We hope the team introductions will give you a feel for the kind of people that we are, our outlooks and our experiences of life.
Richard, owner and director of Overseas Emigration Visas, shares a surname with the Aussie Rugby half-back and former captain but, sadly, has an altogether different physique! Richard comes from New Zealand and has diplomas in Social Work, Police Science and Forensic Accountancy.
The founder of OE, he has spent the last 15 years working in the field and is a leading authority on all migration and overseas visa matters for Australia and New Zealand. Richard regularly participates in radio and TV programmes as well as contributing to press reports on the subject of migration.
Based at our Edinburgh office, Richard is Scotland ‘s only resident, registered migration agent for MARA, Australia (Reg No: 990 5168) and for the Register of Licensed Immigration Advisers, New Zealand (Reg No: 200902085) and member of NZAMI – see MARA, IAA, MIA and NZAMI websites. As part of his team he also has registered agents and solicitors for the USA and for Canada who have expertise in US immigration law and Canadian immigration law.
Known throughout the migration world as a great person to do business with, Richard is never short of an ex-client to share a drink or a meal with on his triennial travels to every Australian state capital and every major city in New Zealand and Canada.
Fiona was born in Cameroon, grew up in Ethiopia and Ecuador and spent her school years in Italy. After taking a degree in Economics and History and MSc in Tourism she indulged her love of travel by working in the tourism industry for 15 years.
These days she’s a partner in OE visas and manages the company’s Business and Investor applications. With two school-age daughters and a busy work schedule travel is now mostly limited to Europe, but she does manage to squeeze in the odd trip to Oz and New Zealand to visit family and carry out some business. Best part of the job: making clients happy, making the staff happy – and balancing the books! Favourite destinations: Rome and the French Pyrenees
Born in Ayrshire, accounts assistant Yvonne grew up in Aldershot in Hampshire. After completing her education she settled in Southwest Scotland, where she spent 15 years working in catering and retail management before moving to OE. Yvonne is a film buff with a particular fondness for Bette Davis films and horror movies.
Best part of the job: talking to clients on the phone and helping them with their enquiries.
Country I most want to visit: Egypt, especially the pharoah’s tombs.
Favourite destination: Spain.
Gadget guy Laurence, who manages our processing teams, joined OE after training in Avionics with the Royal Air Force and working as a self-employed plumber and electrician. Born in Edinburgh, Laurence has travelled far and wide – everywhere from West Africa to South America – and plans to eventually retire to Southern Europe. In his spare time he enjoys cooking and surfing the Net (he’s also a keen Ebayer) when he’s not creating ingenious electronic/electrical devices.
Best part of the job: Travelling and consultations with prospective clients.
Country I’d most like to visit: Japan
Favourite destinations: Rome
Rosie, who heads up our visa processing team at OE Visas, hails from Dunedin, which sounds Scottish but is actually in New Zealand. After getting a BA in Classics and Greek from the University of Otago she came to Scotland to do an MLitt in Ancient History at St Andrews University. She loves the lifestyle and landscapes in Scotland and uses her spare time to see as much of the country as she can.
Best part of the job: helping make our clients’ dreams a reality. It’s also a privilege to deal with people who have the same affection and enthusiasm for New Zealand as I do.
Dream destinations: with my background in studies of ancient societies and artefacts, I want to go to Turkey and Greece. I also plan to see as much of Europe as I can.
Maree joined the lodgement team in the Edinburgh office after moving to Auld Reekie with a friend from the wee glen of Sallachy in the deep Highlands region of Scotland. But she is from even further north, having been born on Orkney, an island off the top of Scotland. Outside of work Maree likes to explore Edinburgh, wandering through the closes and museums on the Royal Mile and getting a bit more exotic at Edinburgh Zoo. One of the most unusual things Maree has done, to us city folk anyway, is spraying numbers on sheep!
Favourite place to visit: Home to see my family and friends
Best part of the job: Learning lots of new stuff!
As head of the Skills Team, Douglas specialises in skilled migration applications to Australia. He studied at the University of Edinburgh where he obtained an MA in Ancient History. He continues to have a keen interest in Greek & Roman history and is a member of a Roman living history society, so if you are lucky you may catch Douglas marching up and down the country in Roman tunic and armour on weekends! Douglas is also keen on the history and landscape of Scotland and often can be found trekking the highlands and islands of the country. He also enjoys traveling, particularly around the Mediterranean. Having worked in a variety of roles, Douglas came to OE Visas in the Spring of 2006.
Best part of the job: When a client’s Visa is approved and you know that you have played a role in allowing that person’s dream to come true!
Place you’d most like to visit: Japan
Favourite destination: Italy
From Warsaw, Poland, to Scotland, via Melbourne, Maggie is part of the admin team. Maggie came to OE after spending a month visiting a friend in Australia.
Maggie wants to study in Edinburgh but in the meantime is focussing on her work, improving her already excellent English and developing her hobby of drawing.
She is a keen photographer, artist and linguist (Maggie can speak English, Polish, German and Latin). Maggie also loves walking and going to the movies, although she admits to being lazy sometimes and preferring to stay at home listening to music.
Best part of the job: Working with the people here – I’ve never met such a good team!
Dream Destination: Caribbean Islands
Katz Consulting Ltd. is led by Eric Bruce Katz, a consultant who has been active for over fourteen years advising clients on Canadian Immigration matters such as; representations at the Appeal Division (Deportation Appeals, Family Sponsorship Appeals, Alternative Dispute Resolutions) and Immigration Division (detention Reviews, Residency Appeals) of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB), Canada’s largest tribunal; advising other consultants, lawyers and law firms and human resource professionals on business immigration issues including the main business categories for individuals such as self employed business persons, entrepreneurs and investors, as well as individual professional skilled workers seeking permanent residence to Canada.
Eric has spoken at several immigration conferences and seminars both domestically in Canada and internationally in Europe and Mexico. He is a Vice President of the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants, Ontario Chapter (CAPIC), Ontario Chapter November 2005 through February 2007. Eric is a member of the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC) and a Fellow of the Canadian Migration Instsite (FCMI). CSIC is Canada’s immigration consulting self-regulatory body. The Canadian Migration Institute is Canada’s Immigration Consultant lobby/advocacy group and provider of continuing proffessional development courses. Memberships include the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants, the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants (Ontario Vice President), the Law Society of Alberta (Active Non-Practising Member), The Canadian Bar Association, Alberta and Ontario Sections, and the International Bar Association, Section on General Practice (Immigration and Nationality Committee 14), and a member of Gerson Lehrman Group’s Law Council (New York and Washington, D.C.).
Eric holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto (Victoria College Class of 1987) in Toronto, and an LL.B with Honours from The University of London (University College London : Class of 1992) in London, England. Eric has been involved with a number of charities and networking organisations in Toronto and most recently was the Cheif Financial Officer (Offical Agent) in the June 2004 Canadian Federal Election for Jean Augustine, M.P. (Etobicoke-Lakeshore), former (Cabinet) Minister of Multiculturalism and Minister of State for Women’s Issues. In addition to the practice of advising on Canadian immigration matters, Eric is in constant contact with real estate property brokers, international tax accountants and tax lawyers for the benefit of his international clientele. Eric lives in Toronto and is married to Cheryl. Eric enjoys cycling and skiing. Club Memberships: Bentham Club (Lifetime Member): London, UK.
Married & with three daughters, Paul was born in the Netherlands. His family immigrated to Canada in 1953 when he was three years old. He has a BA in Social Sciences, University of Toronto in 1972 and further degrees:- MA in Political Science Schiller College (Paris, Berlin) and an MBA from IMEDE (Lausanne).
Paul, in his working life, has been a corporate pensions officer in Toronto, lecturer of European history in Holland, also employed as a designated immigration officer by the Canadian Embassy in The Hague, Holland from 1986 to 1993. He has been an immigration consultant since then, currently based near The Hague. Paul helps process OE Visas’ skilled and business applications for immigration to Canada.