Statement: Martin S.

Complex Visa Case Studies

Several years ago, my two sons left the UK to set up life in Australia. It became obvious that they were never going to return to the UK. I have a criminal conviction, for which I received a suspended sentence of a term of 16 months suspended for 18 years. The upshot being that I was ineligible to emigrate to Australia, which was something that my wife desperately wanted.

For several years I was increasingly frustrated by the fact that there was no chance of my living near my kids, and I was missing out on major events in their lives. I had spoken to various so-called immigration experts who had intimated that the chances of this ever being achieved were slim to none, and that the matter was not worth pursuing. I must confess that on one occasion I visited my kids, and during the flight when filling in the landing card, I realized that my conviction even prevented me from entering Australia. In a panic I failed to make the declaration, which resulted in my worrying from the time I landed to the time I departed. I had the most miserable time that could have been spent on a holiday.

A chance business conversation resulted in my being made aware of Sammy Naghi of MSL Solicitors. The individual I spoke to described circumstances not unlike mine and he told me that Sammy Naghi was the only person that even agreed to take his case on. Whilst the matter was not finalized, he had every confidence that he would be granted a visa to emigrate to Australia. I looked at the MSL Solicitors website but kept hold of the information for several months before plucking up the courage to pick the phone up.

By this time, to say I was despondent was an understatement. One of my sons was planning to be married, but was refusing to set a date unless I could be present. I spoke to Sammy and told him the full story. I don’t think many people enjoy the experience of speaking to a solicitor, but I was amazed at how understanding Sammy was. I have rarely come across a man who is so genuine. Sammy listened, and from the outset, he was empathetic. He told me the first thing for me to do was to stop worrying as from now on that was his job. I had explained about my previous trip to Australia, and that I wanted to attend my son’s wedding as well as my desire to live in Australia. He made no bones about it, and said that it would be difficult but not impossible. I can honestly say at that time I wasn’t even sure that he believed it. We were sent the paperwork for a sub class 600 Visa to visit Australia and a Parents Sponsored Visa. The forms were quite daunting, but Sammy had numerous conversations with my wife and I, and guided us through the process.

Perhaps the most significant thing that Sammy told me was to be absolutely honest in my declarations. As hard as that was, it was the best advice that he could have given me. The remarkable thing about it was that Sammy remained confident and upbeat at every turn. He told me to submit a number of character references, and they served me well. That was a painful process approaching friends and my employer, but very necessary. I hadn’t even expected to hear anything from the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection for at least 12 months as that is the time that they indicated it would take to process. Within 4 months of the submission of the application form for the sub class 600 visitors Visa I received a telephone call from Sammy to say that the visa had been granted. Sammy was more excited than me. His call was swiftly followed by an email confirmation. I could barely believe it myself.

I knew that this was a complicated case and in the back of my mind I had resigned myself to the fact that it was unlikely to happen. Throughout the entire process Sammy did his utmost to keep me positive. The Sponsored Parents Visa is still an ongoing matter, and I don’t expect to hear anything on that for another 12 months but I remain positive in Sammy and his team for a good outcome. Thanks to them, I am going to my son’s wedding: and that is priceless. I would happily speak to anyone who has reservations about whether or not they should follow the same course of action via MSL Solicitors or other immigration specialists. My being granted the Visitor’s Visa hasn’t just allowed the opportunity to go to my son’s wedding, but it has also had a massive impact on my self-esteem. Thank you.