of the Knight Student Review Recommendations and was responsible for the DIBP Facebook and Migration Blog campaigns “Changing Courses, Changes Everything” which dealt with students arriving on visas which were granted under a stream-lined arrangement and changed to non-streamlined courses after arrival in Australia.
Her most recent position in the Department was as Manager of the NSW Visa Cancellation Unit where she was part of a team that reviewed the cancellations functions of the Department and worked with various policy areas in the Department to implement new cancellation provisions since implemented.
Maria loves working with people from different cultural backgrounds and is passionate about migration and the enrichment culture diversity brings to Australia, just like me! 😉
1. Get to know us better
Try us today and see the difference.
What might you get from less passionate immigration lawyers and migration agents? Who knows?
I hope this website gives you a small taste of what we are about at MyVisa®. The biggest difference between what our practice is what we can offer you – a commitment to getting the best outcome for you, not just “an” outcome.
So, call me and get to know us better!
2. Your First Step
The first step toward getting a better immigration outcome is to have a realistic game plan – wecan help with this. If you are ready to make an application, we’ll make sure you are on track. Not just any track. The best track possible. You won’t often get a second chance to make a good impression with Immigration, so thinking things through from the outset makes a lot of sense.
3. Why Get Paid Advice?
Getting paid advice makes sense for two reasons. Firstly, advisors can be sued and more likely to be correct in this advice than friend and family. Secondly, you get to get back your life, with another person having your back. Importantly, you don’t know what you don’t know. Even if you think you have it all under control, you’ll get peace of mind.
4. My Tips For Getting Better Visa Outcomes:
- Know your very best option, not the easiest one.
- Be confident the advice you are getting is 100% right for you.
- Write a better submission (or get help) to save you grief later.
- Acting sooner works better.
5. Challenging Cases
Without an immigration lawyer, you might compromise your chances of getting a more difficult visa approved. It might even take longer than is necessary.
Has your visa application been refused? Or your visa cancelled? Or are you worried that a visa refusal or visa cancellation is just around the corner? Now is a great time to get advice. I get it! Your stomach churns as soon as you read the email.
I get to read refusal emails all the time and my stomach churns too. I’ve been where you’ve been and I understand how your life seems now to be a “film” shot in slow motion. Bad news – it’s going to get worse before it gets better.
6. Bigger Problems
say “getting worse” because unless you fully understand how the recent notification or immigration decision will affect you, it will be like you are looking down the barrel of a loaded shotgun, not knowing when the shot will go off. This is the nature of very strict immigration laws and policies in Australia, managed by the Department of Home Affairs.
Take a deep breath. Ask yourself this key question – “In how many ways does this latest development limit my options?“
Just one? “How big is the risk I now face of losing the life that I have come to know or expect?
7. My Advice
My advice is to get “real”, fast. After you properly understand the bad news, you’ll be able to make far better immigration decisions for yourself. Yes! Be “real” now.
Don’t get your advice sugar-coated to make it appear more pleasant than it is. And don’t settle for half-baked advice offered easily by friends, relatives, and free-consult migration agents.
You see – in the last 18 years, I’ve seen thousands and thousands of immigration notifications, visa refusal decisions, and visa cancellations. Most haven’t been properly explained to visa applicants or sponsors like you.
8. Come For Confidence
If you know what you are doing and there is limited risk or consequences that you can live with, then you probably might not need to have an advisor.
9. Are You 100% Confident?
There are many online applications made each day by applicants who can not afford or see any incremental benefit is using an advisor.
If you don’t need me, then please don’t come to me!
But if you haven’t got clarity or confidence today or you want to start improving your situation now (perhaps after a false start) rather than flying blind, then book in a consultation with us.
10. Why Use An Immigration Lawyer?
Immigration Lawyers can help you lodge a better visa application.
You’ll get practical advice on how to avoid a visa refusal or a visa cancellation.
We offer a very outcome-focused service for obtaining Australian visa grants and immigration troubleshooting.
Sound interesting? It should – because many of our clients make mistakes with their immigration applications before coming to see us.
Don’t be a visa applicant or sponsor who decides to consult an Immigration Lawyer only after things have gone wrong.
11. Help you can expect:
We help many applicants respond to Department of Immigration “emails”, “invitations to comment” and “notices”. We can also help you make sure your next visa application is made properly.
Right from the outset, we’ll make your ride a little easier for you – with honest, realistic and accurate immigration advice.
Every week we help people like you get visa grants to come to Australia or stay here for longer. Together we have dealt with thousands of visa cases and we have argued several hundred visa appeals.
We spend most of our time learning about the latest developments in immigration law. Also every week, we negotiate cases and communicate with Immigration Officers and make submissions to AAT (Immigration Tribunal) members.
We attend (yes – we sit right next to you) at Administrative Appeal Tribunal (AAT) hearings, prepare submissions for visa cancellation and refusal appeals and seek the review of visa decisions in the Federal Circuit Court (FCC) and in the Federal Court of Australia – looking carefully for administrative decisions infected with legal error, often referred to as “jurisdictional error”.