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How To Migrate To Australia As A Lawyer


Australia is consistently rated as one of the most desirable places to live and work, and this holds true for lawyers as well. However, relocating to a new country with a different legal system can be quite interesting. Here is how you can migrate to Australia as a lawyer


Step 1: Check Your Eligibility

 Before practicing law in Australia, lawyers with overseas qualifications need to have their credentials assessed by the relevant admitting authority in the state or territory where they want to work. This assessment will determine if their qualifications are considered equivalent to those of an Australian law graduate. You can start this process by visiting the Law Council of Australia website.


Step 2: Skills Assessment and Points Test

 Your qualifications are recognized. Now, you need to demonstrate your skills and experience through a skills assessment conducted by the relevant assessing authority. This assessment is crucial for obtaining a visa under Australia’s General Skilled Migration (GSM) program. 


The GSM program uses a points system to assess your eligibility. Points are awarded for factors like age, English language proficiency, qualifications, and work experience. Lawyers are currently listed on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), making migration more attainable.


Step 3: Prepare Your Visa Application

The visa application process can be complex, so meticulous preparation is key. Gather all the required documents, including:

  • Skills assessment
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • Educational transcripts and work experience records

Step 4: ChooseVisa Type

 There are several visa options for migrating to Australia as a lawyer. The most common are:


1. Subclass 189 (Skilled Independent Visa):  This visa allows you to independently apply for permanent residency based on your skills and qualifications.

2. Subclass 190 (Skilled Nomination Visa):  This visa requires nomination from a state or territory government, potentially offering additional points and a faster processing time. 

3. Subclass 489 (Skilled Regional Visa):  This visa prioritizes applicants who are willing to live and work in regional areas of Australia.


Step 5: Legal Practicing Certificate

After securing your visa, you will be required to obtain a legal practicing certificate from the admitting authority in your chosen Australian state or territory. This process entails demonstrating your knowledge of Australian law through examinations and character assessments.


Step 6: Finding Work and Getting Admitted

Once you’ve obtained your visa and legal certificate, the next step is to secure a job in your legal specialty. Look into law firms and organizations in Australia that match your experience and interests.

Connect with legal professionals and make use of online job boards. Keep in mind that even with a recognized qualification, you might need to undergo further studies or practical training programs before being allowed to practice in Australia. The admitting authority will provide further guidance on this.

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