Maria Jockel, Global and National Immigration Leader, Legal Principal, Accredited Specialist, Immigration Law

Maria Jockel

Global and National Immigration Leader, Legal Principal, Accredited Specialist, Immigration Law


+61 3 9603 1830


Maria is the Global and National Immigration Leader and Legal Principal of BDO Migration Services, an incorporated legal practice which specialises in all aspects of Australian immigration and nationality law for corporate and private clients.

Maria is an Accredited Specialist in Immigration Law and leads BDO’s Global Immigration Services which operates in nearly 100 countries around the world.

Acknowledged as one of Australia's leading specialists in immigration law, Maria brings a unique depth and breadth of immigration law, and corporate and commercial-related legal experience from her years in private practice and government service.

Maria leads a team of lawyers dedicated to providing strategic, expert and practical advice, and business solutions in visa and migration-related requirements who achieve an enviable record of successful applications.

As a leader in her field, a trusted adviser and specialist counsel, Maria acts for leading corporations and private clients to provide a premium service with outstanding results.

Maria's practice incorporates all aspects of immigration law including Employer Temporary and Permanent Residency applications, business skills migration, complex matters involving health and character issues, skilled migration, review applications at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, citizenship, ministerial submissions, international education, labour agreements and governance, risk and compliance.

An authority on Immigration Law, Maria’s peers continue to nominate her in Who's Who Legal: Corporate Immigration (2010–2021) as one of the world’s leading practitioners in this field. Maria is also nominated in the peer-reviewed Best Lawyers (2008-2021).

A prolific author on various aspects of immigration and citizenship law, Maria’s works include the book 457 Visa Law: Addressing Australia's Skilled Labour Shortage (Thomson Reuters, 2008), the Australian chapter of the International Comparative Legal Guide to: Corporate Immigration (2017-2021) and Who’s Who Legal – Thought Leaders (2020-2021). Maria also contributes to Who’s Who Legal featured articles offering unique insights into Australian Immigration Law (2015-2021).

A sought-after national and international presenter, most recently Maria has spoken at the International Bar Association (IBA) Annual Conference in October 2017, the IBA 8th Biennial Immigration Global Conference in November 2017, the IBA Annual Conference in September 2019, the IBA 9th Biennial Global Immigration Conference in 2019, the Law Council of Australia Immigration Conference in 2020, the Law Institute of Victoria and the Legalwise Seminars Annual Immigration Law Symposiums in 2021.

On March 30, 2022, Maria was interviewed by SBS on the Visa options which may be available to onshore and offshore Ukrainians in response to the War on Ukraine.

Peers and clients say:

The “incredibly impressive” Maria Jockel "demonstrates mastery of the Australian immigration system through her depth of knowledge, development of key relationships and calm analysis of the changing landscape". She is “incredibly focused and tactical in her approach to solving complex problems” - Who's Who Legal


  • Employer-sponsored temporary and permanent entry visas
  • Corporate governance, due diligence and regulatory compliance
  • Complex matters involving health and character issues
  • Skilled migration
  • Visa cancellations
  • Citizenship
  • International education
  • Educational services of Overseas Students Act & national code
  • Federal court applications
  • Ministerial submissions.


  • Mining
  • Construction
  • Biomedical
  • Retail
  • Civil Engineering
  • Tourism
  • Health
  • Recruitment
  • Information Technology
  • Education
  • Agriculture
  • Aviation
  • Consumer Products
  • Hospitality
  • Manufacturing
  • International education services.


  • Bachelor of Law (Honours), Bachelor of Arts (Honours), University of Melbourne
  • Law Institute of Victoria: Accredited Specialist, Immigration Law
  • Australian Legal Practitioner with Unrestricted Practising Certificate
  • Admitted to practice in - Supreme Court of Victoria and High Court of Australia.

Affiliations & Memberships

  • Migration Law Committee, Law Council of Australia
  • Migration Law Committee, Law Institute of Victoria
  • International Bar Association (Citizenship and Nationality section)
  • Women on Boards
  • Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Australian  British Chamber of Commerce
  • Australian American Chamber of Commerce
  • Australian French Chamber of Commerce
  • Australian Institute of International Affairs
  • The American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • The New York State Bar Association.

Previous Affiliations & Memberships

  • Former Australian Registered Migration Agent, 9256895 with the Migration Agents Registration Authority and 9802742 with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority
  • Executive Committee – International Law, Law Council of Australia
  • Co-convenor – Immigration Lawyers Association of Australasia, Law Council of Australia
  • Chair – Migration Law Committee, Law Council of Australia
  • Founding Member – Immigration Law Specialisation Advisory Committee, Law Institute of Victoria
  • National Immigration Specialisation Committee, State Law Societies
  • Nationality and Population Council
  • Family Law Council of Australia
  • Advisory Council, Office of Multicultural Affairs
  • Deputy Chair, Victorian Ethnic Affairs Commission
  • Consultant, Law Reform Commission
  • Consultant for the development of the Migration Agent Examination, Australian Council of Education and Research
  • Law Institute of Victoria Accredited Family Law Specialist Lawyer.