The Brits in Toronto team had some basic questions about using a Canadian immigration lawyer and reached out via Twitter to Supervising Attorney Marisa Feil at Foreign Worker Canada for some quick answers. (Disclaimer.)
What are the pros of using an immigration lawyer?
Choosing the right representative for your Canadian visa application is serious business. FWCanada will ensure that your application receives impeccable attention to detail. Our mission is to provide high quality legal services, in a transparent and efficient manner.
Unfortunately, fraudulent and ineffective practice exists in most industries and Canadian immigration is no exception. Only lawyers who are members in good standing of a Canadian bar association, or members of the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants are legally authorized to represent clients for the purposes of Canadian immigration.
Lawyers can answer your questions, ensure all of the required documents are included and advocate on your behalf if something happens to your case.
Realistically, what are the costs involved and are there programs or subsidies to help with this?
It really depends on the lawyer that you choose to retain — fees can be all over the board. To my knowledge, there would not be any programs or subsidies unless the applicant qualifies for legal aid.
What are the top three mistakes immigrants make in their application process that they should avoid?
1) Using old forms: if your forms are out of date, your application will be returned. 2) Not presenting your case in the most favorable light; there is a difference in presenting a reference letter stating you were employed for a period of time and a letter that lists all of your duties and a detailed explanation of your responsibilities. 3) Thinking you can get away with not providing a document that is on the list of required documents.
Do you have any tips to speed up the immigration process?
Documents, documents, documents — the more clear an application is to the officer assessing the application, the better it goes. The more the officer has to dig for information, the more likely it is to take a long time.
Are immigrants to Toronto getting a fair chance to improve their life, for example, job opportunities?
It has been reported that these days most immigrants are locating in Western Canada and that there are a lot of opportunities for those looking to settle in Toronto because the large volume of workers that used to settle in Toronto are moving west.
Thank you, Marisa!