Immigration consultants are licensed to represent clients applying to immigrate, guiding them throughout the process of obtaining the visas. There is an increase in the number of inexperienced consultants in the UAE, who are neither registered nor experienced enough to advice an aspiring immigrant. Before hiring the services of a reliable consultant, follow these simple, but critical guidelines.
Get a registered immigration agent to manage your visa application. For example, they must be registered with the office of Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) for Australian immigration and the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC), the national regulatory body that oversees regulated Canadian immigration professionals.
Verify their company name on the official websites, such as Mara.gov.au and Iccrc-crcic.ca, as registered consultants are bound by their codes of conduct. A lot of consultants in the UAE work in partnership with external consultants. So they are not directly liable and responsible for a client who pays them. Read the retainer agreement carefully before you pay any consultation fees to an agent.
A reliable immigration consultant must be in business for several years, with experience in processing thousands of applications. The experience of the consultant gained over years while processing varied cases and profiles, would help a new applicant increase his chances of immigrating successfully, as his application and documentation requirements may change based on his nationality and place of study. So, it is best to use someone who is in business for at least 20 years and has handled many applications in the past, knowing the policies and procedures for immigration thoroughly.
Another way to identify if you are working with a reputed company is to check and see if they are associated with any big companies or endorsed by any reputed companies and/or government authorities, embassies and consulates.
While inexperienced companies often come cheaper than the experienced ones, you may be putting your visa application at risk by going with the cheaper option.
Success doesn’t come cheap
While inexperienced companies often come cheaper than the experienced ones, you may be putting your visa application at risk by going with the cheaper option. The immigration system globally is very complex and you often need years of experience to fully understand it. So ask about your consultant’s years of experience in immigration before you commit to work with them.
Are they equipped to guide?
Your immigration consultant must be able to give you an idea of your chances of success at the initial stage of the application process. If they foresee any delays, they should be able to immediately recommend alternative options to you, increasing your chances of success.
Watch for red flags
Avoid immigration companies who are promising you a guaranteed job once you land in the foreign country. These companies are not genuine as an immigration consultant can neither issue job offers nor act as a recruitment agent. These tricks are often used to attract customers and make money. You have to be aware of these fraudulent practices carried out in the industry under the name of immigration consultancies.
— The writer is Director, Y-Axis Middle East