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.
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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 20 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.
Best part of the job: Having a win on a challenging case
Favourite destination : Wellington on a sunny day
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 a 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 family commitments 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: The diversity of interesting business cases
Favourite destinations: Rome and the French Pyrenees
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!
Favourite destination: Italy
Born in Ayrshire, accounts assistant and member of the skills team, 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. In her spare time she likes to read and listen to music; she also likes gardening and shopping at the weekends.
Best part of the job: Talking to clients on the phone and helping them with their enquiries.
Favourite destinations: China and Mauritius.
Gadget guy Laurence, who manages our processing teams, joined OE visas 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.
Favourite destination: Rome
Lucie from our Visa Team, is originally from Dumfries & Galloway in South West Scotland and moved to central Scotland as a teenager. She worked in the hospitality industry in Glasgow before joining the OE team in Edinburgh. Lucie loves long distance walking and completed the Moonwalk marathon in 2012 in aid of breast cancer. She’s also a huge T in The Park fan!
Best part of the job: Calling up clients to tell them that their visa has been granted.
Favourite destination: Canada
Andrew originates from the central North Island of New Zealand famed for its white caped volcanoes and beautiful fern (Punga) forests. He spent his earlier years in adventure tourism – rafting and bungy jumping in NZ’s North Island and then moved to the UK where he studied for a degree. He worked for a number of years as an immigration consultant helping people achieve their dreams of moving Down Under. In between times he went on to design skis and produced the only British products to podium on first class ski events.
He now lives in the north of England with his wife and 2 children and is currently studying New Zealand Immigration Law.
Best part of the job: Talking about life down under and sharing the excitement
Favourite destination: Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand
Eric, who manages our Canadian bound clients is a well respected consultant who has been active for over twenty years advising clients on Canadian immigration. His expertise is in all immigration matters including the main business categories for individuals such as self employed business persons, entrepreneurs and investors, and individual professional skilled workers seeking permanent residence to Canada.
Eric has also made 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. He has also spoken at several immigration conferences and seminars in Canada, Europe and Mexico.
Eric is a member of 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.). He is also a Fellow of the Canadian Migration Instsite (FCMI).
Eric holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto, and an LL.B with Honours from The University of London, England and has been involved with a number of charities and networking organisations in Toronto. 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. He enjoys cycling and skiing.
Best part of the job : I always get a thrill when one of our clients calls me a year or two or even three years after landing as a permanent resident and updating me on both their careers and life changes as well as their children’s progress in school or university in Canada. Hearing each success story after the byzantine steps of the immigration process always gives me great joy and satisfaction that I had a very small part in improving someone’s quality of life.
Favourite destination : USA and Caribbean: Miami Beach, Florida, Manhattan and The Bahamas
If you want to apply for a Visa or want to find out more information about emigrating to Australia, New Zealand, Canada or USA please either :
Call us on 0800 193 6900