If you’ve made the decision to apply for a UK visa for any reason whatsoever, you have the choice of going it alone or taking on the assistance of a trained legal professional. These days, there are plenty of high-end immigration lawyers in London who specialise solely in helping visa applicants through the process and ensuring they stand the very best chances of getting in. But at the same time, the vast majority of applicants choose to go through the process alone having decided that legal advice represents an expense that’s not worth forking out for.
Which begs the obvious question – what’s the real value of the UK immigration lawyer? Or more specifically, what is it they do and offer by way of service to applicants?
Visa Types and Criteria
Well, first and foremost it often takes a qualified professional to help an applicant make sense of the overwhelming volume of different visa types up for grabs. Suffice to say, applying for Tier 2 visas in London represents a wholly different ball game than trying to score other kinds of work and residency permits – the complicated details of which you cannot be expected to know without experience and training. As such, the assistance of a professional immigration lawyer can be invaluable in not only helping an applicant choose the right visa, but ensure they fit all necessary criteria.
Form Completion and Documents
Visa application forms have a tendency to be some of the most detailed and complicated imaginable. Which is of course understandable as this isn’t a credit card you’re applying for, it’s access to a country with border restrictions. It doesn’t matter how comfortable you are with the English language or how proficient you are at form filling – visa applications are a very different ball game. And what’s more, there’s also the pivotally important matter of supplying all necessary documentation and evidence – a tricky task to tackle without a qualified legal advisor to help you throughout the process.
Preparation for Follow-ups
Above and beyond the application itself, a good legal representative will also help the applicant prepare for any interviews or follow-ups that can and often do follow the initial application itself. It’s possible to be invited to take part in a chat (remotely or in person) at pretty much any time and without a great deal of notice. Suffice to say, when this happens it’s crucially important to know what to say, how to say it and how to present yourself. You won’t know what’s to come, but your legal advisor can inform you of what to expect and how best to give your application in general a shot in the arm.
Aside from rare emergency cases, it’s technically unlikely that any standard visa application will be fast-tracked by those processing it. However, a huge proportion of visa applications face wholly unnecessary delays and indeed rejections every day simply because the applicant made one or more very small, very common mistakes. When you team up with an immigration lawyer, they might not be able to fast-track your application as such, but they can certainly eliminate the possibility of things being held up unnecessarily by errors and oversights.
Repeat Applications and Appeals
While it’s true to say that each rejection will make it all the more difficult to get your application accepted the next time around, your chances will improve massively if you consult with a legal professional. These are the advisors that know the ins and outs of not only why you may have been rejected, but how to ensure it doesn’t happen again. What’s more, if the rejection has been found to be in any way unfair by the legal party representing you, they may be able to help you appeal against the decision.
Lower Refusal Rates
Last but not least, the biggest and most important benefit of all when it comes to hiring immigration lawyers is the way in which they can massively reduce the likelihood of your application being rejected. Of course, if and when you simply don’t fit the necessary criteria for any given visa there’s really very little anyone can do to help. If on the other hand you do measure up and have all the right boxes ticked in a personal sense, you will never, ever get a better shot as getting the visa you’re looking for than you will with the help of a lawyer. They will of course charge you for the privilege, but it’s a small price to pay if the visa you’re applying for really is of importance to you.