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Many people dream of moving abroad; to experience life as part of a new culture and have the chance to discover an exotic new land.

But whether it be for socio-economic circumstance, ambition, or even wanderlust, the complexity of immigration may mean you consider hiring a specialist lawyer.

The logistics, red tape and paperwork involved in immigrating overseas will vary from country to country, so if you find yourself overwhelmed and not able to tackle the legalities yourself, the following information should help.

Moving Abroad? Things to Consider When Hiring an Immigration Attorney

Choose Someone With Specialist Knowledge

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If you’re planning to immigrate, or find yourself dealing with any type of complex immigration issue, specialist attorneys are the best people to consult for help.

However it’s important to note the difference between a regular attorney and one who specializes in immigration; immigration attorneys handle cases like yours every day, and have an in depth knowledge of the country specific law, and potential loop holes that could be used to your advantage.

Lawyers who specialize in other fields may not have the same type of knowledge as an immigration attorney does, and ot be honest, may not have much more knowledge than yourself.

So if you are planning on hiring an attorney, the first step is to make sure that they specialize in immigration. This could mean the difference between permanent residence and deportation. And to consult someone otherwise would likely be a waste of money.

Applying for Citizenship

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Immigration attorneys do much more than stepping in to prevent someone from being deported to another country. They can also help people in becoming citizens of new countries.

The process of applying for citizenship can be very time consuming, costly, and involved. And when you try and navigate this yourself you might find yourself overwhelmed.

If you don’t think you can tackle the process yourself, it may actually save you money having an attorney cross your i’s and dot your t’s – you typically don’t get your application fee back if an application is rejected, and will have to lodge (and pay) it again.

So it’s often best to have the best help from the very start.

Cost of Legal Services

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Professional services are not cheap. Some lawyers demand extremely high rates, so you’ll have to weigh the cost of a lawyer against how highly qualified they are, and make a decision based on your findings.

Keep in mind that it’s often better to pay more up front than it would be to hire someone unqualified, and have to deal with the cost of problems. A cheap lawyer could be the sign of unqualified individual.

In most western countries you can expect to pay between $100-$300 dollars per hour. Every minute a lawyer spends on your case gets added onto their time card; every email they send, every phone call they take. So if you’re looking to cut down the costs, do as much as you can before you hire them.

Provide them with everything they need up front, make sure you thoroughly outline your circumstances; stay as organized as possible to that the attorney only has to spend minimal time on your case.

Choose Someone You Trust

Ultimately, when it comes to choosing an immigration attorney, you’re going to be sharing classified documents and very personal information with them, so you should make sure you choose someone you feel comfortable with and trust.


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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


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