Meet the team: Associate, Alex Petrakos
Meet our team – recently we caught up with Alex Petrakos, Associate and practising migration agent and immigration lawyer for Michael Benjamin & Associates to learn more about his career, highlights, achievements and role at Michael Benjamin & Associates.
Tell us a little about yourself and where did it all begin?
I completed a Graduate Certificate in Migration Law in March 2010 and have been working as a migration agent ever since. Since then and while working I also completed a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) at Victoria University.
I have been a practising migration agent for over 10 years, specialising in all manner of Australian visa and citizenship applications and Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) hearings. I was admitted to practice in November 2018 and have been exposed to other areas of law including family law, commercial leases and contracts.
You’ve been a practicing migration agent for over 10 years. Can you tell us more about this and your role at Michael Benjamin & Associates?
A migration agent/immigration lawyer assists individuals and businesses to navigate Australia’s complex migration laws.
In many cases, this is a journey for individuals that can last many years from temporary to permanent visa and in many cases citizenship. It is also an ongoing relationship with businesses.
The role entails ensuring applications are lodged with the best chance of success, mitigating any subjective risks and ultimately achieving a positive outcome for clients. When advocating at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), this requires detailed written and oral submissions as to why their refused application satisfies the regulations and should be approved.
Why should someone consider using a migration agent when applying for an Australian visa?
I have seen many disasters in my time where clients have tried to lodge their applications themselves but were refused. In some cases, clients only have one shot at getting it right and if refused, this could be the end of their prospects of migrating to Australia.
There are of course applications where assistance is not required, but it really depends on the visa and how confident the applicant is in doing it themselves.
What has been a highlight / achievement of your career so far?
I particularly enjoy advocating at the AAT and supporting the more complex cases. Some of my clients have found themselves in tough situations and I have effectively been able to help them through the process with a successful outcome. I like the challenge, supporting people where I can and thinking ‘outside the box’ to achieve positive outcomes.
What are some of your favourite things you like to do outside of work?
I like reading classic literature, non-fiction, going to the gym and have reacquainted myself with a passion for cooking.
If you need legal advice and support on an Australian visa or citizenship application contact Michael Benjamin & Associates here.