The immigration process is a perplexing phenomenon. As an applicant, it may seem like a baffling mystery to you, and it’s quite understandable if you have confusion, apprehensions and queries about your immigration case.
All countries have rigid immigration laws and policies. If there are any disruptions to the existing immigration guidelines, the immigration authorities show no leniency in deferring or rejecting your immigration application. Therefore, when it comes to the immigration process, it’s best to let the immigration experts handle it. However, finding the right immigration consultant can be a challenge.
This article lists 10 questions you need to ask your potential immigrant consultant before signing up with them.
10 Questions to Ask an Immigration Consultant
- Which is the right immigration program for me and why?
- Choose a consultant who has multiple program options and experience. Because it is decision of a lifetime, you need to evaluate the best possible options available for you.
- Choose a consultant who has been in business for at least 10 years so that you know this is not an overnight operation.
- Choose a consultant who has a scientific method for evaluation of your profile, requirement and qualification matching under the norms of the target programs. “Best fit for you”.
- Choose a consultant who is located in your country – visiting foreigner tend to become inaccessible or disappear when things go wrong!
- What are my chances of success through this program?
- Do you specialise in visas and family immigration law?
- How long you have been practising immigration law?
- How long does our retainer/contract lasts? Does it cover just a part or the entire immigration process?
- What tasks will you undertake for me?
- What are your estimated costs?
- What makes you different from others?
- How many cases have you handled that are similar to mine? What kinds of outcomes do you get for your clients?
- What post-landing services do you provide?
The immigration consultant should be able to tell you which program is the best for you and validate their answer with reasons. Be cautious of consultants who recommend a program but cannot give satisfactory explanation as to why it is the best program for you.
No immigration consultant can guarantee a specific positive result. However, an immigration consultant experienced in the ins and outs of immigration laws should be able to analyse your situation, honestly tell you the possible outcomes, and let you know whether they would be able to help you or not.
Some consultants may accept your case and fees associated with it even when they know there is no chance for success. So, if a visa consultant confidently guarantees you that they’ll get the visa done, this could be a red flag.
Many immigration consultancy firms include immigration law as a part of their broader service portfolio. If immigration law is not the firm’s main focus, they may not be aware or updated with the ever-changing immigration laws. This lack of knowledge may catch them off guard when handling your case.
An immigration consultant with dedicated immigration law experience has knowledge as their best defence. They are better at managing unique situations and increase your chances of getting your immigration application accepted.
There is no substitute for experience in immigration law. An experienced immigration consultant is empowered with the know-how of how immigration courts operate, the understanding of law enforcement, and good relationships with the officials involved – all these things can put your case in a more favourable light. They are familiar with the court policies and procedures and are able to navigate the system more easily than those who are not experienced.
Before you sign a retainer agreement, check for how long it will be valid as compared to the anticipated processing time of your intended immigration program. For example, if you are applying through the spousal sponsorship stream of family class immigration, your application is likely to take 12 months or more to process. If your retainer agreement only lasts for 6 months, then it’s a red flag.
Ask your immigration consultant whether they will complete and submit all paperwork on your behalf. Will they supervise the administrative work pertaining to your case, attend interviews and court hearings with you? Find out what tasks they will handle for you.
Ask the immigration consultant to give you a breakdown of all costs and fees associated with the immigration. Find out what payment mode the consultant accepts or whether they have the facility to set up a payment plan. Ask the consultant if there are any added expenses that might crop up while working on your case.
Find out the consultant’s strengths as compared to their competitors in the market. Knowing their strengths will help you decide whether you want to work with them or not.
If the immigration consultant is experienced, they are likely to have handled cases similar to yours. Ask them to discuss the approach and strategy they used to achieve a favourable result.
Several immigration consultants will claim to provide post-landing services such as airport drop, accommodation assistance, etc., once you have your visa in hand. Make sure you ask the consultant to provide you with references of people who have taken post-landing services to figure out the quality of services they provide. Also, check their online reviews for post-landing services.
There’ll be a lot of immigration consultancy firms that promise faster processing time and secure jobs. Don’t fall in their trap. Ensure that you only deal with immigration consultants that are registered and provides transparent services and information. If you are looking for a reliable immigration partner, Nysa Global can help.