Most people will tell you that when moving overseas it isn’t necessary to hire or consult with an immigration lawyer (if you’re British, ‘solicitors’) and that’s actually true. Problem with that is you run the risk of having your visa application denied and ultimately it will costs you hundreds if not thousands of dollars (pounds) to appeal and potentially reapply. Worst case scenario, you really screw it up and you’re denied entry into England (or your country of choice), permanently. Yeah, that’s so not my cup of tea.
We opted to go the route with an immigration lawyer and although I’m very happy and thankful we did, it’s a little disconcerting that someone we’ve never met in person has to know just about EVERYTHING about us and our relationship (including our shared emails). Trust me, I’ll get over it and for the most part I already am, because the goal is to simply be with Si and we’ll do what we need to in order to make that happen. Properly, legally, and happily.
Our lawyer is really nice and she’s done this numerous times so she obviously knows what she’s talking about. Like I said, you don’t have to hire a lawyer but if you do, you have a more solid platform to stand on because they walk you through the entire process and they tell you what information you need to gather and when. I really do not want to jinx anything and say it’s fool-proof but it sure feels better having someone on our side who knows what she’s doing in case something does go awry.