My Town Tutors is a great resource for parents & teachers. Find qualified tutors in your area today!
Without the appropriate information, the process of your immigration journey may be a nightmare. It may be costly both in terms of money and time spent chasing the all-important paperwork.
Migration agents play a key role in ensuring that the process runs smoothly for you. However, not all migration agents are honest and want to genuinely help you. In some cases, involving an agent becomes cumbersome and could a regrettable decision.
To ensure that you work well with the migration agent and that the process runs smoothly for you, it is important to ask the right questions right from the start. Here are key questions to ask your migration agent anywhere around the world.
- Do they have any government registration/Licensing?
This is the ultimate way of beginning from the top. Since you want to deal with a legal entity, it is important to deal with an agent who is registered and licensed by the government. This gives you some level of confidence and the possibility of legally following up if something goes wrong. It is common to come across cases of misguided advice provided by unregistered agents that are quite popular and very frustrating.
Also, ask the agent whether they are registered with a professional body.
2. Does the agent have any Referrals?
Recommendations are an important aspect of doing business. It makes it easier to create trust and build a relationship. When a client is referred to an agent who is well known, it makes it easy for them to negotiate and even get down to business.
At the same time, if the client has referrals who can vouch for them and put in a good word to potential clients, there is more confidence and building rapport becomes easy.
3. How much is the Processing fees/ Refunds
Money deals will make or break a business deal. Everyone wants to have the best out of their investment.
Ask for complete disclosure of all monies you are expected to spend on your application. This includes service charges for the paperwork and the professional fees the agent is to be paid.
In addition, ask questions about refunds in case any process goes wrong. This would best be captured in a written contract
4. What’s the standard processing time frame?
A major promise and a distinguishing factor between various agents is the ability to have things done quickly. No one wants to wait for their visa for a long time; the sooner it’s done the better. Therefore, work on a time frame with your agent and remember to give allowance for unexpected eventualities and government bureaucracies. This will save you unnecessary anxiety.
5. Do I Need to Sit Any examinations?
Some agents will be silent about important details until you discover them on your own.
Most jurisdictions will require you to undertake examinations of some kind; verbal or written. Ask your agent whether you are required to sit the examination. This will allow you to prepare adequately for such examinations.
6. What are your Channels of communication?
Any key business is enhanced through the proper flow of information between all the involved parties.
From the onset, it is advisable that you and your agent create an open channel of communication that is suitable and convenient for both. Be it email, phone calls or office visits, the mode of communication should be suitable for any situation. For example, if the agent wants some details or documentation urgently, could you be available promptly? If you also want to follow up on the progress of the process, is the agent ready, available and willing to give answers? This will enhance the smooth running of the process and make it easy for all parties.
7. Any unexpected costs?
An area that causes a lot of anxiety and misunderstanding is hidden charges that agents fail to disclose either by default or by design.
As part of an open discussion, ask your agent about any and all charges that you will incur in the process. Unexpected costs not only ruin your budget but may also derail your plans.
8. How can you help in case of challenges such as visa cancellations?
Although your expectations are that everything will work to plan and schedule some things just go wrong when least expected. Under such circumstances, you need a helping hand and a shoulder to lean on.
Ask your agent whether they can offer any legal assistance if you come across challenges such as visa cancellations. This is a good way of gauging their influence and ability to use their network.
The migration process can be a hard nut to crack if you don’t get the right help. However, with an honest agent, it should be easy to execute with some peace of mind. As you engage an agent, make a lot of effort to ask the right questions to avoid disappointment.