close menu

1st Contact urges caution when dealing with visa companies

by 1st Contact | Aug 11, 2013
  • Visa and immigration companies were in the media spotlight recently, when many disheartened clients of a particular global visa and immigration company came forward to tell their tales of woe on a South African current affairs television programme.

    Most of the people interviewed complained about handing over tens of thousands of Rands with the promise of a visa, only to discover later that they stood no real chance of ever securing a visa - and then being refused a refund on the grounds that they “did not qualify” for one.

    Reg Bamford, CEO of 1st Contact and Sable Group, urges visa applicants to take extreme caution, particularly when asked to hand over large sums of money at the very beginning of the process.

    “Every industry has its fair share of unscrupulous businesses and unfortunately the immigration industry is no different,” said Bamford. “The rule of thumb is – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. We urge applicants to do their research and find a reputable company with a long-standing track record.”

    It's always a good idea to check social media channels or customer service sites for previous clients' feedback, or to ask your prospective visa company for testimonials from some of their previous customers.

    No visa – no fee

    Since its inception in 1996, 1st Contact Visas has  taken the stance that they are first and foremost there to assist people, and make their lives easier. John Dunn of 1st Contact Visas explains: “While there are certain administrative costs that might apply at the beginning of a visa application process, we will never ask for large amounts of money on the off chance that a visa might be granted. We therefore have a "no visa – no fee" policy in place, which works very well for our clients and for us.

    "Two thirds of our new business comes from word-of-mouth referrals. So client service, and the ability to exceed our clients' expectations, is central to the success of our business. Our clients know they are not being ripped off, and in turn we enjoy referrals and repeat business from the people we assist. Even if we can’t assist a client the first time around, they come back to us – even many years later – because they know they are receiving honest and ethical advice.”

    For any advice or information, or to take our free visa assessment, please visit our website or send us an emai on

    1st Contact Visas are members of the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), responsible for regulating the Immigration industry within the UK. Being registered by the OISC ensures that members are trained and that their operations are audited for compliance.

    We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

    Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you’ll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.

    • visa application
      What’s the difference between a UK Marriage Visitor visa and a spouse visa?
      Nov 08, 2019  |  by John Dunn
    • Sydney skyline
      Invest in Australian property and earn permanent residency for you and your family
      Oct 18, 2019  |  by Sam Hopwood
    • Australia-look-see.png
      Everything you should do on your look-and-see visit to Australia
      Aug 12, 2019  |  by Sam Hopwood
    • Porto cityscape
      10 reasons to move to Porto, Portugal
      Jul 29, 2019  |  by John Dunn
    • Oxford-street
      Everything you ever wanted to know about applying for a UK Tier 2 (General) visa
      Jul 18, 2019  |  by John Dunn
    • Australia skyline
      Landed a temporary job Down Under? Get an Australian working holiday visa
      Jul 08, 2019  |  by Guest writer
    • sydney-australia
      Australian visa processing times: How long you’ll wait for approval
      Jun 27, 2019  |  by Sam Hopwood
    • British passport and citizenship approved
      British citizenship and indefinite leave to remain: Why you need to know the difference
      Jun 25, 2019  |  by John Dunn
    • seven-corners-image
      The importance of purchasing travel insurance with a Tier 4 UK student visa
      Jun 13, 2019  |  by Guest writer
    • kangaroos
      Two new Aussie visa routes for skilled migrants
      May 23, 2019  |  by Sam Hopwood

    South Africa

    Cape Town

    Regent Square
    Doncaster Road
    Kenilworth 7708 +27 (0) 21 657 2120


    25 Richefond Circle
    Umhlanga 4320 +27 (0) 31 536 8843

    United Kingdom


    One Croydon
    12-16 Addiscombe Road
    Croydon CR0 0XT +44 (0) 20 7759 7514



    9 Yarra Street
    South Yarra
    VIC 3141 +613 (0) 8651 4500

    Sable International is a trading name of 1st Contact Money Limited (company number 07070528), registered in England and Wales. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (1st Contact Money [PTY] Ltd - FSP no. 41900) and hold an Australian Financial Services Licence issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (1st Contact Group - AFS Licence number 335 126).

    We use cookies to provide the best website experience for you. Using this website means that you agree to this. How we use cookies.