In 1996, Sanjay started his own immigration law firm Australian Visa & Migration Consultancy Services (AVMCS). This company has grown into one of Australia’s largest immigration law firms run by an Indian descendent. Sanjay Deshwal was one of the first Indian migration agent to register with the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA).
Like everyone else he wanted to make his mark. But today after two decades in Sanjay understands it not a business or a service he provides. His work, his decisions affects people’s dreams and a chance to live in this great country Australia.
He often says he is blessed to help qualified and skilled migrants to call Australia home.
Sanjay attributes his success to being a true professional with technical and legal insights into the immigration process through his own humble experience and cultural awareness of Australia and India. His clients tell you that he genuinely cares for them.
“We always put our clients first. In fact when they come to us, it is for their own visas. After experiencing our services, they return with family and friends,” says Sanjay.
Immigration was not his goal, in fact he came to Australia armed with degrees in engineering and business administration in 1994 to pursue a Master’s in Business Administration from the International Business School in the University of Western Sydney. After two years, he changes careers to become a migration agent. “In 1994, not many people were aware of migration law. I started working in one of the law firms as a student and found it interesting and challenging. I knew there was an opportunity here,” says Sanjay, who also served in State Rail in the NSW Government and as an airport Quarantine Officer in the Federal Government.
“Australia is a country of migrants and immigration is a topic that gets attention. So I knew that this was the right profession for me. Immigration moves a nation. Elections are won and lost on it. I know it is a profession that makes a difference in people’s lives,” says Sanjay.
“Migration remains an art rather than science or logic.”
Sanjay spoke to us about his work and his many memories of AVMCS.
✭ Tell us about AVMCS.
AVMCS specialises in immigration law with dealing with all different types of visas. In just five years, the firm grew to become one of Australia’s largest immigration law firms run by an Indian descendent. I believe that providing customer service and personal attention to clients is what our success is truly attributed to.During our 25 year experience, AVMCS thrives on its positive reputation that it has developed in the market and also by word-of-mouth by successful clients.
✭ What are some of the changes brought out by the federal government in 2019 with regard to immigration?
Well, there is a new parent visa, which will be in force from this April. There will be no balance of family test. Every year 15,000 new parent visas will be granted. The fee is $5,000 for 3 years per parent and $10,000 for 5 years per parent.
The migration quota now is 160,000 per annum, and there is an increased focus on developing regional areas in Australia, taking the stress away from Sydney and Melbourne.
✭ Living, studying, and working in regional Australia requires more investment from migrants. Since there’s not enough work in regional Australia, new migrants and students will have to create their own opportunities. How do you think this will impact aspiring migrants from India?
Indians are enterprising, resourceful and resilient. We are one of the most hardworking smartest communities, and we tend to excel in most countries. Regional areas will have new opportunities and new entrepreneurship as new migrants move into these areas.
✭ What is the average investment a migrant or student is looking at when it comes to resettling in regional Australia?
An amount of A $15,000 for first 4 to 5 months for a single person. For a family, $25,000 should be enough.
✭ Now residents and citizens can invite their parents for a period of 5 years, renewable up to a maximum of 10 years. The costs range between $5,000 to $10,000. Can you throw more light on this policy?
I see it as beneficial for people who do not meet the balance-of-family test under current parent visas and parents who do not like to travel every year. Compared to the approx. $50,000 cost per parent in contributory parent visas which takes around 3-4 years to process, this new parent visa for 3 years and 5 years is much cheaper and more convenient.
✭ Are there a lot of takers from India for the investor class visa?
Given that India’s economy is booming and exponential growth is being experience in India, there are many entrepreneurs and business families willing to invest and migrate to Australia. New opportunities are coming up in South Australia and people can contact us and we shall be happy to answer them case by case.
✭ You run a fashion outlet in Harris Park. What made you venture into multiple businesses?
As business progressed I moved to Harris Park in 2010 as I found the West was growing. I was in the Sydney CBD from 1998 to 2010. I bought a commercial building on Wigram Street and saw a retail opportunity in fashion. In fact, we sponsored many fashion shows and visas for Bollywood artists over the years, so that is the reason why I ventured into the fashion industry.
✭ Real estate was one sector that helped Australian cities grow. It created jobs and opportunities. The Bank Royal Commission and the credit crisis have created a negative impact in the market. What’s your take on this?
Real estate is down all over the world. If people can hold, it will grow. Smart people are buying. It may be the case that areas are not growing exponentially, but real estate will always remain a good investment. Rental returns are reasonable even in a slow market.
✭ What is the best advice you have ever been given (either work or personal)?
“Every Life Matters, every Dream Counts” by Samar Kohli (The Smart Entrepreneur).
✭ What is your favourite holiday destination and why?
Anywhere in the world with my family is a great holiday destination. A favourite place is our holiday unit back home in India (nothing beats that).
The other side
Sanjay regularly sponsors many shows hosted by Indian organisations and also manages visas and other formalities for Indian artists performing in Australia. He was awarded the Outstanding Indian Australian Award in Business Category in 2012 by the Council of Indians in Australia (CIA).
He is life member of the CIA and also had served on it as Event Director for First and Second Little India Fair Harris Park and as a Secretary having organised several functions for them as well.
“I was the first one to think about doing a street festival of Diwali in Australia at Harris Park. We pulled it off with support from local businesses, community organisations such as CIA, and Dr Geoff Lee, who is a great friend of mine. We got approval from Parramatta Council and did a big event in 2017, and followed up even bigger in 2018.”
Community events are great for cohesion, believes Sanjay.