When thinking about the immigration process to Canada, many people wonder whether they even need an immigration lawyer at all. Truly, it can be done on your own if you do your research and follow the steps correctly. However, most people find that hiring an immigration lawyer can make the process easier, more convenient, and less stressful overall. How so?
Let’s look at what an immigration lawyer actually does and why you might want one on your side!
Let’s be honest: It can be difficult to determine whether or not you need an immigration lawyer. After all, isn’t asking for help with anything legal always a bit of a touchy subject?
When dealing with Canadian immigration issues, you may find it difficult to manage everything alone. Especially, if English is not your first language and you don’t have close friends or family nearby to assist you. However, a reliable immigration lawyer is out there somewhere to assist you.
Here are some ideas on how to find one…
Who Needs an Immigration Lawyer When Moving to Canada?
Canada is a vast and complex country with a lot of regional differences. Moreover, they have different laws and regulations in each province. The Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website is filled with information on how to move to Canada. However, there are also several people you can reach out to for professional advice.
In fact, it’s highly recommended that you do so before making your move. That’s where an immigration lawyer can come in handy.
Immigrating to Canada is not as difficult as in some countries such as the United States. However, it does require following some rules and procedures that are unique to each situation. Your immigration lawyer will be able to ensure that you don’t miss anything important during the process.
What an Immigration Lawyer Will Do for You
An immigration lawyer will help you understand your options. He or she can also tell you what to expect during every step of your application process.
A good immigration lawyer will not only handle your legal work but be able to answer questions about things like What happens after I apply for residency status? What are my chances of getting a work permit? How long does it take to complete the process? What is the cost of family sponsorship? If I want to immigrate but don’t have an employer, what can I do instead? And so on.
The answers are many and varied, so make sure you find a reliable immigration lawyer as soon as possible—preferably before you start working on your application.
The Roles of an Immigration Lawyer
The role of an immigration lawyer is to advise and represent you throughout the entire immigration process. They will help you choose the right immigration program for you. Moreover, they may do the paperwork on your behalf or at least review it. Most importantly, they ensure that you submit the required information on time.
When it comes to Canada’s visa requirements and application process, there are so many forms and documents. If you are applying yourself then it is highly likely that you miss a step somewhere along the way. Even if it was an inadvertent mistake.
Immigration lawyers understand these forms better than anyone else because they have seen them hundreds of times. And they know exactly what kind of information goes where. Hence, they will make sure that you don’t submit an incorrect application.
The role of an immigration lawyer becomes more critical in some situations. The Canadian immigration department may require extra information you don’t know about. Similarly, a lawyer can rescue you in many situations.
How Much Does an Immigration Lawyer Cost?
Immigration lawyers are not cheap. In fact, they are expensive. One of their main duties is to help you apply for permanent residency or citizenship.
The most basic services include filling out application forms and writing personal statements but can also extend to representing clients at interviews and filing appeals if applications are rejected. The average immigration attorney charges between $200 and $300 per hour, making it easy to see how services quickly add up, especially if your case is complex.
If your immigration case is simple, you could try doing some or all of the work yourself using online resources. It will help you save a lot of money.
Choosing an Immigration Lawyer
An immigration lawyer can provide expert advice and support, ensuring you get through your application as painlessly as possible. However, choosing an immigration lawyer is no easy task.
So, how do you know if your immigration lawyer is reliable or not? Immigration lawyers are not a regulated profession. While you can’t technically check credentials, there are steps you can take to find out if your potential immigration lawyer is reliable. Below are some tips for you to recognize a reliable immigration lawyer. Moreover, you will learn how to find the best lawyer.
First of all, always go with the quality. Whenever you are hiring a lawyer, make sure you get the best person on your side.
As mentioned earlier, immigration lawyers are quite expensive. However, it doesn’t mean that you compromise the quality. Consider it as an investment in yourself and choose the best for your immigration application. Surely, it will pay you in the long run.
Hiring a reliable immigration lawyer to take care of all legal matters regarding immigration is vital. You may have heard many people saying just hire a good immigration lawyer, but it may not be as easy as it sounds.
The best way to ensure that you are working with a reliable lawyer is to check their credentials. Check their website to get information and use other resources to confirm it. For instance, you can check from the local state or provincial bar where they practice.
Do they have a negative reputation in the bar? Check their record and make sure they are not involved in any fraudulent activities.
Ask for References
While finding an immigration lawyer, you usually have a consultation meeting to discuss your needs. If possible, request a list of references from former clients. A reputable lawyer shouldn’t hesitate in giving you a few references as they must have some happy clients.
Contact them directly to get their opinion on their experience with your potential lawyer. It will give you an idea of how they will handle your immigration application.
Interview the Shortlisted Lawyers
For example, ask how long they have been an immigration lawyer and what types of cases they have handled. Check out their expertise and ensure that they are the best fit for your immigration case.
Since immigration law is constantly changing, your immigration attorney must stay up-to-date with changes as well. Make sure that your potential partner knows relevant information regarding visas and policies affecting citizens moving to Canada.
Ask Yourself If You Are Comfortable?
Apart from the technical aspects, you need to make sure that you are comfortable with your potential lawyer. Do not ignore your gut instincts about the lawyer while hiring them.
In addition, you may have some preferences about your lawyer such as their gender, language ability, etc.
Immigration is a time taking process that could take from months to years. Hence, you need to make sure that you are comfortable with the lawyer in the long run.
Negotiate the Fee
Once you have finalized a lawyer, do not simply hire them. A small negotiation can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run. Most lawyers are open to negotiations and their fee terms and conditions.
More importantly, you should compare the fee with other shortlisted lawyers. Check their terms and conditions and evaluate the value for you. It will help you make the right decision.
A reliable immigration lawyer is really important when applying for a visa or citizenship in Canada. They know all of Canada’s rules and regulations and can ensure that you fill out every form correctly.
This is extremely important as there is no room for error when dealing with government paperwork. You want to be sure that every box on your application forms has been filled out and signed properly. Otherwise, it could take months before you hear back from immigration officials. Hence, it is recommended that you get a professional lawyer by your side while initiating your immigration application. Good luck.