Attorneys – Can help, and can hinder!

As Registered Migration Agents, we must ALWAYS act in the next interests of our clients. Always! That includes when you get annoyed because you think we’re giving you a hard time. Well, guess what? We won’t bend! There are no “YES-MEN” here! We will tell you how it is, and that’s what you’re paying us for.




Attorneys – Friend or Foe?

We are not Philippines attorneys. We can’t give legal advice, nor can we sort out matters that need to go to court. And unfortunately some clients get themselves into tangled messes which need the courts to sort out. And some need help with untangling bureaucracy that we simply can’t do. So we will tell you to get onto a good attorney.

However…….there are good attorneys, and there are bad attorneys, AND there are good attorneys who don’t necessarily understand situations which involve Australian Law. Why would they? And they live in a country where most people are in awe of them and would follow them no matter what. You could tell a joke that went:

Why did 100 Filipinos jump off a cliff? Because at attorney told them to!

So we battle with Filipinos finding it hard to believe that we are right and the attorney is wrong!

Please understand! WE understand Australian Migration Law, and we lodge umpteen hundred visa applications every year. This is all we do. They don’t! They don’t know what is expected, and we do! You talk to them, so make sure they understand exactly what is required or you can’t blame them if they get it wrong.


Correct Documents – Especially NSO documents

This is where we have problems. Documents must be 100% correct for Australian Visa Applications! Philippines government departments are a bit more relaxed about what they expect. The Australian Government isn’t, and the Aussie Embassy operates according to Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) standards….not Philippines standards.


NSO (National Statistics Office) documents are ordered by us directly from the NSO office, and are delivered to the Embassy. They Embassy have contracted an arrangement with them to avoid fake documents, because they used to get so many. And fake documents = 3 year bans! That means:


  • If you were married before, your CENOMAR will show your marriage. That includes those situations where somebody says “I didn’t think it was a REAL marriage”.
  • If you managed to be married TWICE in the Philippines (yes, it happens!), then the CENOMAR will show TWO marriages.
  • If you were never properly registered when you were born, the NSO will tell the Embassy they have no record of your existence!
  • And if you stated that you were married (when you were not) on your kids birth certificates to save them from being “illegitimate”, then you will have a problem to deal with.
  • If you or a well-meaning (or not well-meaning) relative registered your birth twice to cover something up, then they will deliver TWO birth certificates to the Embassy.


And after all of this, you will be left to explain yourselves. And if you’ve passed up on our advice, you will be completely on your own.



Filed under Advice for Filipinas, Australian Visa Applications, Character Requirements, Practical Issues

2 responses to “Attorneys – Can help, and can hinder!

  1. Mike Trotter

    Phew! As an Australian I am amazed at what Filipinos do and get themselves into with regards to CENOMAR! I can understand Down Under’s difficulties and frustrations dealing with these problems. It certainly does not help with your processing of their applications. Keep up the good work folks!

    • If it was really easy, Mike? No one would need us! We never ever feel like we’re of no value, I can tell you. And no one likes being told they have a hard job ahead of them.

      Once upon a time everyone bucked the system. There were no centralised records. Marrying again, or getting another birth certificate, it was an easy solution to administrative issues. But it’s all computerised now, and many of these things are coming back to bite people.

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