In the immigration process, it is important to deal with immigration solicitors who are licensed by the government. Please note that it is not as easy as just picking any law firm you like and hoping that they might have immigration lawyers in their employ.
The rules governing immigration law are very complex and involve international treaties, directives and laws. If you don’t know what you’re doing, hiring a non-licensed immigration lawyer to handle your immigration case can spell either failure or disaster for your application.
A great place to look for immigration solicitors with good reputations is online through Google or any other search engine. You want to find a UK immigration solicitor, make sure he has at least three years of experience handling UK immigration cases so that you can be confident they have the knowledge and expertise to represent you.
More so, the immigration solicitor you hire should also be a member of an immigration law organization such as the Law Society or Immigration Lawyers Association. You can check that by visiting their websites and looking for immigration law related sections.
If you visit the immigration lawyer’s website, make sure they also have immigration videos on it because immigration laws are complex and involve many things that might need further clarification through visual means. This is important because immigration lawyers who explain immigration laws in detail will prove to be better lawyers than those who don’t.
Having established all of this, now you want to look at your finances to see if you can afford a UK immigration solicitor. Be ready to pay a decent amount of GBP for a basic application but other services such as spouse visa application, for example. These things are not cheap, and you will not only have to cover the application fee but also the lawyer’s fee as well.
There are immigration solicitors who charge a flat fee on immigration applications like applying for an immigrant visa, and the list of immigration solicitors in London can be by doing a simple google search. This way, you will know what you’re likely to pay upfront without any unpleasant surprises later down the line.
Another really important thing is to make sure that your solicitor has qualified with either a law degree or practiced as a solicitor for several years before practicing immigration law which is different from general law practice and requires additional professional qualification.
Some immigration solicitors will continue to assist you as your immigration case progresses, and others may just do a quick turnaround on the initial application. Most immigration solicitors tend to be busy, so it is important to ensure that you use them wisely if they are not willing to deal with any follow up queries in relation to your immigration status.
Most immigration solicitors will take between 10-60% of the visa/immigration application fee, which takes various forms, including an hourly rate, a fixed price per application or a percentage or some other format depending on each immigration solicitor’s business model. This means that one immigration solicitor can cost more than another for similar services based on how much they charge, so it’s worth shopping around before committing to a specific individual or firm. You will find immigration solicitors in immigration law firms, immigration departments or immigration boutiques.
In this guide, we’ve referred to immigration lawyers and immigration solicitors separately. Although some people use the terms interchangeably (even though legally they are not quite the same), immigration lawyers tend to deal with larger cases that involve a lot of research, analysis and time, whereas immigration solicitors may make simpler applications such as marriage visas or UK Ancestry Visas under £10,000 which can be achieved quickly like in a couple of days for example.