Virginia, US
Engaging the Services of an Experienced Immigration Professional
| Itang Ekpe Amissine

Engaging the Services of an Experienced Immigration Professional

The decision to settle in another country is sometimes a tough choice irrespective of the conditions surrounding the move. However, this can be seen as the start of a new adventure and future that may seem daunting especially where there is little or no knowledge of the immigration legislation that governs the country. Depending on the country, the start of the application up to the approval stage can be a long and complicated journey with several layers of bureaucracy and, many may struggle to understand and identify the correct immigration program or visa category specific to their move. This is one of the reasons why engaging the services of an experienced immigration professional becomes a necessity.

Events such as unrest, the quest for economic prosperity, family reunification, retirement, and studies have resulted in a growing number of individuals/firms that offer immigration services. Where immigration is concerned, a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach should not be adopted. As such, it is important to emphasize the need for an experienced professional who understands country-specific legislations and has the experience and expertise to handle your unique circumstance. Not forgetting an honest individual who understands the need to maintain confidentiality. After all, this is an important criteria for someone who will be handling your future.

Furthermore, a qualified immigration professional can provide the best chance of success. Although there are no guarantees that the application will be approved, as this is a discretionary process, it remains a better option than an unconventional approach of seeking services of someone unqualified. When a professional is hired, it is their responsibility to ensure the correct documents are collated timely. Document collation is an important factor in the immigration process as this can define the outcome of one’s application. It is easy to overlook a mandatory requirement on one’s application or provide incomplete documentation thereby jeopardizing the entire application. Hiring a professional relives you of the added pressure and affords you the opportunity to focus on other matters concerning your move.

However, it is important to identify firms or professionals’ providing quality service, not fall prey to immigration frauds. Hiring an unqualified individual exposes the applicant to the risk of rejection and may further complicate the process and result in prolonged processing times. Violating the immigration provisions for a specific country can also result in civil penalties, such as imprisonment, deportation, retention of passport, payment of fines and possible blacklisting. Although life as an immigrant is never easy, it is imperative to minimise one’s exposure to risk by ensuring that the services of a qualified professional are engaged in the first instance to ensure compliance.

How to choose a qualified immigration professional?

 Choosing an immigration professional may sound easy, however, it is critical to exercise caution. One can engage the services of a professional by checking out various websites and comparing services to ensure there is a comprehensive list of services that cater to your individual needs. Although fraudulent individuals also advertise their services, it is important to possibly engage the individual with basic queries to check the quality of the advice and response time. Furthermore, a professional immigration website tends to publish updated articles, webinars, news briefs, and blogs on various events inclusive of changes, updates and general information on immigration programs.

Whilst it is also possible to check reviews and testimonials from various individuals typically published on websites and understand what others are saying about the service provider to ensure that they are indeed skilled and knowledgeable in their area of expertise.