Many migration agents (especially online agents) claim that they will provide a
"free first consultation". Usually, this is simply a form with a series of dropdown
lists which will tell you, based on certain answers, whether you appear to be eligible
to make a particular migration application. With such 'free assessments' you never
speak to an agent (let alone a migration lawyer), and so you are not receiving any
actual advice. The response you receive is based on your responses to a set of questions.
Even if you appear to qualify for a particular category of visa, you will then be
required to transfer money to the agent to commence the application.
CFIL charges a first consultation fee. There are a number of reasons for doing so:
1. You are protected / We are protected
When you pay the first consultation fee, it means that you become our client, and
that we will stand by the advice we give you. Being our client means that we are
required by law to retain your records for 7 years, and there is no doubt from either
side that we have provided you with comprehensive initial legal advice in an official
capacity. While it does not mean that we have formalised the relationship (that
is agreed to act on your behalf in relation to your application by entering into
a costs agreement), you can be certain that we have kept a record of the initial
advice we have given you, and that we will stand by it.
2. You can trust us
Because we are lawyers, your first consultation fee is deposited into the Carina
Ford Immigration Lawyers Statutory Trust account. This account is subject to annual
independent audits by the Law Institute of Victoria.
3. We don't need to offer a free consultation service
We know that when you get advice from us, it is expert legal advice, and we are
confident that it is accurate every single time. It has
always been our policy to charge for our clients' first consultation. Quite simply,
other migration agents offer a "free first consultation" as a means of getting clients
"through the door". Our expertise and the quality of service mean that we do not
need to offer a free first consultation. Clients seek us out because we are the
best at what we do, and we will never advise a client to proceed with an application
that we know will be unsuccessful.
Payment of the first consultation fee can be made by cash or credit card directly
into our Trust Account. The details of our account can be provided upon request.
Carina Ford Immigration Lawyers
28 Hall Street Newport VIC 3015
PO Box 2539
Footscray Vic 3011
tel: (+61 3) 9391 0677fax: (+61 3) 9391 0655