Parish Patience Immigration Lawyers

General FAQ

 

  • Does Parish Patience Immigration only do immigration work?

No, we can also provide you with a comprehensive range of non-immigration work such as preparation of wills, assistance with buying and selling property, family and criminal law, deceased estates, debt recovery, general civil litigation taxation issues and corporations law as well as business plans

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  • What happens to the money I pay to Parish Patience Immigration?

Unless you are paying the balance of an invoice you have received whenever you pay us money it will be recorded and transferred to our Trust Account. Your money is protected by the New South Law Society and any money held by us on your behalf can only be used for the fees detailed in your Cost Agreement to pay for work as it is done and for payment of government filing fees and any other external costs as requested by us, such as police certificates and international courier charges. Each time you pay money you will receive a receipt and you will receive an invoice for any work done which will show the current balance of your trust account. Because the money held in the trust account is still your money you can ask for a refund at which point we will prepare a final invoice and arrange a refund to the original payer by cheque.

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  • Do I have to pay all of my fees before you start work?

Depending on the type of case you wish us to do for you, you may be able to pay by monthly instalments – these types of cases are typically those which tend to take at least six months to finalise and which require regular ongoing work. You will be required to pay a deposit before work can be started and the terms of your Cost Agreement will state the further payments are by instalments. There are two types of instalment agreements depending on the type of work we are asked to do:

  1. Instalments which are event-based which means that an event must occur in order for the next instalment to be due for payment, for example you may need to have a skills test approved – once this is approved the next stage of the process can be started, such as the visa application at which time the next instalment is payable
  2. Instalments can be on a monthly basis as work can cover a number of months and we can be asked for additional information or further submissions at any time, this is typical for partner visas. 

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  • Will I ever have to pay more than what is stated in my Cost Agreement?

As a rule, costs are determined based on the information you have provided during the initial consultation. However should this information be incomplete or inaccurate or your circumstances change or should there be unforeseen complications we made need to advise you in writing that additional fees may need to be paid if we have to do extra work or respond in detail to information which was not originally made available to us. We tend not to pass on additional costs unless there is a very good reason for doing so. We also reserve the right to charge extra for unnecessary follow-up requests from clients who expect over servicing which is explained in the Cost Agreement. Should you ask us to act on further matters, then further fee will be payable as quoted.

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  • How often will you contact me about the progress of my case?

We will keep you informed of all developments as they occur. We will also contact you should government policy changes affect your case or we become aware of anything which may benefit your case. We also regularly request updates from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship about your case. We know that awaiting the outcome of your case can be an anxious, even stressful, time however we do ask that you do not contact us repeatedly for an update as we will keep you informed as needed.

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  • Can I change the instalments in my Cost Agreement?       

Generally no, however we do ask you to contact our Accounts Department to discuss problems at any time. We will try to accommodate genuine needs and extraordinary circumstances however this is on a case by case basis and we would need to take into account previous payment history and what has happened regarding your case to date.

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  • Can I get a friend or family member to help with my case if I am overseas or not contactable?

Yes, but only if you authorise us in writing to do so. Our agreement is with you and we will not provide anyone else with any details about your case without authorisation – confidentiality is important. Please notify us in writing if you want someone else involved in your case.

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  • What is the best way of contacting the people working on my case?

Email is the preferred method of contact and you will be provided with the contact details of those directly handling your case when your case is opened. These contact details will also generally be stated in your Cost Agreement. You will also be provided with a reference number – please quote this whenever you contact us. Any questions or requests you make are important and we will respond as quickly as possible however the response time may vary as all agents can be affected by unexpected increases in the volume of work or unexpected absences.

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  • Can I make a complaint if I am not satisfied at any time?

Of course – please do not hesitate to contact us if you are concerned. Please contact either David Bitel, Managing Partner: dbitel@ppilaw.com.au or Blair Commin, Practice Manager: brc@ppilaw.com.au. We will look into your complaint and will look at resolving the problem.

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  • How long until my case is decided?

It is impossible to say exactly – all any law firm or migration agent can do is provide an estimate based on current processing times advertised by the various government bodies who operate according to their own schedule which changes frequently. We will try to expedite your case wherever possible however frequent requests to your government case officer without any special reason may prove counterproductive.

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  • Can a Migration Agent promise a timeframe for a decision?

No agent is able to influence the decision-making process. Apart from an agent requesting that a case can be expedited if extraordinary circumstances apply they can only minimise the time taken by ensuring prompt responses to further requests and regular status follow-ups. Applicants providing information promptly as requested also minimises the time taken for decision. Many visa applications are subject to government directed queues and a Migration Agent can only advise current processing timeframes and/or estimates based on their experience. Please be aware that DIBP and the Tribunals timeframes are often dictated by governmental policy which may either delay or expedite processing of applications without warning and may be subject to the perceived need by the government of required skills at any point in time. 

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  • Can you guarantee a positive outcome for my case?

No-one can give you a guarantee of success and to do so is unethical. You should be very careful about accepting any advice which comes with a guarantee or promises an outcome within a specific period of time. What you will receive from us is a proper assessment of your chances. We are not prepared to take on a case where there are no reasonable chances of success.

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  • How competitive are your fees?

Our fees fall within the fee scale range published on the Migration Agents Regulatory Authority website ( www.mara.gov.au) and our instalments are structured to ensure that only necessary work is done. We would rarely ask you to pay the full value of your case upfront if the cost is more than $1,100.

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  • How GST affects the amount you have to pay

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a 10% government tax which we are required to include in your instalments if you, the primary applicant are resident in Australiawhile the work is being done. In effect you pay us the 10% which we then forward to the government – for example, if your Cost Agreement is $2,200, $2,000 is our fee, $200 is paid to the government as GST by us. If you are offshore during the application process GST is not payable so, in the above example, your Cost Agreement would therefore state $2,000 as being payable.

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  • What if my application is refused?

While a refusal is always disappointing it does not necessarily mean that you cannot be ultimately successful through the appeals processes. One of the main differences between a Migration Agent and an Immigration Law Firm such as ours is that we can review negative decisions and can often advise on prospects and identify errors of law and then handle any subsequent appeal based on a thorough knowledge and interpretation of the law, current policies and other issues such as procedural fairness. If your application is refused you are in most case entitled to have the decision reviewed at the Tribunal level and, if still unsuccessful, then on judicial review in the Court system if there is an error of law.

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  • What can I do if may agent cannot resolve a problem?

 

All Migration Agents are required to abide by the Migration Agents Regulatory Authority (MARA) Code of Conduct. All Migration Agents are required to be registered and should include their registration details on all correspondence you receive, especially at the time of any initial contact and prospective clients are advised to check to ensure that they will be represented by registered agents only.

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