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Choosing a reliable immigration agency

Aug 21, 2018

Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants often receive calls for help from desperate people who have been victims of immigration scams or fly-by-night operators. Unfortunately, we also receive calls for help from people who have wrongly been advised by legitimate immigration agencies.

Unfortunately, the immigration business, like all other business fields, has some unreliable and even dishonest agents. It is thus easy to fall prey to unscrupulous or inexperienced immigration agents who are only interested in money and not the client’s welfare.

But how do you go about choosing the best immigration agent to help you?

Breytenbachs have been in the immigration business since 1998, and we have asked clients as well as our very experienced consultants to provide some tips on how to choose the best immigration agent/lawyer.

Tips to choose the best immigration agent

  1. The number one tip is to do your homework properly. Don’t choose the first agent that you find via the internet or a newspaper advertisement. Ask around as word of mouth referrals from people you know are often the best way to find the best and most reliable immigration agent.
  2. Decide what are the most important traits you want in an immigration agent and then look for that when doing your homework. If client service and timeliness are important to you, make sure that you receive that when enquiring. If service is poor from the start, you can expect to always be treated that way.
  3. Don’t focus on fees only. Fees are very low for a reason. Compare the fees you are quoted with fees from other companies, and rather find a company that quotes reasonable and preferably fixed fees. Some companies even offer a ‘No Visa, No Fee’ policy that should also provide a client with peace of mind.
  4. Be wary of a company that is focused on money only rather than first making sure that you do indeed qualify for a certain visa or permit.
  5. Look at the track record of a company. Do they employ qualified and experienced personnel? How many years have they been doing business? A company will not have survived for many years if they have not been providing a reliable service.
  6. Who is the manager or head of the firm? Will you have access to this person if something goes wrong and is it someone with a solid reputation who cares?
  7. If you are unsure about a company, ask the company for references. Don’t be shy to follow up on these.
  8. If in doubt, do some background internet searches. Check on websites like Hello Peter whether there have been complaints against the company.
  9. Be wary if the company has done name changes from time to time. This mean they are trying to get rid of their bad reputation.
  10. Last, but not least, trust your gut instinct. If you feel uneasy, or if something seems too good to be true, move on and find someone else!

Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants specialise in South African and United Kingdom immigration matters. They have been assisting South Africans and other nationalities moving to and from South Africa since 1998.

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