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Should I use a lawyer / visa service?

Should I use a lawyer / visa service?

Old Jan 8th 2021, 8:59 am
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Default Should I use a lawyer / visa service?

Hi all,

I'm about to start the CR-1 / Immigrant visa process from outside the US (I am married to a resident USC but I reside in the UK) and see 3 options to follow so wanted to see if there was any advice/ experience out there to help me decide?
  1. Apply directly, using the forms and information on the official .gov websites, following the process and the information on the forms, etc. i.e. no 3rd party help (cheapest option)
  2. Use a visa processing middleman such as "rapidvisa.com" to help manage the process and check for completeness, etc. (relatively inexpensive, normally a flat fee)
  3. Appoint an immigration lawyer (most expensive option)
For more background info, I see my application as straight forward. I have no criminal record, am not insolvent, etc, have no immigration issues in the US (actually have GE). My spouse also has a clean record and a very good job. We have been married since September '20 but have been together since June '17...

Thanks for your help/ advice and for sharing your experiences!


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Old Jan 8th 2021, 11:40 am
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Default Re: Should I use a lawyer / visa service?

Unless you are incapable of following basic instructions on a form, you should be more than able to complete the application paperwork yourself.

Do not, under any circumstances, use a service like rapidvisa. They are no more qualified than you are to complete your paperwork.

Last edited by civilservant; Jan 8th 2021 at 11:43 am.
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Old Jan 8th 2021, 11:55 am
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Default Re: Should I use a lawyer / visa service?

Under NO circumstances go with #2. If you are the type of person who is not detailed oriented or unable to think rationally and coherently, or if you have criminal charges in your history, even as a teen, then use an attorney. The expense is justified if you want to be successful in those circumstances.

BTW, you are NOT starting the process. Your wife, the USC, is starting the process from within the US and you will then jump into the fray when it is passed on to the US Consulate in London.

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Old Jan 8th 2021, 12:57 pm
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Default Re: Should I use a lawyer / visa service?

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
BTW, you are NOT starting the process. Your wife, the USC, is starting the process from within the US and you will then jump into the fray when it is passed on to the US Consulate in London.
Yes! That is absolutely the case!
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Old Jan 8th 2021, 12:58 pm
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Default Re: Should I use a lawyer / visa service?

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
Do not, under any circumstances, use a service like rapidvisa. They are no more qualified than you are to complete your paperwork.
Thank you for that - I did wonder what they "added"....
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Old Jan 8th 2021, 1:43 pm
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Default Re: Should I use a lawyer / visa service?

Worse that that , I have come across no end of horror stories from the like of RapidVisa. They were taken over by Boundless, whilst US based services are provided out of the Philippines.
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Old Jan 8th 2021, 9:16 pm
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Default Re: Should I use a lawyer / visa service?

The choice is yours. I join in the advice to avoid the use of services.

Yes, many people DIY with no problem. But then, many of us legal types have been hired to fix (if possible) cases which have gone sideways. And “janitorial work” is more expensive than having had counsel in the the first place. Do note that people in his forum will have not seen your documentation. I know that I have seen advice in this forum that I think is 98% correct. So, usually “no harm, no foul.” And you will not even be aware of what questions to ask. I know that I have to contact consulates to reverse denials and the fact I had been in the case since day one allowed me easily fix the problem.

A late colleague opined that legal work on many applications is in the nature of an “insurance policy.”

Good luck.
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Old Jan 8th 2021, 10:09 pm
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Default Re: Should I use a lawyer / visa service?

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
Under NO circumstances go with #2. If you are the type of person who is not detailed oriented or unable to think rationally and coherently, or if you have criminal charges in your history, even as a teen, then use an attorney. The expense is justified if you want to be successful in those circumstances.

BTW, you are NOT starting the process. Your wife, the USC, is starting the process from within the US and you will then jump into the fray when it is passed on to the US Consulate in London.
Considering the importance of the issue I would say if at all possible use an attorney to handle everything from start to finish.
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Old Jan 8th 2021, 10:23 pm
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Default Re: Should I use a lawyer / visa service?

Well usually you are paying for a para legal not a lawyer.
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Old Jan 17th 2021, 5:16 am
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Default Re: Should I use a lawyer / visa service?

My wife and I managed to successfully handle her spouse visa to move to UK and more recently mine to move USA.

Our case was convincing eg lots of evidence of trips together, living in same place previously etc. and found the process relatively straightforward once you get your head around all forms and evidence needed.

YouTube and the forums are a good resource if needed and if you have any project management exp I’d suggest applying that kind of thinking to keeping organised and on track.
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