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Use a visa advisor or just do it all yourself?

Use a visa advisor or just do it all yourself?

Old May 4th 2011, 10:42 am
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Default Use a visa advisor or just do it all yourself?

I wonder what the % is regarding using an advisor to help through the application process. I'll be applying for an IR1 since I have been married to my American wife for over two years.

We used an advisor to get my wife into the UK, and we had mixed experiences. For the initial application it definately helped having someone to "hold our hand". However, when applying for her ILR status, the advisor delayed us and gave some poor information. Needless to say it's costs a lot of money!

So what are your thoughts? Would I be wasting my money using an advisor, or should I be cautious and use one?

Last edited by guitarmaan; May 4th 2011 at 10:43 am. Reason: spelling
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Old May 4th 2011, 11:45 am
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Default Re: Use a visa advisor or just do it all yourself?

Honestly, unless you have a very complicated situation, I'd say skip the advisor. We didn't use one when I made the move over to the UK or when I got my ILR and eventually my UK citizenship. Later, when it was time to apply for my husband's IR1 visa (green card), I did everything myself. There's a wealth of information available online via the official US Embassy in London website (I'm assuming this is how your doing it) and via online forums such as this. Also, check out www.diveintoamerica.com. That site helped my enormously.

As long as you do your research and follow the instructions exactly, you should be fine on your own. Again, provided that you have a straightforward case (i.e. no convictions, custody issues, etc). Good luck!
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Old May 4th 2011, 1:05 pm
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Default Re: Use a visa advisor or just do it all yourself?

If by adviser you mean immigration lawyer, it's completely up to you. It won't hurt but you have to weigh up your personal finances and situation.

If by adviser you mean a non-legal company that you pay to do essentially nothing, save your money and ask questions on here.
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Old May 4th 2011, 1:14 pm
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Default Re: Use a visa advisor or just do it all yourself?

Originally Posted by guitarmaan View Post
Would I be wasting my money using an advisor, or should I be cautious and use one?
Never use an "advisor". If the person isn't an experienced immigration attorney, you'll be wasting your money. The immigrant visa process if very straight forward, and if you have no criminal or overstay issues you'll be fine without one.

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Old May 4th 2011, 4:01 pm
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Default Re: Use a visa advisor or just do it all yourself?

For those of a nervous disposition a competent immigration attorney is a comforting backstop.

The trick is making sure they are competent.

As others have said non-lawyer advisers/agencies are a waste of money.
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Old May 4th 2011, 4:23 pm
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Default Re: Use a visa advisor or just do it all yourself?

Originally Posted by guitarmaan View Post
I wonder what the % is regarding using an advisor to help through the application process. I'll be applying for an IR1 since I have been married to my American wife for over two years.
I was worried about the process myself when I first looked at it. Before you do anything why not try what I did.

Spend a week reading through relevant threads on this forum and over at visajourney.com. Then when you have a much better idea of what the process is (and you will), come back and ask specific questions about the bits you are still unsure about.

I found that really there wasn't anything to it, it's just paperwork, and once you understand what the paperwork is asking you, and what answers to put where, it's really not that daunting.

The only way I'd recommend using an immigration attorney is if you have something that greatly complicates your case, like a criminal record, for example.
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Old May 4th 2011, 11:49 pm
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Default Re: Use a visa advisor or just do it all yourself?

Originally Posted by guitarmaan View Post
I wonder what the % is regarding using an advisor to help through the application process. I'll be applying for an IR1 since I have been married to my American wife for over two years.

We used an advisor to get my wife into the UK, and we had mixed experiences. For the initial application it definately helped having someone to "hold our hand". However, when applying for her ILR status, the advisor delayed us and gave some poor information. Needless to say it's costs a lot of money!
Most spouse applicants don't use an advisor unless there are complications.

Is your wife planning to upgrade her ILR to British citizenship before she leaves?
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Old May 5th 2011, 6:23 am
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Default Re: Use a visa advisor or just do it all yourself?

I came in on a K1, then became a PR. We did not use an advisor and don't think there was any questions that could not be answered online. Do your own research and save some pennies.
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