This week, we have some great tips for helping you to find reliable visa and immigration advice. If you’re serious about moving country, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to get a reputable immigration adviser. Why? You’ve all heard the saying a stitch in time saves nine, and this is one case where it’s certainly true!
Why use an immigration adviser?
- An immigration adviser will give you a realistic idea of your chances of success right from the word go. Of course, your eligibility will depend on your individual circumstances, including factors such as your age, work experience, skills and language ability.
- If you are eligible, you’ll be told what immigration pathways are available and which one is going to work best for you. You won’t waste time and money heading down the wrong path then having to do a ‘u-turn’ later on.
- You get the bonus of expert advice to sort out any hitches along the way. Immigration law can be a difficult beastie at the best of times and it’s constantly changing, so up-to-date advice not only smooths out the snags en route, it helps prevent them in the first place!
How can I pick a reliable immigration adviser?
- Choose someone who is licensed or registered. Legitimate advisers and agents are regulated by a professional body which helps ensure that they are competent. While it won’t necessarily guarantee you professional service, it will go a long way to weeding out ‘cowboy’ outfits! In New Zealand, agents are called licensed immigration advisers, and they are regulated by the Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA); in Australia, they are called registered migration agents and they are regulated by MARA; and in Canada, they are called immigration consultants and they are regulated by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC).
- Ensure that their membership is current. If a licensed agent or business has been investigated for failing to provide a professional service, their licence will have been cancelled. Make a quick call to the regulatory body first to make sure they are still legit before you hand over any money!
- Check out their credentials. You wouldn’t rent out your house or employ someone without checking their references, so ask if you can speak to a recent client, and check out the agency online too (web, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn). A reputable company will have a professional online presence with a history that can be tracked. If you have friends who’ve already migrated, ask them who they used and what their experience was, or visit ex-pat forums and get recommendations that way. This kind of research takes a bit of extra effort, but it pays off in the long run!
- Read up about the immigration categories for New Zealand, Australia and Canada so you know what to expect.
- If you’re considering emigrating as a skilled migrant, take Working In’s free online visa assessment to have see if you have the right skills to move to Australia or New Zealand. This will help you to determine if it’s worthwhile proceeding.
- Visit our visa sections for Australia, New Zealand and Canada. There’s loads of info here, including more about visa categories and policy, and reputable advisers in Australia, NZ and Canada who can help you with your move.
Come and see us in person in the UK in June/July!
We have immigration advisers and migration agents attending our Opportunities Overseas Expos to help you with your migration questions so, if you are relocating, make sure you come along to an expo near you! We’ll be in in the UK in Leeds on 30 June-1 July, and in London on 7-8 July, and we’ll have some great job opportunities as well.
Hope to see you there!