Immigrating to Canada involves a variety of processes, and if you are not well informed about Canadian immigration laws, you might expose yourself to the risk of having your application rejected. This is where immigration lawyers might come in handy.
Basically, there is no place in the Canadian immigration law that obligates using immigration lawyers. However, if you decide to run your application alone, you subject yourself to greater difficulties down the road.
Benefits of hiring immigration lawyers
Here are some of the advantages of hiring an immigration lawyer:
- Immigration lawyers will help you interpret immigration laws, and explain your rights and responsibilities throughout the application process. They guide you and help you strategize on how to go about every step of any complicated process.
- They help you with your paperwork and help you organize what documents you need to get on your own.
- They help you scrutinize all the information you provide to ensure it is free from errors and inconsistencies. The moment immigration officials find any irregularities in your story; you have certainly created a huge problem for yourself.
- Immigration lawyers ensure you submit all necessary documents on time. They make sure you don’t overlook even the smallest necessary requirement and increase the chance of success.
- Even though hiring immigration lawyers does not add any weight when dealing with immigration authorities, there is a high chance of success when you seek the assistance of an immigration lawyer.
With these little benefits, it shows that the role of immigration lawyers is really demanding and important.
This is why it is necessary to be choosy when looking to hire an immigration lawyer to prevent falling into the wrong hands.
How to find the best immigration lawyers in Canada
There are different ways to find an immigration lawyer. However, here are some of the best ways to find reliable immigration lawyers in order to reduce your risk and increase your chances of success:
This is the easiest and most reliable way to find immigration lawyers. If you have a relative or friend whom you trust, you can simply ask them to recommend any reliable immigration law firm to you. They can as well simply help you ask their acquaintances for recommendations.
You can also visit the Canadian Law Society’s website to find a list of immigration lawyers on their referral list. However, know that the society does not endorse any of the immigration lawyers, nor do they guarantee anyone on their list. You can check the list and do your research on any of the immigration lawyers on it until you find a suitable lawyer.
Searching online is probably the most common way of finding immigration lawyers, but it is a risky thing to do.
Just because a website is good-looking or contains lots of content does not mean the lawyer is good. Immigration lawyers, like other professionals, can hire a freelance writer to create content for their websites. However, you can find out what others have said about them and whether or not they are recommended by searching online. Also, you should be careful about what you read as some of the reviews might be bought and not credible.
Nevertheless, searching online can help you find a good lawyer to hire.
How to choose the best immigration lawyers
When sourcing for immigration lawyers, it is important to know that there are quacks and credible ones among them. Therefore, in order to choose the best among them, there are certain attributes you need to take note of.
Some of these attributes include:
Though many of those who help immigrants migrate to Canada are not Canadians nor do they live in Canada, you need to ensure that the immigration lawyer is a Canadian resident (through permanent residence or being a citizen). You must also make sure he lives in Canada.
However, note that it is not compulsory to be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, so you don’t need to ask for his passport or PR card.
However, you can ask questions such as
- full legal name
- name of his law firm
- postal address and phone number
- details if he is in the law society’s directory,
- if he has a Canadian address and contact number, etc.
All lawyers must have at least a law degree.
However, not all immigration lawyers have law degrees from Canadian law schools. There are immigration lawyers who studied outside of Canada. These immigration lawyers therefore need to complete the accreditation process known as the NCA process (i.e., National Committee on Accreditation process).
Immigration lawyers with law degrees from a non-Canadian law school must complete the NCA process before being eligible to function in Canada.
When interrogating an immigration lawyer, you can ask for the kind of academic degree he or she possesses and if he or she is licensed to practice in Canada.
The more experienced your immigration lawyer is, the better and easier the application process will be. You should try as much as you can to hire an experienced immigration lawyer.
Ask if the lawyer has any form of testimonial from any client he has worked with. Search online, visit his or her website, social media handles, etc., to find out if anyone has a success story to share about him. Immigration lawyers who have years of experience and have lots of positive reviews are the safest to work with. You don’t want to risk your money and time working with a newbie without experience or testimonials.
A decent immigration lawyer must have at least one social media presence or online visibility, even if it is just a website. One of the challenges in the immigration service industry is the vastness of ghost consultants who easily exploit those who seek their services.
A simple website or LinkedIn profile bearing the immigration lawyer’s bio, qualifications, experience, and contact information is necessary, especially when he deals with foreign clients who might never see him or her in person.
Once you have the lawyer’s name, simply search the internet with his full name. You will find a lot of information to read about him, such as his LinkedIn profile, Facebook profile, publications, website, etc. (if he or she has them).
The purpose of this is to ensure you are dealing with a professional lawyer and not a ghost.
Nothing shows a professional’s authority more than having contents published online or in print form today. Immigration lawyers nowadays produce a lot of content, both online and offline. Some of them may hire freelancers to write for them, while some write their contents themselves.
The quality of the content can easily be used to judge how professional the immigration lawyer is and how knowledgeable he is about immigration laws.
You can also tell from there if the lawyer is up-to-date with the latest immigration trends in Canada from how he or she expresses his or her views.
These are just some of the attributes you can use to determine if an immigration lawyer is worth hiring or not.
The immigration process can be quite exhausting sometimes. However, with the help of experienced immigration lawyers, you can experience some relief. However, finding credible immigration lawyers could be tricky as the rate of immigration fraud keeps increasing. Follow the steps mentioned in the article and you will lessen your risk.