Parish Patience Immigration Lawyers

Parish Patience Immigration Lawyers

Immigration Specialist: Michael Jones

Michael Jones, Director, Legal Practice Manager, and
Accredited Specialist in Migration Law

Michael Jones is an Accredited Specialist in Australian Immigration Law and admitted to practise in all Federal and New South Wales courts. He teaches in the Graduate Certificate in Australian Immigration Law and Practice course at the Australian National University and is an editor of the Citizenship and Migration Law title of Halsbury's Laws of Australia published by LexisNexis.  

His role as Special Counsel with Parish Patience Bitel Immigration Lawyers includes responsibility for advising on immigration and citizenship law issues and supervising litigation in the Federal Circuit Court, Federal Court and High Court.  

He is an accredited professional translator from Italian, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

Contact: Michael Jones -


Refugee and Asylum Seeker Visa specialist: Mahalingam Sutharshan (shan)
Mahalingam Sutharshan (Shan), Director,
and Senior Registered Migration Agent

In Sri Lanka, Shan worked as a researcher at the National Human Rights Commission and as a Lecturer at the Department of Law, University of Jaffna. He also worked as a Project officer with Pathfinder Foundation, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Shan joined Parish Patience Bitel Immigration Lawyers in December 2010 and at present specializes in handling protection visa applications, Administrative Appeals Tribunal, Ministerial appeals.

Shan has a particular interest in refugee law and asylum seekers and Human Rights Law.

Shan speaks fluent English and Tamil.

Member of Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law.

Member of Migration Institute of Australia.

Migration Agents Registration number: 0961664

Contact: Mahalingam Sutharshan (Shan) -


Family and Other Family visas specialist: Thong Nguyen

Thong Nguyen, Director,

and Senior Registered Migration Agent

Thong Nguyen joined Parish Patience Immigration Lawyers in 2002 after graduating from his Master Degree (M.Ed.) course at the University of Technology, Sydney. He has now been working with the firm for 15 years in the role of a Senior Registered Migration Agent.  Since Parish Patience Immigration Lawyers was incorporated in August 2016, Thong has been appointed as one of the Directors.

He had extensive work experience with an international organization in Vietnam before coming to Australia. Thong is fluent in both English and Vietnamese, and he is a NAATI accredited Vietnamese translator.

Thong specializes in dealing with Skilled and Business Migration, Partner and Spouse, Parents, Student, Visitor, Resident Return Visa, and other family stream visa applications. He also handles skills assessment applications with the various assessing bodies in Australia. He also prepares and lodges appeals after assessing and advising grounds for appeal, prepares submissions and attends hearings at the Administrative Appeal Tribunal (AAT). Thong’s expertise also includes lodgement of Ministerial Appeals.

Thong has had experience in working with clients from many different nationalities and backgrounds. He is the primary contact for Vietnamese clients seeking assistance from our law firm. He has participated in and led the firm’s migration seminars in Vietnam and Malaysia which specifically focuses on Skilled Migration, Business Migration and Student Visa. Thong has provided extensive training on all aspects of migration both internally and in Vietnam.

He is also a member of the Migration Institute of Australia.

Migration Agents Registration Number: 0322836

Contact: Thong Nguyen -

Alasdair Dougall, Director,
and Senior Immigration Lawyer

Alasdair is a Lawyer in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, and the High Court of Australia. Alasdair studied a Bachelor of Laws (Undergraduate) at the University of Wollongong, and a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at the College of Law. Alasdair was admitted as a Lawyer in May 2016. Alasdair was born in Sydney and is half Scottish.

Alasdair joined Parish Patience Immigration Lawyers in March 2017 as a Junior Lawyer; having previously worked at another Law Firm handling Employment, Commercial, and Immigration Matters. Since joining Parish Patience Immigration Lawyers, Alasdair has committed himself to specialising in Immigration Law. In February 2021, Alasdair became a Director of Parish Patience Immigration Lawyers.

Alasdair has an immense knowledge of Immigration Law, and is able to assist with almost any Immigration Matter. This, combined with a meticulous eye for detail, has enabled Alasdair to develop an enviable success rate both in the Department and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Alasdair was instrumental in the development of the Firm's Business Migration Service.

Alasdair's greatest passion is handling complex Immigration Matters, whether they be in the Department or the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. No case is ever treated the same, and Alasdair holds a firm belief that success is driven by an intimate knowledge of the unique factual matrix of each case. Alasdair has a particular passion for cases involving Allegations of Fraud, cases involving Health Issues, Employer Sponsored Applications, Visa Cancellations, Complex Citizenship Matters, and Family Violence Matters.

Alasdair has been recognised as one of the Best Three Immigration Lawyers in Sydney by Three Best Rated in 2020 and 2021. Alasdair is an Executive Committee Member on the Board of the Australia Bangladesh Business Council.

Outside of the Office Alasdair spends his time watching documentaries on every essentially everything, and is a die-hard tragic Newcastle Knights fan.

If you have an immigration issue, Alasdair would love to hear from you and can be contacted by email at

Lawyer of the Supreme Court of New South Wales

Lawyer of the High Court of Australia

Note: Prior to March 2021 Mr Alasdair Dougall was a Registered Migration Agent and was allocated the Registered Migration Agent Number 1684660. From March 2021 Lawyers no longer needed to hold dual registration as a Lawyer and a Migration Agent to provide Immigration Advice, and all Lawyers were subsequently removed from the Migration Agent Registration Scheme


Finance Director & Office Manager: Blair Commin

Blair Commin, Finance Director,
and Office Manager

Blair has been employed in senior management roles with professional services firms for 25 years. He spent 16 years, the first 5 years as IT Manager, the other 11 years as Administration Manager for a large Sydney-based Chartered Accounting firm responsible for day-to-day operations and managing the firm’s accounting, taxation and management and performance reporting for about 11 years. This was a challenging but rewarding role being answerable to and having to justify financial decisions to the 9 partners, all of whom had their own opinions. These 11 years in particular provided great practical experience in business management covering all aspects from staff management and dispute resolution to the full range of internal accounting services and also significant role in a merger and successful integration of two firms with differing cultures into a single firm.

The last nine years he has been at Parish Patience Immigration Lawyers mostly as Practice Manager and more recently as Finance Director following the corporatisation of the firm in 2016. The last nine years have been no less challenging and have involved implementing significant changes and maintaining professional standards within the firm which have contributed to the growth of the firm. More recently he has been asked to frequently represent the firm overseas in a range of countries such as Vietnam, India and Bangladesh among others and has become heavily involved in the business migration part of the firm in relation to prospective migrants and potential investments and outcomes.

Outside work his main interests are family, reading books on almost anything and he has travelled widely and enjoys travelling at every opportunity especially in Asia, Africa and Europe…and can still think of plenty of places yet to visit.

Finance Director & Office Manager

Contact: Blair Commin –

Case Manager: Golam Mostafa

Golam Mostafa, Director,
and Case Manager

Golam Mostafa was born in Bogra, Bangladesh. He completed Bachelor of Agriculture Engineering from Bangladesh Agriculture University in Mymensingh in 1994. He came to Australia on 19 February 1998 and completed Diploma of Information Technology and Graduate Diploma of Information Systems Management from Central Queensland University in Sydney Campus.

He went back to Bangladesh in 2002 and started working with Parish Patience Immigration from 2003 to May 2006.

He came back to Australia in May 2006 and started to work in Parish Patience Immigration Lawyers from 1 June 2006 to Date. He worked under Mr. David Lee Bitel and assisted him with Student Visas, Skilled Migration, Spouse visas, RSMS, ENS, 457, 485 Graduate visas, Protection visas, Child visa, and Parent visas.

Case Manager


Contact: Golam Mostafa -

Case Manager: Motasim Billah

Motasim Billah, Director,
and Case Manager

Motasim Billah joined Parish Patience Immigration Lawyers in 2005 three weeks after he arrived in Australia and has progressed through the firm in becoming one of the firm’s Leading Marketing Managers.

When he arrived in Australia, He studied at University of Ballarat to complete his Degree in Commerce in 2010.

He uses his wide network of people in the Bengali Community to help provide information for prospective migrants.

He is currently completing his study with Australian National University to become a Registered Migration Agent.

He became a director of Parish Patience when the company was incorporated in2016, just before the passing of Mr. David Bitel. Motasim Billah worked closely with Mr. Bitel and has learned greatly from David’s wide knowledge in migration and ethics.

He would welcome your inquiries and look forward to hearing from you.

Case Manager


Contact Mr. Motasim Billah -

Parish Patience Immigration Lawyers began as the law firm of Walter Parish in 1888.

David Bitel, joined the firm in 1976, and following significant changes to Administrative and then Immigration Law in the 1980s, he specialised in immigration law. The Parish Patience migration law section has since grown into one of the largest specialist immigration law practices in Australia.

David Bitel was first lawyer recognised by the Law Society of New South Wales as an Honorary Accredited Specialist in Immigration Law and was a consultant author of the loose leaf legal text "Australian Immigration Law". David Bitel was named in the 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014,2015 and 2016 edition of the Best Lawyers in Australia, a tribute to him and to his long-time professional dedication.

Our current legal practice manager Michael Jones was also named in the 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 edition of the Best Lawyers in Australia. In 2015 he was voted 2015-2016 Lawyer of the Year, Immigration Law - Sydney

Parish Patience Immigration Lawyers has been a well-known and reputable firm within the immigration profession. Parish Patience Lawyers, Migration Agents and other staff regularly present papers at major Australian and international conferences, and have assisted thousands of visa applicants at every stage of the application and appeal process.

Our professional team at Parish Patience is committed to establishing and maintaining long-lasting relationships with our clients. We offer trusted, personal and practical advice at cost effective rates best suited to each individual case. The staff at Parish Patience has the experience, expertise, and qualifications to provide high quality service in immigration (ranging from skilled migration, business opportunities to refugee, students and Federal Court matters)