Maria Jockel, Legal Principal and National Leader, Migration Services<br>Accredited Immigration Specialist Lawyer

Maria Jockel

Legal Principal and National Leader, Migration Services
Accredited Immigration Specialist Lawyer


+61 3 9603 1830


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

Acknowledged as one of Australia's leading immigration law specialists, Maria brings a unique depth and breadth of immigration law and corporate and commercial-related legal experience from her years in private practice. This is complemented by Maria's former advisory and senior management roles while in government service.

Regarded as an authority on immigration law, Maria is listed in “The International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers” (2010-2021) and is nominated in the peer review Best Lawyers (2008-2021). She is a sought-after speaker and lecturer, and a prolific author on all aspects of immigration and citizenship law. Her recent works include the book 457 Visa Law: Addressing Australia's Skilled Labour Shortage (Thomson Reuters, 2008). She has also written chapters in Immigration Law Client Strategies in the Asia- Pacific (Aspatore, 2009); Getting the Deal Through: Corporate Immigration (2012-2017; Global Mobility (ILW, 2012-2016); Corporate Immigration Annual Review (Financier Worldwide, 2013); and the International Comparative Legal Guide: Corporate Immigration (2017-2021), as well as many other publications. She co-wrote "A Comparative Analysis to Labour Outsourcing" in The Arizona Journal of International Law and Comparative Law.

Most recently, Maria spoke at the International Bar Association (IBA) annual conference in Sydney in October 2017; the eighth IBA Biennial Global Conference in London in November 2017; the IBA annual conference in Seoul in September 2019; and the ninth IBA Biennial Global Immigration Conference in November 2019.

Maria is a sought after speaker and lecturer, and a prolific author on all aspects of immigration and citizenship law.


Maria's practice includes all aspects of immigration law, including: employer nomination temporary/permanent residency applications; labour agreements; business skills migration; complex matters involving health and character issues; Federal Court applications; skilled migration; review applications at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal/Migration Review Division; citizenship; ministerial submissions; international education; the Educational Services of Overseas Students Act and the National Code; and due diligence and regulatory compliance and related advices.

Maria heads a team of lawyers dedicated to providing strategic, expert and practical advice and business solutions in all aspects of visa and migration-related requirements. As a leader in her field, Maria offers strategic and practical solutions based on her expertise and knowledge of immigration law and policy, government and business. As a trusted adviser and specialist counsel, she acts for some of Australia's leading corporations and high-profile individuals to provide a premium service with outstanding results.

Maria acts for international and Australian corporations, bringing skilled personnel to Australia to meet labour force needs. She also advises international education providers on the requirements for the National Code and regulatory compliance relevant to education of overseas students. She represents business, skilled and family migrants advising in all aspects of temporary and permanent residency and migration-related matters.

Maria is currently a member of: the Migration Law Committee of the Law Council of Australia; the Migration Law Committee of the Law Institute of Victoria; the Citizenship and Nationality section of the International Bar Association and Women on Boards, and - through BDO - the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Australian British Chamber of Commerce, the Australian American Chamber of Commerce, and the Australian French Chamber of Commerce.

Maria's former roles include:

  • Member of the Executive Committee of the International Law section of the Law Council of Australia;
  • Convenor of the Immigration Lawyers Association of Australasia of the Law Council of Australia;
  • Founding member of the Advisory Committee on Immigration Law Specialisation of the Law Institute of Victoria and its Accredited Specialisation Education Advisory Committee;
  • Member of the National Immigration Specialisation Committee for Immigration Law;
  • Member of the Nationality and Population Council;
  • Member of the Family Law Council of Australia;
  • Member of the Advisory Council to the Office of Multicultural Affairs;
  • Deputy Chair of the Victorian Ethnic Affairs Commission;
  • Consultant to the Law Reform Commission;
  • Consultant to the Australian Council of Education and Research in the development of the Migration Agents Examination;
  • and Accredited Specialist in Family Law at the Law Institute Victoria.

In her current and former roles, and having advised on government policy and legal matters at state and federal levels, Maria has contributed to shaping the future of immigration law in Australia.

As the author of landmark legal texts and a regular speaker at national and international conferences and forums, Maria has been recognised for her contribution to continuing Professional Education by the Law Institute of Victoria.

Maria has a Bachelor of Law (Second-Class Honours) degree, and a Bachelor of Arts (First-Class Honours) degree from the University of Melbourne. She is an Accredited Immigration Specialist Lawyer (Law Institute of Victoria) and a Solicitor at the Supreme Court of Victoria and the High Court of Australia.


WWL says: Maria Jockel is “one of the most knowledgeable immigration lawyers in the country” and “an incredible support” to clients who value her “exceptional client service”.



  • 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 Immigration Specialist Lawyer
  • Australian Legal Practitioner with Unrestricted Practising Certificate
  • Admitted to practice in - Supreme Court of Victoria and High Court of Australia.


  • 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
  • The American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • The New York State Bar Association.

Previous affiliations

  • 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.

For more information please see:

BDO Migration Services