Is the digital media a great thing, so much information is available on-line; Citizenship and Immigration Canada has an informative website that is clear and comprehensive  with all the application forms, kits, and guides that you will need.  As well, there are immigration Blogs and websites of people sharing their personal experiences; all to get ideas about how to handle your immigration case. So do you really need an immigration lawyer to handle your immigration case?

The truth is you do not need just any lawyer. Most lawyers focus on particular areas of law. Just as you would not only just consult your family doctor if you had cancer, you would go to a cancer specialist.  This could be said about having a general lawyer handle your immigration matters.

The same is true for Immigration Consultants. While many Immigration Consultants are good at immigration procedures, most do not have any legal training to think about the “why” behind the “how to”. Unless they work with an immigration law firm, they are not likely to have the expertise to recognize and deal with complex situations or problems that can arise.

When hiring a lawyer for your immigration case, you need one who knows the most up-to-date Immigration law and procedures, one who handles immigration cases all the time and not one that deals with immigration occasionally.  You need someone whom you can trust your family’s future with.

Consider this:

  1. The stakes are high.It is not just money; it is the years of time, energy, and your future plans that are affected. You cannot afford to make a mistake.
  2. You have have never done it before, and may never do it again. Canada’s immigration laws are complex. Do you really want to learn the law and procedures yourself, and use your family as a test case?
  3. Immigration laws have been dramatically overhauled.Since 2008, the Federal government has been overhauling Canada’s Immigration system. As seen in the dramatic increase in the News Releases, Operational Bulletins, and Backgrounders (which explain the rationale for changes).
  4. Changes to every Immigration Category: Since 2012, changes have been implemented or proposed to just about every class of Immigration, including:

 

Temporary Residents Economic Classes Family Class Citizenship
Study Permits Federal Skilled Workers Spousal Sponsorships Citizenship requirements effective 2015
Visitor Visas Federal Skilled Trades Parent/Grandparent  Sponsorships Changes to Citizenship are currently pending
Work Permits Canadian Experience Class
Investors

 

People that may have qualified for a Canadian visa last year, or even last month, may not qualify for the same visa today; though there may be new alternatives available for them.

As well, there has been increased enforcement against Permanent Residents who fail to satisfy their residency requirements, leading to complications with:

  • PR card renewals
  • Residency appeals
  • Citizenship applications
  1. You may not know if you have even made a mistake, especially a fatal one, until many months later. Having to start all over again means wasting all that time, not to mention the emotional physical and possibly the financial toll that this can take on you and your family.
  2. You need the right answers to your questions, answers which you can rely on. Information that you get from Canada Immigration’s Call Centre is often inconsistent, and sometimes unfortunately completely wrong.  Also, while there are many pages on Canada Immigration’s website, you need to find answers to your questions and your situation and then you need to understand how to apply them to your circumstances.
  3. You need to know the right questions. You do often have options available, but you are not aware of them.  You need to ask the right questions.  Our immigration lawyers at Pushor Mitchell review your case, consider your legal options, and then ask you the questions; all to process your case smoothly.
  4. There may be problems delaying your case, but you do not know about them. We regularly search your Immigration file to see if there are problems with your case and, if necessary, we will advise you as to the best solutions for these.
  5. The cost measured against the benefit. On average, it costs about 1 month’s salary to process a Work Permit, and about 1 to 2 month’s salary to process the Immigration case for a whole family.  For efficiency, effectiveness, and peace of mind throughout the process, we believe there are few investments that you can make which will yield better returns.

If you are interested in learning more about this or any other Canadian immigration program and how it is related to your personal circumstances, please contact the writer to book a consultation.

The writer, Sandra Hakanson, is a lawyer, practicing Canadian Immigration & Citizenship Law exclusively since 2008 and is familiar with assisting clients with all aspects of Canadian Immigration.  Sandra can be reached at sandra@ocana.ca or by calling 250-870-9088.

Please note that this is general information and should not be relied upon as legal advice.  As each situation is unique, we recommend that those who would like to know more about these changes or any other immigration options to contact us so that we may provide specific information based on your personal circumstances.

© 2017