abode. noun. a place of residence. a home.

abode migration lawyers

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happy clients

Happy clients. Read their stories.

Partner visa

"My first contact with Samantha was the fifteen minutes free consult that they were promoting on their website. I did not expect much out of it before I called as I was told by other people my case was not straight forward and was told not to have high hopes for it.  Samantha, during that short period of time, gave me a detailed description of what the Immigration Department wanted from me, how I should handle the case, and outlined what she would and could do for me. After the free consult, I found some confidence that my problem could be solved with her help and finally made a decision to go with her.


"There was, however, only two weeks remaining before I had to respond to the Department. Samantha was very flexible in both contact time and budget; she understood my finance problem and gave me a few options to ease the stress. During those two weeks, we communicated almost on a daily basis, mostly via emails and texts. After our initial response to the Department, she kept me updated on what to expect next throughout the whole process. At no point did I feel lost or uncertain about what next steps I should take. Samantha has changed the way I perceive lawyers" Harry



"At the time Harry came to abode migration lawyers he had already lodged an onshore Partner visa application with the Department.  At the time he lodged the application he was not the holder of a substantive visa and so, to be granted a Partner visa onshore, the law required him to demonstrate (amongst other things) that there were compelling and compassionate circumstances that led to him not holding a substantive visa at the time he lodged the application.  abode migration lawyers worked with Harry to understand his particular situation, and put his case to the Department though legal submissions and other supporting documents and Harry was then granted a Partner visa onshore." Samantha Fitzsimons, immigration lawyer

Student visa

"Enormous thank you from me and my family Dessie. Your help in extending our visa with an extra 4 years was invaluable. I couldn’t see an exit to the sticky situation I put myself in, after taking bad advice from my school agent. You not only found the best way of dealing with the issue, but did it in a super-fast and professional manner. We struggled for the last 3 years to find an agent who we can trust and I am very happy that we had the good luck of finding you on time." Dobromir



Dessie Hristova, immigration lawyer, assisted Dobromir and his wife in their  successful student visas application.

Offshore refugee and humanitarian visa

"Dealing with Samantha was definitely delightful. She was very responsible leading into the complicated case; she has the professionalism and the understanding that was really needed. In addition she is really compassionate and thoughtful, therefore she took the correct path to resolve the situation. The results prove it all, I was very lucky to have met Samantha. I will always be grateful to her." Alina



Samantha Fitzsimons, immigration lawyer, assisted Alina's successful protection visa appeal at the Refugee Review Tribunal for herself and her children. Later, she helped Alina secure her husband an offshore refugee and humanitarian visa, which reunited the family.

Permanent residency via Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS)

"Hi my  name is Vjollca and I just want to share with you quickly how delighted I am that Dessie has worked on my file.


"I'm really lucky to have met her, as she helped me and my family, husband and three children to remain here in Australia.


"I will never forget what I went through before I met Dessie and how time was ticking for me and my family. I went for a first meeting with Dessie with only three days left  on my visa to remain in Australia with a condition prohibiting me from applying for a visa from within Australia. Dessie worked fast and really hard on my complicated case to solve the problem.


"I remember how much I used to bother her asking every second day if I had any good news and Dessie understood my distress and took all my calls and didn’t hesitate to answer every single question.


"I had my permanent resident visa refused before I met Dessie and we had to apply for different further visas to keep to keep my children in their school. Dessie not only appealed to the Tribunal on the permanent residence refusal, but she had other options for me just in case the answer was going to be negative on the permanent residence due to mistakes by the previous representative I had. As a result of her work my children remained at school in Australia throughout the processing of the visa applications and the appeals and at the end we won.


"I recommend Dessie to everyone who needs a visa, she is hard working and never gives up on a client and finds solutions in very desperate situations. She always tries hard to solve your problems. My family and I are here in Australia today as Australian citizens because of Dessie ."  Vjollca



"Vjollca came to me as a student visa holder with condition 8534 (no further stay) and 3 days left on that visa. At the time her three children had been at primary school in Australia for the previous 4- 5 years and she did not want to move them to another country. She had a pending offshore application under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS), which did not give her and her family rights to bridging visas.


"Her nominating employer was desperate to keep her in Australia as she was crucial to his business (which was a regional bakery in a chain of bakeries around Victoria). I lodged a  number of applications including  a student visa and a student guardian visa so as to preserve their rights to reside, work and study whilst they remained in Australia.   Following a lengthy process that involved various refusals and appeals in the Migration Review Tribunal, after about two years she and her family were granted permanent residency.


"Throughout this complicated process, I was able to preserve Vjollca's right to work and for her children to remain at school giving them much needed stability throughout a lengthy legal process." Dessie Hristova, immigration lawyer

From child visa deadlock to student visa

Hi Dessie,

Thank you so much for in which the way you handled our nephew’s case. When all seemed at a loss you looked at his case individually and gave a young man the chance to put his life and dreams into a better place. He can now move forward and with your ongoing support make something of himself.


You were very approachable and we all felt comfortable dealing with you. Also your response on getting back to us quickly made the stressful situation a little easier to cope with. You do not get that response back from people much these days.


Very much appreciated. Kind Regards

R. and B. K.


Hello Dessie,

Thank you for taking my case on. I felt comfortable talking to you. I was very happy you took the time to listen to what is happening in my life. Also I am so grateful you put the effort into getting the result I need at this present time. It gives me hope that all will work out.


I would pass on your name to other people if they needed to go down the same path I am going and need help from someone like you .


Thanks heaps

Josef* K.


Josef*, then a minor, came to Australia with his stepfather from Germany. Josef traveled on a visitor visa and then applied for a child visa sponsored by his stepfather, a visa which was ultimately refused, because despite his stepfather having full custody rights in accordance with German family law, the private custody agreement was not accepted in Australia. Although the custody was valid by German family law, to be accepted in Australia the parties had to go through the German courts and obtain custody court orders.


Josef came to abode migration lawyers following the lodgement of a review with the AAT on the refusal and after an estrangement with his stepfather.


Given the estranged relationship with the stepfather and the need for the private custody agreement to be replaced by a German court we suggested that simply waiting on the child visa appeal outcome was a dead end.


With the support of Josef's step uncle and aunt who offered him accommodation and paid for his high school tuition fee we suggested that Josef applied for a bridging B visa, goes for a short holiday to New Zealand and we apply for a student visa for him while he is outside Australia. The reasoning for having a student visa instead of a bridging visa was: it is a substantive visa; he would no longer be barred by s48 from applying for a substantive visa while in Australia; he would no longer be dependent on the appeal and outcome of the child visa for his stay in Australia; he would have full rights to study instead of the restriction which he carried on from his bridging visa, which was the same restriction as on his tourist visa of 3 months study; and he would have rights to work up to 40 hours a fortnight while his course is in session, which for an 18 years old was important.


It was a good strategy on paper but executing it had risks as we had to satisfy the genuine temporary entrant test whilst having an appeal on the permanent residency under the child visa. We were successful! Dessie Hristova, immigration lawyer


*Not his real name.

Partner visa: child-bearing relationship that broke down

I gave Samantha a call after talking to a few immigration agents who were demanding I put money into their trust account before consultation or

listening to my situation. I was struggling financially and I did not have a place to call home as I had just separated with the mother of my son. I was juggling a family law matter, a civil matter and and an immigration matter at the same time. I talked to Sam and I must admit she has a gift of active listening; my gut feeling just told me that she was the one who would assist me. She and the rest of the crew at abode migration lawyers are an accommodating team. Samantha also has a very strong network in regards to other lawyers who practice in different fields; she introduced me to two more lawyers that assisted or are currently assisting me on the other matters. I could not have asked for a better person to deal with when I was barely on my feet. I would never hesitate to recommend Samantha Fitzsimons and abode migration lawyers to anyone. I wish everyone success in their migration matters, but success starts when you are abode. William*


William* has a child with his Australian partner but the relationship had broken down irreconcilably. William needed to stay in Australia to be with his son. Samantha Fitzsimons, immigration lawyer, assisted William with his successful partner visa application which required support by other legal experts around family law issues, which Samantha facilitated.


*Not his real name.

Partner visa: family violence in a relationship that broke down

I had looked at migration lawyers but chose to contact Sam, I was thrilled with how quickly she returned my call and how informative she was with what would need to be done to obtain my permanent residency. She gave me confidence so without hesitation I went ahead. Every email, phone call or text was reassuring. I was on a time deadline with immigration which Sam managed to get extended. She made the whole process a lot less stressful and gave me clear instructions when I had to fill out forms or obtain information for her. After just short of 2 months of lodging my claim with immigration, Sam is calling to tell me congratulations and my visa has been granted. All the congratulations go to the team that worked hard on my case and got the best outcome. abode migration lawyers are worth there weight in gold and I would highly recommend to anybody. Sally*


Sally* was a victim of family violence perpetrated by her Australian partner and the relationship had broken down irreconcilably. In law, Sally was still entitled to a partner visa if she could demonstrate her circumstances. Samantha Fitzsimons, immigration lawyer, assisted Sally and Sally's partner visa was duly granted.


*Not her real name.

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Abode Migration Lawyers Pty Ltd

40/140 William Street


Victoria 3000



All registered migration agents must comply with the Code of Conduct of the Office of Australian Migration Agents' Registration Authority (OMARA). A link to information about the Agents' Code of Conduct can be found here

03 9607 8362

03 8692 1005

New location - by appointment

195 Springvale Road


Victoria 3171

Want expert, value-for-money advice and a Melbourne immigration lawyer by your side? Please get in touch.

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