It will be led by Maria Jockel, who is acknowledged as one of Australia’s pre-eminent immigration law specialists.
David Garvey, Managing Partner of BDO Melbourne said: “There are significant opportunities to grow a premium immigration law service at a national and global level, given the complexities of Australia’s immigration laws and the growth in demand for temporary and permanent entry to Australia. BDO’s specialist immigration law practice is ideally placed to provide a significant service.”
“We are delighted that Maria will lead the new practice as she has worked with national and international corporations and high net worth individuals and gained unique experience in immigration law from her years in private sector and government environments.”
“BDO’s migration advice service will complement the firm’s global mobility, business, tax, advisory, corporate and regulatory compliance and related services, to achieve exceptional results for our clients.”
The Australian Government has recently proposed some changes to immigration including cutbacks to the number of industry sectors eligible for the 457 Visa scheme.
Maria Jockel said: “Australia’s immigration laws are both complex and subject to frequent ongoing change. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has significantly tightened the regulatory framework with very robust sanctions and penalties for breach. The aim of the 457 programme has always been to meet genuine skill shortages, not to undercut local labour and employment conditions and to protect overseas skilled workers from exploitation.”
“As the proposed changes to 457 visas are still subject of debate, the impact of these changes has yet to be seen. The complexity of 457 visa law means that increasingly, discerning clients will seek out expert advice which can only be positive for BDO’s immigration law practice,” she said.
Regarded as an authority on immigration law, Maria is listed in the International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers’ (2010 to 2017) and has been recognised in the peer reviewed ‘Best Lawyers’ (2008 to 2017).
Maria is a sought after national and international speaker and lecturer and a prolific author on all aspects of immigration and citizenship law, including employer sponsored immigration, business skills, health and character issues, compliance and risk management.
Her recent works include 457 Visa Law: Addressing Australia’s Skilled Labour Shortage (Thomson Reuters), Immigration Law Client Strategies in the Asia-Pacific (Aspatore), Getting the Deal Through – Corporate Immigration (Business Law Research), Global Mobility (ILW) and Corporate Immigration Annual Review (Financier Worldwide).
Maria is an accredited Immigration Law Specialist and a registered Migration Agent in Australia and New Zealand.