For those moving to a new country permanently or to work or study, you may need to get help with the visa process. An immigration lawyer may be just the solution you need to ensure you get the proper paper work so you can make your move.
1. Search online: Yes these days, one of the best way to find an immigration is to go online because these days so many service providers are now online. But be careful. Just because a lawyer has a fancy website, does not mean they are good. Do your home work and this takes us to the next tip
2. Check reviews: If you do find a lawyer who you are considering check out their “online reputation”. These days online reviews are a great way to see if it is worth it to call that lawyer. Google reviews, Yelp and lawyer review sites are a great way to start. If the lawyer has a FaceBook page, check that out as well.
3. Call the lawyer: If you decide on a lawyer you wish to contact, pick the phone and make a call. Right away you will get an idea of the kind of client service you may be getting by just speaking to their receptionist. Are they friendly? Helpful? If you are getting the cold shoulder, hang up and move on.
4. If you schedule a consultation with a lawyer, make sure that you pay attention to how that lawyer conducts himself or herself. Does the lawyer listen to you? Do they offer solutions? Do they tell you how much will your case cost and how you can reach them if you have questions? You should get a full picture of what you are in for at your consultation.
5. Make sure your lawyer has the resources to really help: This is a big one. It is important that the lawyer you hire has the support staff and resources to make your case a success. The lawyer maybe really good but any immigration or visa case, to be successful requires a “hot of hands”. Support staff are key. Ask the lawyer who is working on your file. You want a team behind your case, of course, supervised by the lawyer.
6. Options if your case is refused: No case is guaranteed and if your lawyer says it is, then run for the hills. A credible lawyer will always have a “plan B” in case your visa is refused. It does happen but in most cases, there are other options to make it work. At the consultation your lawyer should be able to explain what they are.
7. Use your “gut”. At the end of the day whenever you hire someone for anything, listened to your little voice and ask yourself “is this the right fit?” Be honest with yourself. If not move on. There are a lot of immigration lawyers out there.
I hope this outline about finding an immigration lawyer was helpful. Like any service provider, you have to do your home work before you sign up. There are a lot of good immigration lawyers but also some not so good ones. Buyer beware!
Michael Niren, Immigration Lawyer and Founder of VisaPlace.com
Contact Michael at [email protected]