• I had mistakenly let my student visa expire one day before I had applied for my next visa: a temporary medical practitioner’s visa. After visiting the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA) on March 16, 2006. I was informed that I had become unlawful. I was also informed that not only was it uncertain whether the DIMIA would consider my visa application; it was also uncertain whether I would even be able to keep my job at Campbelltown Hospital. The DIMIA representative gave me several options none of which seemed to be that helpful. In the worst case, it was suggested that I would need to leave Australia and apply as an offshore applicant. However, there were no guarantees that I would be able to legally return to Australia. I definitely did not feel I had the knowledge to handle the situation alone and luckily a friend of my Australian girlfriend’s family knew Brett Slater and highly recommended him. The next day, a Friday, I phoned Brett early in morning and after explaining the urgency of my situation, I was given an appointment with Brett at noon the same day. By the end of our first consultation, I was already beginning to feel less stressed. Brett took a detailed history of my situation and was able to clearly explain the supporting law. He was also able to confidently advise me of the available options and even suggest the likelihood of success of each option. To Brett’s credit, he never suggested an option that was unethical, or one that could have compromised my professional reputation. In support of Brett’s dedication, on what already seemed like a busy day for him, he even made time to meet me a second time that Friday after 5pm. By the end of that conference, we agreed upon a plan that not only allowed me to stay within Australia while my application was considered but also one that agreed with my finances. By Tuesday of the following week, Brett had already sent a detailed letter to the DIMIA, explaining my situation and addressing each of the relevant aspects of the law. By the following Monday, Brett had phoned the DIMIA to further understand the requirements of my unlawful bridging visa and to make personal contact with the representative handling my application. By Wednesday of that same week (exactly 12 days after I visited Brett for the first time), my temporary visa was granted! I cannot explain the relief I felt, as I was able to keep my job and even begin working on my original starting date of April 3, 2006. Throughout this process, Brett never gave me false reassurances about how quickly he was able to help my situation turn around. He explained that it could have taken weeks to months. However, the fact that he was so comfortable with law and worked in such a timely manner helped me feel very confident about his ability. It also became clear, that there was some undefinable aspect of his service that I could never have achieved on my own. Having worked with the DIMIA so many times previously, he knew what they expected in that letter. He also knew how best to communicate with them and when. Lastly, having worked in the industry for so many years, the DIMIA probably knew to take his correspondence seriously and to act on it quickly. For this and everything above, I am very grateful for Brett Slater’s time and hard work. In summary, I highly recommend Brett Slater to help with your immigration problem. He was professional, dedicated, timely, friendly, ethical, thorough, reasonable, and affordable and the other solicitors in his office were also very friendly and supportive.

    Mr. Steven M. Schlichtemeier

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