5 Key points to be aware of when seeking immigration legal advice.

1. Get advice from a professional.

Immigration Lawyers hold a law degree and are required to renew their legal practicing certificate each year. They are held accountable by their respective law societies for the advice they give. Failure to provide sound advice that a client can rely upon can result in professional misconduct that falls below the standards of the South Australian Legal Practitioners Conduct Rules. You (the client) can, and should, make a complaint if you are not satisfied with the advice you were given. You should know who to contact and how to make a complaint. You are entitled to do this and should not feel afraid.

2. Provide as much information to the practitioner as you can about your situation.

You must keep a record of all previous visa applications, letters of advice, submissions and any other correspondence. You should be given these copies from your previous representative. Ask for them now if you don’t have them.

The details of your immigration history are very important and if you can’t; provide this to the practitioner, she/he will have to request a copy of your file through a Freedom Of Information application, which can take a very long time, or will have to ask your previous representative for a copy. You may not have time to wait for this information before your visa expires so it is always much better to have your own copy.

3. Your short and long-term plans in Australia must be considered.

Your lawyer needs to know everything about your long-term plans to ensure that you have the best chance of remaining n Australia. Relocating a family and starting a new life in another country without knowing whether you can build a life here can have heartbreaking consequences. You can’t spend 4 years here on a temporary visa only to discover that you are not eligible for a permanent visa and will have to leave Australia. Your practitioner should spend as much time as possible with you in the initial consult to find out what your plans and dreams are. This is a very important stage in building your relationship and feeling comfortable that your practitioner really understands your needs.

4. You can make a complaint about your practitioner.

You do not have to accept poor advice that results in a refused application. You have a right to question what you have been advised to do, and the consequences of this advice. You should be given contact information about the Law Society and how to make a complaint. You have a right to for everything to be explained clearly to you and if you do not understand, you must ask questions. You are paying for a service and should feel comfortable that you know exactly what you can and cannot do, and how much it will cost you. You should be able to trust the advice you have been given.

5. Seek another opinion if you are not satisfied.

If you don’t feel comfortable with the advice you have been given you should firstly ask the practitioner to explain it again, or at least give me a list of questions that you would likes answered. Second, you have the right to go to another practitioner and seek her/his opinion on the advice you have been given. Yes, you will likely have to pay for another consultation, but these fees will certainly be less than what you might have to pay if you proceed on a path that is not the best for your circumstances.

You CAN rely on PETTY SAMPSON IMMIGRATIION LAWYERS to do all of the above. Call us today to book a consultation and let us take care of your future.

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