Karl Konrad: Founder of Australian Immigration Law Services
Who is Karl Konrad?
Karl Konrad has, over the span of nearly two decades, developed a reputation for being the guy to go to if you wanted accurate, non-meandering advice. Being armed with no more a simple assessment form filled with some key questions on your situation, Karl will form an actionable game plan in a mere thirty minutes. Karl also does not discuss only what you think your visa pathway is. He assesses all of your pathways and together, you choose the best fit(s).
How? Because Karl has real experience and he knows that for any business to thrive, it’s services have to be of the standard that makes people come back. It’s not easy, it’s not like buying a muffin. Migration regulations are as they are, not everyone is going to get an answer that they want, but they are going to get the truth. Once clients understand this, they come back because they know they aren’t being pushed around for a sale, they know they can trust the advice they are being given. There’s a softer reason that drives him as well. In all the years of his work he has helped people move from student or work visas, to partner visas and parent visas. He’s met client’s families and friends. Eventually it does become a little bit personal.
Karl with his wife Emi, who also worked as a migration agent, set up Australian Immigration Law Services in 1998. Since then the AILS team has grown slowly but steadily to include other equally resourceful, knowledgeable and capable migration specialists. Han has spent 9 years as a migration agent has been with AILS from day one, Amy and Zoe have been registered since 2014 but have worked with AILS for 8 and 6 years respectively. In all that time, Karl has trained and passed his knowledge on to his team. At this point, AILS very proudly, has no juniors in its team. It is of great benefit to the business and to its clients having everyone up to par.
How did Karl come to be in migration?
Karl having studied Psychology and Criminology, started a career with the Victoria Police and had intended to specialise in criminal psychology and community policing. Karl had come to discover police corruption and was left with a conundrum as dobbers were unwelcome in the force. Choosing the path of integrity, Karl pushed ahead and his efforts resulted in Australia’s largest single investigation into police corruption this nation has ever seen, code named Operation Bart. This investigation took years to complete and was the first ever large scale investigation into police corruption supervised by an independent Ombudsman. The investigation concluded to reveal that well over 1000 police officers (10% of the entire force) were implicated and as a result 550 faced charges of disciplinary offences. A number faced criminal charges and many left the force before disciplinary hearings could be heard. The exposure of such a wide spread corruption led to the old Victoria Police Internal Investigations Unit being disbanded for its failure to act on previous complaints. These events happened more than 20 years ago now and to this day there has never been another serving police officer in Australia that has been responsible for such a significant organisational change within any law enforcement agency.
In wanting a quieter life after all the excitement and pressure, Karl moved to NSW and onto something different but still held a love for serving the community and helping people. He and his wife set up Australian Immigration Law Services and have never looked back since. Over the past two decades Karl has not only been content providing visa services to his clients, he has stood up for many of them who have been abused by dodgy international student colleges or fraudsters operating in Sydney. He started Immigration News in 2000 (recently rebranded as immiNews) principally as an avenue to help international students avoid not only the immigration pitfalls but also warn them of the scammers that were out there. In 2008 Karl’s investigation took the front page again; in working with Sydney Morning Herald the article exposed how international students were treated as slaves in Australia.
“As a migration agent, I get to hear many interesting stories and as a business owner I am still challenged each day. There is no more rewarding a job than helping people achieve their dreams.”
Karl on what makes the migration agent right for you.
“Having confidence in your migration agent is paramount. During your initial consultation you will need to be assessing your agent as much as they are assessing your visa eligibility. Questions you need to ask yourself are if they operate with integrity, if they have experience and if they remain fully up to date on migration regulations and changes.
An agent with experience is one who has been through not only a number of different cases but also one who has been in the industry long enough to know how to handle curveballs from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). That agent will be the one who keeps on their toes for the sake of their clients. There have been too many changes recently, and if your agent isn’t able to absorb and advise you on new regulations when it happens, then they are no more helpful than you doing your own research. If the agent you are speaking to has a website, blog or social media, look to see if they are providing public updates. Bear in mind that while this is a positive, the lack in presence of this is not an indicator that your migration agent is not competent.
And of course don’t ignore your gut feelings. You are entrusting your future to the agent and they need to understand and respect that. Some mistakes can have disastrous and unfixable consequences. If you are unsure, shop around. Speak to a few agents before making a decision. Money lost on consultations are worth it for a good outcome.”
Karl on knowing which visa to go for.
“This can be simple or complicated. Sometimes what seems to be the right pathway, on deeper inspection, becomes difficult or not possible. There are so many things to consider beyond meeting visa requirements; not knowing when you need to submit a document could easily result in an invalid application. Even if you manage to tick all the boxes for the visa that you intend to apply for, it is recommended to still have a consultation with a reliable and capable agent, just to be sure. You don’t have to engage their services if you do not want to.
It is a good idea to start by understanding the basic requirements for each visa. If you are currently on a visa, it is important to understand the conditions on your visa as breaching the conditions on your visa can very badly affect later applications and may even result in a cancellation of your visa.
Whilst the DIBP website is a good start, do not rely on it as your only resource. It is not always updated very quickly and really provides the bare basics which can be misleading. The amount that you need to know about each visa is huge and is complicated, so don’t expect to get a full idea of the requirements and application process from a mere few paragraphs. immiNews has evolved to be the resource it is today because I felt that the information out there was sorely lacking in clarity or depth. immiNews articles go through common questions and problems, covers visa requirements in detail, presents visa options that are often often and keeps you up to date with changes. immiNews used to go out exclusively to those who subscribed but it now has it’s own blog site, free to access for anyone, anywhere. The latest immiNews articles are posted on Facebook so like us on Facebook to get the news as they come!”
Australian Immigration Law Services
“The Australian Immigration Law Services team is a great team. I travel rather frequently for work and it is important to be surrounded by people you can delegate to and trust. It’s a symbiotic relationship, my experience and reputation has rubbed off on them as much as their diversity and own experiences have made an impression on me. Our company has evolved over hard work and over time to be where we are now. Our focus has always been and will always be on results. Ultimately results speak the loudest.”
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