The last decade has seen the rise in the immigration of South Africans to developed countries with over 2.1 million South Africans living in the United States alone.
This has led to an increase in the need for immigration lawyers to help direct and guide immigrants on matters regarding immigration.
However, due to the increasing number of immigrants flooding developed countries, there has been a crackdown on immigrants, especially those from Africa, making it even more difficult to securely immigrate to developed countries like the USA, Canada, England, France, and Germany.
It has, therefore, become extremely important to seek the counsel of an immigration lawyer before starting the visa application or moving to another country. This is to ensure you are not deported, fined, jailed or rejected in job applications while living in the country.
Who is an Immigration Lawyer?
An immigration lawyer is a unique type of lawyer that handles all issues related to immigration. These are the people to consider if you have any issues with immigration procedures and laws and should be the first you consider to ensure you immigrate into a country legally.
Duties of Immigration Lawyers
Immigration lawyers perform a number of duties which are related to advising or counselling the immigrant on the immigration laws and procedures of the country the client (immigrant) wishes to move to.
They provide guidance on matters such as citizenship application, visa application, green cards, deportation issues and possibilities, and employment for immigrants. Immigration lawyers also advise students who wish to study abroad on the right steps to take and the appropriate visa to apply for.
The lawyers are very important as they can represent you in court and prevent you from being deported. You will also need them if you wish to start a business in another country.
When to Get an Immigration Lawyer
Although seeking counsel from an immigration lawyer prior to your visa application is advised, there are some situations where you will definitely need the assistance of a lawyer, especially if you are unable to fully understand the various requirements under immigration law.
Denied Immigration Applications
If your previous immigration application was denied then you will need an immigration lawyer to help you determine why it was denied and the possibilities of appealing the application or re-applying in the future.
Deported or Restricted Entry
Being deported or excluded from entry into the country you wish to immigrate to is a frustrating situation and this might sometimes mean that you have been permanently barred from entering that country. An immigration lawyer can provide counsel on the effects of deportation and exclusion and the necessary steps to take in the future.
If your application has been waiting for an unreasonably long time, then it is best to get an immigration lawyer as they are familiar with the application process including waiting times and deadlines. The lawyer would be able to fast track the application process.
Other situations could be a situation where you have a certain medical condition or you lack enough knowledge about the application process. A lawyer would be quite helpful to assist you with the application process and also advice you on the immigration laws and procedures of the country.
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Where to Get South Africa Immigration Lawyer Near Me
There are several immigration lawyers and organizations in South Africa that offer the services listed above. Below are some of the places where you can get a South Africa immigration lawyer near you.
A simple Google search for immigration lawyers in South Africa and you will find a lot of lawyers offering their services. You can easily pick one from the option listed in the page results, but ensure you check the reputation of the law firm or lawyer before settling for that option.
Vconnect and Finelib are online sites for professionals and you can find almost any kind of professional on the website. Simply log on to vconnect.com or finelib.com and search for immigration lawyers in South Africa, you may narrow down the search by including your state and you will find immigration lawyers located within your vicinity.
This might be the best way to get an immigration lawyer in South Africa. Referrals involve choosing based on trusted advice by people or other lawyers. This is easier as you would easily get a friend, lawyer or colleague to make a reputable referral. However, it is also important to check the lawyer’s profile before going ahead with the process.
Things to Consider When Choosing an Immigration Lawyer
A lawyer’s reputation is all he/she has and this is something you should look out for when settling for one. A lawyer who has a high number of happy clients will certainly handle your case better than one who doesn’t.
It is also important to consider the experience and workload as you don’t a lawyer who is handling too many cases at once looking through your case.
It is better to settle for a lawyer based on the referral by a trusted friend or acquaintance rather than just blind-choosing one. Ensure the referrals you take seriously are only from those who have dealt with immigration lawyers.
A Lawyer within Your Locality
There are quite a number of immigration lawyers in South Africa, but it’s best you hire one that is close to you. This is to ensure you can easily check on the lawyer and confirm that quality time is dedicated to your case. It is well known that some South Africa lawyers tend to lay back the cases of some clients especially when they are far away. It is best to avoid this by settling for an immigration lawyer near you.
It is important to take everything you’ve read here into consideration before going ahead with your visa application to ensure you get the right response and are able to migrate to the country of your choice safely and legally.