Established in 2002, Haag Walker Lawyers practices exclusively in Australian immigration law. We are experts. Our singularity of focus and concentrated resources means we are able to optimise the carriage of client applications from the beginning of the process to final outcome.

As a client of Haag Walker Lawyers, you will engage directly with our principal migration lawyer and Law Institute Accredited Immigration Law Specialist Melissa Haag, throughout your application process.

Our direct client contact methodology means that every aspect of your application will be managed by an Accredited Immigration Law Specialist.

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Australian law does not compel a visa applicant to obtain the services of an Australian immigration lawyer or migration agent. You are entitled to prepare and submit your own visa application without professional assistance.

Completion of a high-quality decision-ready visa application requires much more than just going online and filling in forms. The application process is a potentially life-changing endeavour. Consequently, it makes good sense to engage an experienced immigration law specialist Lawyer to advance your application.


Visa applicants often ask why they need an Accredited Immigration Law Specialist to prepare their visa application, and what additional advantages they stand to gain from doing so in preference to engaging a migration agent or taking the do-it-yourself approach.

So what are the potential benefits, and what do those benefits mean for your prospects of success?

Specialist Australian Immigration Lawyer-Key Benefits 


Many prospective visa applicants are unaware of the significant difference in legal training undertaken by Australian immigration lawyers as compared to non-lawyer migration agents.

To practise law independently in Australia, at least three years of university education is required, including prescribed courses in Australian Administrative Law (involving legal challenges to Government decisions such as the grant or refusal of Australian visa applications), professional conduct and ethical conduct.

This is followed by a period of supervised, practical legal work under the direction of an experienced mentor. As a result of this extensive period of study and practical experience, Australian lawyers already possess significant skills and experience in Australian law before they are permitted to practise independently.

On the other hand, migration agents are not required to complete anywhere near this level of training or undertake any practical legal work, beyond the scope of their migration studies, before they are permitted to offer their services to the public.

A further important distinction between Australian immigration lawyers and Migration Agents relates to the preparation of legal submissions.

Given that Australian Lawyers are required to undertake at least three years of university legal training, it stands to reason that they are well qualified to understand the legislation, policy, and procedure applied by the Department of Immigration case officers.

So when it comes to preparing high-quality legal submissions to accompany your visa application, this training and experience is an invaluable asset towards the potential success of your application.

A well prepared legal submission will ensure that each of the visa criteria required for your visa grant is properly addressed and supported by appropriate documentation.

Australian immigration lawyers are not confined in the advice they can give by the boundaries of immigration law. They are legal professionals trained in the Laws of Australia. They are able to advise you in relation to the full range of laws that may be relevant to your circumstances.

Immigration matters often carry implications concerning a client’s rights and responsibilities in other areas of law, such as family law, employment law, business law, criminal law, and tax law. Non-lawyer migration agents cannot be expected to understand the general operation of the law. Furthermore, they are prohibited from providing you with legal advice outside their narrow field of training.

Lawyers, on the other hand, are required to be aware of Australian laws in general. Their training and experience means they will be able to identify any potential implications these other areas of law may have on your visa application.

Additionally, should your visa application be refused and if you choose to bring an appeal before the Australian courts, an immigration lawyer will be able to represent you in that review, while a non-lawyer migration agent cannot. Appeals are often an important part of the application process, so it is sensible to make sure this option is available to you from the beginning.

Clients of Australian Lawyers can claim the right to client legal privilege. This means that their communications with their lawyer are confidential and protected from exposure in most situations (a few limited exceptions exist).

Clients of migration agents are not entitled to claim that their communications with their migration agent are protected from disclosure by client legal privilege.

By retaining the services of an Australian immigration lawyer, you are entitled to privacy protection through client legal privilege for your communications with your Australian immigration lawyer.

Obtaining your visa is a matter of law, so a full understanding of the law and how it applies to your circumstances is of vital importance in preparing and submitting a quality immigration visa application.

Australian immigration law is extremely complex, and it is continually evolving. Lawyers are often required to analyse, interpret and apply Australian legislation, case law and government policy on a daily basis. Australian immigration lawyers are skilled in working through this kind of complexity as a result of their legal training and experience.

In completing a visa application, particular questions and the answers provided to them can be of critical importance to the success of your application. So too is the type and quality of the documentation submitted in support of your visa application. Underpinning the Department of Immigration’s questions and documentary requirements is a set of laws that includes the Migration Act 1958 and Migration Regulations.

This legislative framework means that the type and quality of documentation provided to the Department of Immigration can sometimes make the difference between the grant or refusal of your visa application.

In many cases, it is not enough to simply rely on the Department’s ‘checklist’ of the supporting evidence it expects to be submitted along with your application. In some cases, professional advice not to include unnecessary documentation or ill-prepared documentation, in your application can have important relevance to the success or failure of your plan to locate to Australia.

Experienced Australian migration lawyers are able to provide you with clear advice as to what type of documentation should be submitted and aid you in the effective preparation and presentation of your documentation.

In Australia, a person who charges a fee for legal services must hold a current practising certificate. These must be renewed each year. In order for a renewal of their practising certificate to be renewed, Australian lawyers must be able to demonstrate that they:

  • hold current compulsory professional indemnity insurance,
  • have completed the required amount of Continued Professional Development (CPD) training, and
  • have accurate audit records of any trust accounts held.

It’s important that you feel secure about the manner in which your visa application is handled. In the event that a migration service provider mishandles your case, or makes a mistake in preparing your visa application, you no doubt want the reassurance that comes from knowing you will be able to register a complaint and recoup any financial loss resulting from that mistake.

Given the high level of regulation that applies to Australian lawyers, there are numerous avenues available for you to lodge a complaint that would be thoroughly investigated by the regulating agency.

All Australian lawyers must abide by the directions of the Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014. Strict rules apply to the way in which an Australian lawyer is permitted to deal with any money you pay to them. Consequently, any misuse of money you have paid to an Australian lawyer would be thoroughly investigated.

If your money was found to have been misappropriated you could expect to be reimbursed by the Legal Practitioners Fidelity Fund for your financial loss. Furthermore, the way in which an Australian lawyer deals with your money is automatically subject to an independent audit by an approved auditor. The rules serve to protect your funds from misappropriation.