By Charbel Nehme | Migration Agent Sydney | 19 Apr 2015
In your search for a migration agent or immigration lawyer in Sydney who is experienced enough to handle your Australian visa, you may have encountered advertising slogans to the effect of ‘migration agent free consultation’ or ‘immigration lawyer free consultation’ in the past.
You may have seen it on a migration agents or immigration lawyers website: an offer of a free 20 or 30 minute consultation to anybody who is interested in migrating to Australia. You may have also heard about this concept from family, friends, or work colleagues - either way free consultations do exist and are offered by many migration agents who will be interested to handle your immigration to Australia.
We do not provide free initial consultations.
Should you as a potential migrant with an entire future at stake take up a free consultation? The answer to this question isn’t simple and there is no one right answer for everyone. To see what the answer is for you, go over the pros and cons of receiving a free consultation from a migration agent or immigration lawyer in Sydney.
ADVANTAGES OF HAVING A 'FREE CONSULTATION
The first and most obvious advantage is that a free consultation does not cost you anything. After this, the advantages become someowhat limited and vague to someone with little knowledge of Australian immigration law and procedure.
You get to speak with your migration agent in Sydney for a brief 20 or 30 minute session about your case which may sound appealing at first. In this limited time, you are hopeful that your case may be solved and your future migration plans to Australia will have been decided.
Aside from the cost and brief chat you get to have with your migration agent/immigration lawyer, there really are no other advantages with having a free consultation.
DISADVANTAGES OF HAVING A FREE CONSULTATION
The migration agent or immigration lawyer providing a free consultation is not bound by their legal obligations to you as you are not considered a client. They do not create a file for you (they do not have to) and do not have to provide you with their final advice in writing. After all, you're free consultation is a brief chat that has been designed to 'win' you over.
If you decide to apply for your Australian visa on your own and it turns out you have recceived incorrect advice, who do you blame and who is held accountable for the negative outcome? It will be very difficult in this situation to prove you have received incorrect advice during your free consultation given that no agent-client relationship was ever created for you to rely on.
Your free consultation will essentially be treated as a ‘lead generation session’. Whilst you are being offered 20 minutes of your migration agents or immigration lawyers time, they are attempting to generate a new sale and client for their business. You need to remember they are not running a charity and their operating costs will need to be met somehow - this is what the free consultation to lure you in is really about!
There is nothing wrong with generating business as this is something ever business owner is required to achieve, however there is the right way and there is the wrong way to go about doing so. As a registered migration agent based in Sydney, I disagree with the 'free consultation' approach'.
I do know know how you, the reader will feel about being part of this sales process but in our experience we have seen that clients prefer a migration agent or immigration lawyer who give their clients the level of attention and professionalism they deserve.
It takes more than 20 minutes to review your visa application prospects and to provide an accurate advice on whether or not you qualify for migration to Australia. Not all cases are straightforward, and if it was as easy as giving potential clients a simple yes or no answer after a brief conversation then our jobs as migration agents or immigration lawyers will be too easy and we would not have any clients to begin with!
HOW DOES CNA IMMIGRATION PROVIDE INITIAL CONSULTATIONS?
We respect the fact that our clients seek an elite and professional service which goes beyond the boundaries of the first client meeting.
During our first meeting, whether it is in person, by phone or Skype - we get to know each other and talk about your case to gather as much information as possible. Your first consultation is not treated as a ‘lead generation’ session, but rather it is a fact finding mission aimed at establishing whether or not your Australian visa application has a reasonable prospect of success.
You first meeting with us will be of minimum 1 hour duration or as much time required to listen to obtain all the relevant facts.
We are highly experienced migration agents and are able to determine very accurately whether or we can succesfully help with your Australian visa - however there are occasions where further investigation and study of the relevant Australian Immigration Law's may have to take place before a final advice can be provided to you as a potential client. We engage in this further work on your behalf without any additional cost to yourself.
The fees payable to the Department of Immigration have reached unprecedented levels which have never been seen before during my career as a registered migration agent which has been ongoing since 2008. For example, the DIBP charge for an onshore partner visa is now a whopping $6,865.00 whereas you will be faced with a minimum bill of $ 4,630.00 for the offshore equivalent. If you have any chidren or dependent family members who will be included on your application then additional government charges will apply. If you decide to engage a migration agent or immigration lawyer to help with your case, these are additional costs you must also consider.
If your Australian visa application is refused, these fees are usually not refundable which takes you back to your initial consultation with your migration agent or immigration lawyer - What decision did you make when you first embarked on your journey to Australia?