The fact that immigration law is in its own right a pretty tricky subject to grasp inevitably leaves thousands of applicants every month unsure where to turn for help. Across the UK, thousands of immigration lawyers and representatives are helping those with genuine cases ensure their applications are completed accurately and considered fairly, giving them the best chance of succeeding in obtaining their visa of choice. Of course, when you don’t know one end of a Tier 2 visa in London from another it can be a pretty intimidating prospect to say the least, but just by learning a few of the basics, the whole subject becomes infinitely more approachable.

Immigration Lawyers 101 – The What, Who, How and Why

Immigrations Lawyers – Are They Mandatory?

For example, there’s much confusion as to whether or not an immigration lawyer must be hired in order for a visa application to be processed and handled – the answer to which is no. Technically speaking there’s no legal requirement to hire a lawyer and nor can a lawyer technically change the specifics of the case of the individual making the application. Lawyers are 100% optional for visa applicants, though to say they come highly recommended would be something of an understatement. If you want your chances of succeeding in your application to increase exponentially, the advice, guidance and application checks provided by legal representatives are worth their weight in gold.

But What Do Immigration Lawyers Actually Do?

Though often misinterpreted as simple application proof-readers, immigration lawyers play a much deeper role in the application process of their client applicants. For example, a lawyer will advise on not only what kind of information must be presented, but also how it should be presented. In addition, they will ensure that any and all common mistakes that could destroy the application are eliminated, while at the same time bringing a few tricks and secrets into the mix to help things along.

Is it Better to Hire a British Lawyer or One From Abroad?

When hiring an immigration lawyer as a foreign national, it can be tempting to hire a domestic lawyer for reasons of both convenience and often lower costs to boot. However, in the vast majority of instances a domestic lawyer in the applicant’s home country will not be nearly as well-equipped to advise and help along the application process as a lawyer born, raised and based in the UK. At the same time however, it’s wholly inadvisable to choose a lawyer that isn’t 100% fluent in your own language – language barriers can also prove fatal for visa applications.

What Does it Cost to Hire an Immigration Lawyer?

It’s impossible to answer this question without first knowing the specifics of the case in question. After all, if little more than a quick once-over application checking service is needed, things aren’t going to be nearly as expensive as for an applicant with a bunch of complications and perhaps three or four appeals on the horizon. Lawyers in this field tend to charge by the hour, by the day or in the form of one lump sum for all services offered. Just be sure that all fees and charges are disclosed before agreeing to any deal.

How About Immigration Agencies?

It’s not impossible to be offered solid advice from an immigration agency, but as they generally have no legal training or qualifications you cannot expect them to perform as well as an experienced lawyer. While technically anyone with a computer and an Internet connection can set up as an immigration agent, it takes so much more dedication and education to become an immigration lawyer.

What Should I Be Looking For in a Lawyer?

The only way of getting a good idea of what’s to come is to look into the lawyer’s past. More specifically, take the time to look into any success stories they may have to share along with the feedback of the clients. In addition, it’s always worth looking for an immigration lawyer or group thereof that’s been in business for some time, as opposed to those who may only just be starting out in the field.

Is There Anything I Can Do if My Application Is Refused?

In a word, yes – and this is also where the assistance of a legal professional comes into play. If any given application is unsuccessful, there are always grounds for appeal and reapplication. However, it tends to be much harder to have your case heard and be successful the second or third time around, which is why it’s crucially important to seek help from a legally trained professional. There’s no guarantee they’ll be able to make your application a success, but you’ll stand a much better chance than if you went it alone.

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