Maria Jockel

Maria Jockel

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

Migration Services


Maria is the Global and National Immigration Leader and Legal Principal of BDO Migration Services, an incorporated legal practice specialising 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 operate 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 knowledge along with corporate and commercial-related legal experience from her years in private practice and government service.

Maria's standing is reflected in her services in Law, her Law Institute of Victoria award for outstanding contribution by a practitioner in Continuing Legal Education, and her ongoing consultations with Government, in helping to shape Australia's Immigration laws.

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

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 (2010–2024) as one of the world’s leading practitioners in the field.  Maria has also been nominated year-on-year in the peer-reviewed Best Lawyers (2008-2024) and Doyles Guide to the Australian legal profession as a leading Accredited Specialist in Immigration Law.

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 (2017-2024) and Who’s Who Legal – Thought Leaders (2020-2023). Maria also contributes to Who’s Who Legal featured articles offering unique insights into Australian Immigration Law (2015-2023).

A sought-after national and international presenter, most recently Maria has spoken at the Law Institute of Victoria and Legalwise Seminars Annual Immigration Law Symposiums (2021), Law Council of Australia Immigration Conference (2020), International Bar Association (IBA) Annual Conference (2017-2019); and IBA 8th and 9th Biennial Global Immigration Conference in November (2017-2019) and IBA 10th Biennial Global Immigration Conference in December (2022) and the Law Institute of Victoria in December 2022.

In March 2023, Maria spoke at the Legalwise Annual Immigration Law Conference and the Thomson Reuters Skilled Migration and Workforce Planning Conference.

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 and National Code
  • Federal Court applications
  • Ministerial submissions.


  • Aviation
  • Agri-food and AgTech
  • Building and Construction
  • Biomedical and Health Industries
  • Consumer Products
  • Civil Engineering
  • Defence and Advanced Manufacturing
  • Digital and Information Technology
  • Energy and Resources
  • Education and International Education
  • Financial Services and FinTech
  • Infrastructure
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Recruitment and Talent Acquisition 


  • Graduate Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Bachelor of Law (Second Class Honours), and Bachelor of Arts (First Class 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.


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

Previous Roles and Affiliations

  • Former Australian Registered Migration Agent Migration Agents Registration Authority and (9256895) and Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (9802742)
  • 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.