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  • During a period of eight years working in China we met and began a relationship with ten year-old orphan Wang Xiang (later named Deborah Ann Dousset). Deborah had been abandoned to the Chinese welfare system at three weeks of age. We began fostering Deborah in November 2005, a day after her 14th birthday. Following two failed adoption attempts and an appeal in China (due to an overage situation), we returned to Australia with Deborah joining us on a six-month tourist visa. The intention was to extend Deborah’s visa until such time as we could arrange permanent residency for her. Unfortunately when we tried to extend the visa we were informed that it was marked with a code which essentially meant it could not be extended. With the visa expiry date approaching and the prospect of Deborah becoming an illegal alien, we searched the internet for a specialist immigration lawyer and our enquiries eventually took us to the website of Brett Slater Solicitors. We were most impressed with Brett’s qualifications based on his 19 years as an immigration lawyer, and his website claim that, “There are many lawyers and many migration agents, but only one lawyer in 800 is an accredited specialist immigration lawyer. Accreditation takes eight years or more, and Brett has been accredited since 1995. We met with Brett and he outlined his firm’s strategy of submission and appeal on several different levels, and indicated that there may not be a result for three or four years. On expressing our initial fears that Deborah would have to return to China while her future with us was being determined, Brett advised that he would immediately apply for a bridging visa and that Deborah would be allowed to stay with us during the whole process. We were impressed right from the start with the competence and persistence of Brett and his colleagues with whom we had dealings over time. They were very warm, understanding and supportive of our situation, our obvious love for Deborah, and our desire to have her live with us forever. We were kept up to date with the progress of our case every step of the way, and explanations of interpretation of the various laws and regulations pertaining to our case were simplified for our understanding. We were most impressed with the depth of submissions to the Department of Immigration & Citizenship on Deborah’s behalf, and the amount of supporting information made available for Deborah’s immigration interview. Three months after we were told to prepare for up to a four year wait for an outcome to Deborah’s situation, and only a week since her Sydney immigration interview we were advised of a successful outcome to her case. Deborah was granted permanent residency in Australia and access to Australian citizenship in four years time (under current legislation). Our case, like many of those we read from Brett’s website, was very complex. To have achieved such a wonderful outcome in such a short period of time is testimony to the hard work, dedication and professionalism of Brett and his staff. The facts speak for themselves. We would have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending Brett Slater Solicitors to anyone seeking assistance in more complex immigration cases.

    Mr. Ray & Suzanne Dousset