Under the Migration Act 1958, only certain people can give immigration assistance to applicants in the AAT’s Migration and Refugee Division. This includes representing an applicant in an application before the AAT.
From 22 March 2021, Australian lawyers who hold a practising certificate can give immigration assistance in connection with legal practice without being registered as migration agents. Lawyers who hold an unrestricted practising certificate can no longer be registered migration agents. Lawyers with a restricted practising certificate (that is, they are subject to a condition requiring supervised legal practice) may continue to be registered as migration agents.
You can find more information about these changes and what they mean for Australian lawyers on the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority website.
What is the AAT doing as a result of these changes?
We are updating the information on our website as well as in our fact sheets and letters about who can give immigration assistance to applicants in the Migration & Refugee Division.
We will also be updating the following Migration & Refugee Division forms over the coming weeks:
- the application forms available on our website (Form M1, Form M2 and Form R1)
- our online application form
- the ‘Appointment of representative and/or authorised recipient’ form (Form MR5).
The options in these forms for types of representative will be expanded to include an Australian lawyer with a practising certificate.
Until the forms are updated, if you are a lawyer who is no longer a registered migration agent, you can select the ‘Other’ representative type and specify that you are an Australian lawyer.
How can you help us to update our records?
If you are an Australian lawyer representing an applicant in a current case in the Migration & Refugee Division and you cease to be a registered migration agent on or after 22 March 2021, please let us know this so we can update our records.
You can assist us to do this by filling out the Change of migration agent status form and sending it to MRDExecutive.Support@aat.gov.au.