Visa Solutions’ immigration
assistant Tareena Martin first encountered people trying to obtain Australian
residency as a volunteer with an advocacy service for refugees.
Tareena helped out at the Refugee
Advocacy Service of South Australia (RASSA) while studying law in Adelaide and went on to work for the organisation.
The rewards of working with asylum seekers
As the project co-ordinator of
RASSA, Tareena was involved in setting up RASSA’s community legal centre which,
provides pro-bono visa assistance to asylum seekers.
"I sort of fell into migration initially volunteering with various refugee and humanitarian organisations and I found the work immensely rewarding." says Tareena. In 2015, she was nominated for
the Lawyers Weekly, Women in Law, Law Student of the Year Award for her efforts associated
with assisting asylum seekers.
“Most of my work has been
assisting ‘fast track’ asylum seekers to lodge protection visa applications. It’s
a challenging and difficult area as the initial application is their only
chance and you have to be very diligent. There are a lot of refusals and the
right to appeal is very limited,” she recalls.
After finishing her role as project co-ordinator, Tareena began work at a private migration company assisting with partner, skilled and humanitarian visas.
Her legal knowledge is
an asset to VSA
Alongside her studies, Tareena also
worked as a criminal law clerk in Adelaide, preparing appeal documents and
briefs. Tareena has decided to follow her instincts to concentrate on migration
In 2017 she moved to Western Australia
after applying for a new role with Visa Solutions, which caught her attention
even though it was on the other side of the country.
“I thought it was time for a change and
to take a risk! I had been to Perth a few times and really liked the city.”
Three days after a Skype
interview, she was packed and on her way to Perth with a new job at VSA.
Tareena’s role supports the registered
migration agents and she enjoys learning all she can about the requirements for
different visas and sub classes.
“I like the interaction with
different people and making sure clients have all the correct documents. With a
partner visa, I check that they have photos from their wedding, financial
statements and utility bills to prove they are co-habiting. Then I work with
the registered migration agent to draft the application. It’s been a big
learning curve for me.”
Satisfying career path
Tareena is determined to stay in
the immigration industry, to eventually become a practicing lawyer and possibly
a registered migration agent. This industry although challenging and
ever-changing, keeps her on her toes and gives her a sense of purpose.
“I love it when visas are granted
and clients can settle and adjust into their new life in Australia, there’s a real
sense of satisfaction with my role.”
A keen netballer, Tareena also
enjoys travel and has been to both north and central America, Europe and South
Korea, where she represented Australia at a model United Nations conference.
The experience taught her a lot about different cultures.
“It made me realise that although
this world is a big place we can all come together for the betterment of each