It’s highly recommended to start your search with research. Searching for immigration law firms in your area is a great place to start. The Home Office website lists legitimate law firms that you can choose from. This is why it’s a good idea to give yourself enough time to look and compare, rather than rush to the first firm you see. This way, you can find a firm that really works for you.
When researching, you should check:
- Whether the firm is registered with OISC – Office for Immigration Services Commissioner
- What areas of immigration law they work with and would they cover your type of case
- Reviews online – they may have some on their website but look around the internet for Google reviews
- Fee structure – do they work by an hourly rate or by setting a fixed fee for a particular service or package?
Qualifications and registration
With so many levels of legal qualifications and registration bodies, it can be easy to get confused. When looking for any kind of legal advice, you should check your solicitor is regulated by the Solicitors Regulating Authority and barristers by the Bar Council. For immigration lawyers specifically, their firm should be registered with the Office of Immigration Services Commissioner or OISC.
Registration with OISC means your immigration advisor will have had to pass official examinations to be approved at a certain skill level. Different qualification levels determine the complexity of cases a lawyer can take on. For example, if your case requires representation at immigration courts, your lawyer would have to be qualified to level 3.
You can check whether a particular firm is registered with the OISC via their website.
Communication and location
In our globally connected world, the actual physical location of your immigration lawyer and firm may not matter too much. Wherever you are based in the UK, or if you are looking for advice from outside of the UK, you will still be able to find good quality advice. Most firms now provide the same services remotely, over the phone and via video conferencing methods.
You should feel able to approach a firm with questions and to get polite, information and timely communication from them -whether speaking to a receptionist or representative initially and when in appointments with your lawyer. A good quality immigration lawyer should:
- Provide a contact number and email address for you to reach them or a representative
- Chance to ask questions during and after an advice session
- Ask you lots of questions about your case and wider circumstances
- Keep records from any and all conversations they have with you
- Speak clearly and explain thoroughly your options and actions you can take
Immigration and visa applications are a costly process. Hiring a sub-par immigration lawyer can only add to your costs. Therefore, it’s only natural to want to get a feel for a firm and a lawyer before hiring them. However, offers of free legal advice should be approached with caution.
All legal advice is covered by insurance, which protects both the client and the lawyer in case of something going wrong and the outcome of the case not meeting expectations. Any advice services you receive you should pay for. This shows you are receiving good quality services that are tailored specifically to you.
Fees vary widely, depending on the firm, location, the complexity of your case and therefore which services you require. While hiring an immigration lawyer is an additional expense in your immigration case, choosing the right lawyer can save you time, money and potential damage in the long-run.
No immigration lawyer can promise or 100% guarantee you success. There are many factors that go into the success or refusal of an application as well as the work of the lawyer that takes your case. Immigration law is complicated, the Home Office is tough and immigration rules change rapidly.
A good immigration lawyer should be upfront about the facts of your case, potential areas for downfall and what can be done about them. Professionals who have been practicing for many years may have the experience to say with some certainty the likely outcome of your case. However, any assurances of success from the outset should be met with caution.
Why you should choose Birmingham Immigration Lawyers
Visa applications and the process of choosing the right immigration lawyer can be daunting. Birmingham Immigration Lawyers has decades of combined experience as immigration specialists, with all of our lawyers OISC regulated. Both corporate and individual clients trust us to provide professional, accurate and high-quality advice. No matter where you are based, in the UK or overseas, we are happy to assist.
You can get in touch with our client care team, who will take your information and match you with a lawyer best suited to your circumstances for an advice session. All of our service prices are pre-set and will be discussed thoroughly with you before moving forward with anything additional.
Contact Birmingham Immigration Lawyers today on 0121 667 6530.
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