A recent episode on Carte Blanche highlighted issues with a certain immigration company offering permit and visa advice to different countries around the world including South Africa.
The program featured many individuals who have parted with large sums of money and are claiming they received little in the way of assistance back and in some cases were on the receiving end of incorrect advice.
Where inappropriate advice has been given for many clients this spells the end of a dream caused by the very company they turned to and paid to help turn their dream into reality.
Such reports do little to advance the image of the immigration industry but do serve as a timely reminder to prospective immigrants to do their research on whom they choose to employ as their immigration company. Below we give you a few hints and tips to consider when making your selection:
- Make sure the company you are dealing with employs a registered immigration practitioner or attorney. Unfortunately not all do and simply act as a conduit or a marketing arm without actually being able to deliver the service provided. Immigration practitioners will have valid certificates they can supply you.
- Ensure they have a proper registered office, ask about the size of their team and how long in operation.
- Where possible meet face to face at the companies offices or ask one of their team to come and see you. Beware where they insist on meeting in hotels or coffee shops.
- Check their IT infrastructure, will it keep you regularly updated and informed as to your applications progress.
- Cheaper is not always best – your immigration is a large emotional and financial commitment and price should be only one of your considerations not the only one.
- How is their service when you make your enquiry – do they call you back, answer your emails promptly and are they professional in their approach. If you struggle at the enquiry stage you may well struggle later on with their service.
- Look on facebook, google plus and You tube – these open forums often are an outlet for dissatisfied customers.
- If in doubt don’t sign up, get all your concerns sorted out before parting with money.
- Remember only the SA Home Affairs issue permits and visas – any immigration company guaranteeing a permit, speed of delivery of the permit etc is making false promises. The immigration companies role is to advise, compile, process and chase up only.