Author Topic: Are Immigration Lawyers Worth It?  (Read 728 times)

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Offline ieatdinoeggs

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Are Immigration Lawyers Worth It?
« on: January 09, 2018, 11:53:18 PM »
Me: I'm an American, U.S./Rep.Ireland dual citizen, never lived in Ireland, I was making $30k USD or so in the legal marijuana industry for 3 years until I quit after company wasn't doing so hot and am now unemployed so no income, No College Degree

Wife: American, U.S. citizen only, Internet Webcam Model gets paid in US$ as a 1099 Independent Contractor here in the states for U.S. and Canadian companies, makes about $30,000 USD a year, B.A. in Psychology

Target Destination: Belfast, N. Ireland
Savings $11k
Checking Goes between $3k and $5k

We were going to move to the Republic of Ireland, but we're finding out that it will be difficult for me to find a job where we wanted to move in Donegal.  Even the fast food places say their employees are long term and don't leave often.  Dublin and Cork are insanely expensive and still pay the same minimum wage as Donegal.  Now we're transitioning our goals to a city with similar advantages of Dublin but less than half the rental rates on the same island: Belfast.

I had a detailed plan of info on the move to Rep. of Ireland but some key questions that are very hard to get answered by Irish Immigration and the embassy here.  Questions like "Does 40,000 Euro income in last 3 years required to sponsor a non-citizen include a comparable amount in USD that I have earned here in the states?" and "Can my wife legally keep caming while awaiting her Stamp-4 visa" Go unanswered, or they respond with generic info without answering the question.  Questions key to keeping her from being deported or rejected upon arrival..  I thought I could put together a plan on my own but getting answers and info has proved to be almost impossible.

Before I go through all the precious time and energy of creating a similar plan for the UK/N.Ireland, would it not be a safer and more reliable to consult a professional, stop being a cheap ass, and cough up 1 grand to pay for a UK immigration attorney that can work with us on our specific unique situation?

Or have immigration lawyers landed you in hot water with bad advice, wasted your money, scammed you, or just been an all around waste of money?

Offline Sirius

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Re: Are Immigration Lawyers Worth It?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2018, 02:08:32 AM »

Before I go through all the precious time and energy of creating a similar plan for the UK/N.Ireland, would it not be a safer and more reliable to consult a professional, stop being a cheap ass, and cough up 1 grand to pay for a UK immigration attorney that can work with us on our specific unique situation?

If you move to the Republic of Ireland, then you will need to follow the immgiration rules of your country to bring your wife. I assume RoI will have a website that tells you what you must do to bring your wife.

Belfast is part of the UK, not the Republic or Ireland, and you are not a British citizen. You can use the EEA Regulations (the EU's "free movement of persons") to NI while the UK remains in the EU as the Republic of Ireland is an EEA country too.

For the EUs "free movement" to the UK, you only need to apply for a FP to bring your non-EEA citizen wife to the UK as a family member of an EEA citizen.
https://www.gov.uk/family-permit

You can stay in the UK for up to 3 months and after that you (the EEA citizen) must be what the EU calls a "qualifed person" at all times, for you and your wife to be able to remain lawfully in the UK under the EEA Regulations.

You will need to read this to ensure that you follow those EU rules in the UK.
"This document explains how UK Visas and Immigration assesses if an EEA national is a qualified person."

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/european-economic-area-nationals-qualified-persons.

Once you are a "qualifed person" you can both apply for an RC, which will make it easier for your wife to work. The RC is given for 5 years, in "expectation" that you (the EEA citizen) will remain a "qualified person" at all times. The end date on an RC doesn't mean anything as it becomes invalid if you (the EEA citizen) stops being a "qualified person" in the UK. However, these EU RCs will become invalid when the UK leaves the EU.
https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-a-uk-residence-card

As you will have heard, the UK is leaving the EU. You will have to wait to see if you and your wife will be allowed to remain in the UK on Brexit and on what terms that might be. Those who would like to be offered the chance to remain in the UK on Brexit, can Register with the UK from September 2018.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 02:45:53 AM by Sirius »

Online larrabee

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Re: Are Immigration Lawyers Worth It?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2018, 04:40:37 AM »
Hi, ieatdinoeggs, welcome!  :)

You won’t find many people (lawyer or not) who follow the EEA regulations more closely than sirius.  :)
March 28th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).March 7th 2018 ILR. YAY! March 21st NCS&JCAP appointment.

Offline vadio

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Re: Are Immigration Lawyers Worth It?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2018, 09:01:19 AM »
There are many stories on multiple blogs w/r/t lawyers and 'immigration advisors' who promise the earth, and deliver nothing.

I am sure there are also honest, knowledgeable ones about, but why bother unless your situation is very complicated. Even if you actually NEED a lawyer, beware any who say 'oh, don't worry about that, it doesn't matter' or anything similar. You are way better off following advice given by folks like Sirius.

Married December 1992 (my 'old flame' whom I first met in the mid-70s)
1st move to UK - 1993 (Letter of Consent granted at British Embassy in Washington DC)
ILR - 1994 (1 year later - no fee way back then!)
Back to US in 2000
Returned to UK July 2011 (Spousal Visa/KOL endorsement)
ILR - September 2011
Application for naturalization submitted July 2014
Approval received 15-10-14; ceremony scheduled for 10 November!
Passport arrived 25 November 2014. Finally done!

Offline Sirius

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Re: Are Immigration Lawyers Worth It?
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2018, 12:27:49 PM »
Hi, ieatdinoeggs, welcome!  :)

You won’t find many people (lawyer or not) who follow the EEA regulations more closely than sirius.  :)

Thanks, but I'm not an immigration advisor. :) The EEA regulations as so easy to understand, that there really is no excuse for not keeping to them at all times, so that they are always lawfully in another EEA country. Changes to the EEA Regulations in the UK and to the UK immigration laws and any new UK laws, are always published on the government's site. Everybody needs to keep up to date with the laws of a country, even citizens of that country.

I was just putting the present government links of the EEA regualtions for ieatdinoeggs to read too, so that they can see if the advice they might decide to pay for from a lawyer, is correct or is a load of rubbish.  ;D
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 12:39:27 PM by Sirius »

Offline jimbocz

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Re: Are Immigration Lawyers Worth It?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2018, 12:39:15 PM »
Why not move to Amsterdam?  Seems like it's more up your street than Ireland.  There's plenty of industry, even more after all the UK companies leave after Brexit, and plenty of English is spoken.  It's also a fantastic city.

Offline Sirius

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Re: Are Immigration Lawyers Worth It?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2018, 12:51:47 PM »
Why not move to Amsterdam?  Seems like it's more up your street than Ireland.  There's plenty of industry, even more after all the UK companies leave after Brexit, and plenty of English is spoken.  It's also a fantastic city.

Are you moving to Amsterdam, rather than register to see if you will be allowed to stay in the UK?

You might want to take legal advice before you do anything rash, to see if they can advise you on how to tackle your problem now that the EU have confirmed that there will be no more "EU rights" in the UK on Brexit.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 01:13:35 PM by Sirius »

Online larrabee

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Re: Are Immigration Lawyers Worth It?
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2018, 04:27:31 PM »
Thanks, but I'm not an immigration advisor. :)

Sorry Sirius, I didn’t mean to infer that you were!   :)
March 28th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).March 7th 2018 ILR. YAY! March 21st NCS&JCAP appointment.

Offline ieatdinoeggs

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Re: Are Immigration Lawyers Worth It?
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2018, 11:45:50 PM »
If you move to the Republic of Ireland, then you will need to follow the immgiration rules of your country to bring your wife. I assume RoI will have a website that tells you what you must do to bring your wife.

Belfast is part of the UK, not the Republic or Ireland, and you are not a British citizen. You can use the EEA Regulations (the EU's "free movement of persons") to NI while the UK remains in the EU as the Republic of Ireland is an EEA country too.

For the EUs "free movement" to the UK, you only need to apply for a FP to bring your non-EEA citizen wife to the UK as a family member of an EEA citizen.
https://www.gov.uk/family-permit [nofollow]

You can stay in the UK for up to 3 months and after that you (the EEA citizen) must be what the EU calls a "qualifed person" at all times, for you and your wife to be able to remain lawfully in the UK under the EEA Regulations.

You will need to read this to ensure that you follow those EU rules in the UK.
"This document explains how UK Visas and Immigration assesses if an EEA national is a qualified person."

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/european-economic-area-nationals-qualified-persons [nofollow].

Once you are a "qualifed person" you can both apply for an RC, which will make it easier for your wife to work. The RC is given for 5 years, in "expectation" that you (the EEA citizen) will remain a "qualified person" at all times. The end date on an RC doesn't mean anything as it becomes invalid if you (the EEA citizen) stops being a "qualified person" in the UK. However, these EU RCs will become invalid when the UK leaves the EU.
https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-a-uk-residence-card [nofollow]

As you will have heard, the UK is leaving the EU. You will have to wait to see if you and your wife will be allowed to remain in the UK on Brexit and on what terms that might be. Those who would like to be offered the chance to remain in the UK on Brexit, can Register with the UK from September 2018.

What a great write up!!  A thousand thank yous to you!!  I do know the UK is leaving the EU and of course Belfast is in the UK at the moment, but what was interesting to me to hear from someone else online is that the UK and RoI have agreements that allow Irish citizens to live/work there and vice versa, and apparently these agreements predate the EU and don't involve Brexit at all.  I don't think its talked about much anymore because until Brexit, Irish citizens would have probably just gone the EU route anyway if its easier.  Your information is invaluable though, thank you so much for the write up.

Hi, ieatdinoeggs, welcome!  :)

You won’t find many people (lawyer or not) who follow the EEA regulations more closely than sirius.  :)

Thank you!  I look forward to bouncing around this forum and hearing from all of you.  Well worth the £1 for the community.

Why not move to Amsterdam?  Seems like it's more up your street than Ireland.  There's plenty of industry, even more after all the UK companies leave after Brexit, and plenty of English is spoken.  It's also a fantastic city.

Well a big appeal of Ireland is that even if N. Ireland is part of the UK, the ROI government recognizes 3 years of residence in N. Ireland as fulfilling the residence requirement for my wife becoming an Irish citizen also.  Maybe we're making that to be more important than it should be, but we all know international relationships can change using Brexit as an example, so a 2nd passport in 3 years might be useful.  Plus even if Dutch speak English for the most part, I'm sure entry level jobs would want me to speak Dutch.  I'd be more than willing to learn, I have a pretty decent German background that could help, but that would take a year or two to get where I need to be for employment.

Offline movilla

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Re: Are Immigration Lawyers Worth It?
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2018, 09:16:46 AM »
@ieatdinoeggs. You originally mentioned Donegal. What is the interest in moving there? In Northern Ireland, Belfast is the main city (population ~340K) but Derry (or Londonderry depending on your tastes) is on the north-west of Northern Ireland and just over the border from Donegal. It has a population around 80K. For most locals, movement between Donegal and Derry is second nature, with quite a few people living in Donegal and commuting to work in Derry.

With an Irish passport you should be entitled to live anywhere in the island of Ireland. Quite a few people in Northern Ireland only have Irish passports. I'm from NI and only had an Irish passport initially.

It may be worth calling Citizens Advice (https://www.citizensadvice.co.uk). They're a Northern Ireland charity that can offers some basic immigration pointers.

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/nireland/immigration/

M.




Offline jimbocz

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Re: Are Immigration Lawyers Worth It?
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2018, 10:48:19 AM »
Who said anything about entry level jobs?  You are a highly experienced marijuana grower who knows a lot about the huge industry in the US.  You aren't looking for a job at McDonald's and the rules that hold back the locals don't apply to you.  If you believe this, and live it, it will become true. Europeans that you meet will simply not know how to treat you, and if you tell them that you are a high powered international executive ex pat in the marijuana industry they will treat you as such.  At least it works for me!

I

Offline jimbocz

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Re: Are Immigration Lawyers Worth It?
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2018, 11:27:15 AM »
Movilla, what do you think about my opinion that Ireland is a very conservative place?  I'd imagine being a Web cammer would be severely frowned upon  and smoking pot is very illegal.  Even the slightest possession or smoking would be enough to get denied for a passport or citizenship. 

Lots of us on this forum who are not UK citizens live in fear of some small misdemeanor getting us deported. 
Or am I over reacting? 

Offline Sirius

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Re: Are Immigration Lawyers Worth It?
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2018, 11:48:24 AM »
but what was interesting to me to hear from someone else online is that the UK and RoI have agreements that allow Irish citizens to live/work there and vice versa, and apparently these agreements predate the EU and don't involve Brexit at all. 

The agreement is there to help the Irish government and is for Irish citizens who move to the UK from the Republic if Ireland (the Common Travel Area).

As noted on the forums since the Leave the EU vote, in the past the UK has not been careful at checking where Irish citizens who arrive in the UK, have come from. It was expected that this would change now there was a Leave vote.  The latest from the UK government on Brexit, does state the Irish CTA agreement will continue as far as the UK is concerned, so the government do seem to be making that distinction now.

Irish citizens who move to the UK from outside the CTA, are still an EEA citizen and  can use the EU's "free movement" and follow those rules i.e. need to be  a "qualified person" at all times to live in another EEA country.


However, whether the EU will allow the RoI to still use this UK/RoI Common Travel Area agreement, is another matter. Other EEA countries have also relied on the EU's "free movement" to the UK for their citizens: 1 in 4 of all EEA citizens using free movement from the other 27 EEA countries, have come to the UK. 

As the RoI leaders and papers have stated since they knew the UK was having a vote on whether to leave the EU,  the other EEA countries can object to this type of free movement to the UK still being allowed for the RoI and not for them too. The EU has equality laws. The EU can just tell the RoI that their citizens can no longer have this type of free movement to the UK,  even though the UK will still allow this for the RoI. The Irish PM has been to other EEA countries and asked them to treat the Republic of Ireland as a “special case” but nothing has been agreed.


However, that UK/RoI agreement does not extend to any family members who are not an Irish or British citizen anyway, even if they do come from the Common Travel Area. You will have to use the EU laws for your wife and be her EEA sponsor. i.e. you will need to be an EU "qualified person" at all times to use "free movement" for your wife to have a "right to reside" in another EEA country as your "Direct Family Member".  It’s all in that link I gave. EU laws end on Brexit.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 01:42:38 PM by Sirius »

Offline Sirius

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Re: Are Immigration Lawyers Worth It?
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2018, 11:52:51 AM »
Sorry Sirius, I didn’t mean to infer that you were!   :)

I know that  ;D and that you were just being kind  :) but I wanted to make it clear.

Offline Sirius

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Re: Are Immigration Lawyers Worth It?
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2018, 12:29:46 PM »
I do know the UK is leaving the EU and of course Belfast is in the UK at the moment,

That's been an interesting debate on some forums between the Irish in NI and the RoI.

Those in NI saying that their hearts may be with Ireland but that they will have to choose between leaving a rich country where they are 2% of the population and joining a poor country where they will be 50% of the population. NI is given about 10 billion a year from the rest of the UK and has lots of jobs provided from the rest of the UK (state worker jobs moved to NI).

Those in RoI saying they don't want to give their state worker jobs to NI and they don't have the money to give NI billions a year.

Interestingly, the EEA country that takes the most from the EU budget is Poland and that is only 10 billion a year.

Then consider that the EU now wants to make all gifts from the EU budget, a loan instead and that the loan will be withheld if they don't do what Brussels require. It's not looking good for all the poor EEA countries. There is a chart on this German online magazine to see who these (many) poor EEA countries are- 

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/brexit-to-cost-european-union-billions-a-1111724.html

« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 12:39:13 PM by Sirius »