American Doctor - Australian Migration Visa Issue?

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11 June 2014
Hi there,

I need some guidance from a lawyer who can assist me with my migration visa.

I have sufficient funds to apply for a visa and I understand that due to my circumstances that the costs would be substantial, but that is fine by me. I am in my mid 30's as is my wife and we have two young children 4 and 7. We wish to migrate to Australia from the USA and start up medical rooms over there. My lawyer who you suggest should be prepared to arrange all the required paperwork and also satisfy the authorities of my good character.

In my youth I did have a drug problem and even though I was fined for possession of a prohibited drug, there was only a large monetary penalty and no bondsman required or conviction recorded. Obviously I had to satisfy the medical board over here before I could start training, but because of a recent brief relapse, I am now required to submit to a regular drug test to satisfy them of my integrity in my medical practice area. So as everyone can see, I have a complicated case to answer to allow myself and my family to migrate to your fair land. But there is no problem with what it costs, we just need to do it.

Please suggest who I can engage to do this.


Tim W

LawConnect (LawTap) Verified
28 April 2014
In Australia, we have a thing called a" Registered Migration Agent" (or "RMA").
That is, a person who, after completing a bunch of tertiary level training,
is accredited ("licensed") by our federal government to advise people on migration matters.

Many RMAs are lawyers.
But not every Migration Agent is a lawyer, and not every lawyer is an RMA.

There are many layman RMAs who are very good indeed.
However, given the complexities of your individual case,
I suggest that you engage a lawyer who is also an RMA.

You face two heads of action.... there is the question of your being eligible for a visa at all.
In this, being a doctor is favourable. But being a doctor with... a history of difficulties... is less favourable.
Concealing your back story from Australian authorities is worse.

Then, separately, there is a question of being allowed to work ("be registered")
in Australia as a doctor.

On this latter aspect, you may also care to consult the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
( for advice about being able to work as a doctor in Australia,
both in terms of recognition of your qualifications, and any issues about your character and professional conduct history.

So, where do you find an Australian lawyer who can assist you?
I am in New South Wales, so I suggest you have a look at the website of the Law Society of NSW
(which, for present purposes, you can think of as very approximately similar the American
state Bar Associations)
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