Top Five Things To Look For When Hiring An Immigration Consultant Or Lawyer
An immigration consultant or immigration lawyer is someone who practices immigration law and who will help and advise you throughout the process of obtaining your Canadian visa or deal with more complex issues such as inadmissibility, appeals, criminality issues, refugee applications, deportation, and so forth.
There are around 100 immigration programs in Canada and to select what is the right program for you can be overwhelming. They are fully trained and knowledgeable in the requirements of the application process and will guide you through it with ease. Hiring a professional will reduce your stress and optimize your chances for success by applying to the correct program and in the right way. Professional counsel will ensure that your application is submitted correctly in the first go and thus improving your chance of success.
Before hiring a professional, do as much research as possible. Ask for referrals and search the internet. With the number of immigration professionals out there, narrowing down on one can be a daunting task. To make things easier for you, here’s a list of the top five things to look for in an immigration consultant or lawyer.
1. What is the reputation of your immigration counsel?
As with any profession, references are a testimony to not only quality but also the reputation of a professional. Not all immigration consultants or lawyers are equal in terms of skills and experience.
Check their Google reviews and if possible, talk to previous clients to gauge their level of professionalism and competence. Make sure your immigration consultant is a member of the ICCRC, or a lawyer is a member of their Provincial Bar Association in good standing.
Another way to confirm your selection is to set up a consultation session. They should be able to answer all your questions, be approachable and able to answer your questions.
2. What is the experience of this consultant or lawyer in my type of case?
Make sure the professional you are hiring is up to date with the rules and regulations and is entirely familiar with the process of immigrating to Canada. You must look for an experienced immigration expert in order to ensure that there are no mistakes in your application process. Talk to them about your particular case and find out if they have the means and skills necessary to get your visa granted in the first attempt.
Check that you hire a professional who is working on immigration matters full time. Some professionals only do this part-time and may not be really up to date or have the depth and breadth of experience and commitment to the profession that you need.
3. How easy is it to reach them once I hired them?
The immigration process is often long, tedious, and slow. Hiring a professional that is easily accessible will make the entire process much more bearable. Look for a professional that has the skill and experience to complete the work on time and resolve issues quickly.
4. How much is the service going to cost in total?
This is an important investment in your future. Some applications are done online, this DOES NOT mean it is easy rather what is easy is to make a mistake. How important is the success of your application to you and your family? Ensure that you calculate the total cost in your own currency and ensure that it is affordable and in your budget. A very small mistake will lead to a rejected application and for some mistakes can be a bar to apply for five years because of unintended misrepresentation.
You want to make sure you get value for the investment. Also, remember that you get what you pay for. A very cheap professional may not have the actual skills and experience you are looking for and may be out of business quickly. You should compare the cost of consultants and lawyers to understand what is reasonable and what is expensive. Understand the payment structure, find out when you will be expected to make payments, and lastly, ensure that you have an agreement or contract that outlines all the fees and is signed by both parties.
5. Is the immigration consultant or lawyer legitimate, and how many complaints have the consultant had against them?
An immigration consultant MUST be registered with the ICCRC and a lawyer MUST be registered with the provincial bar association. Check with their respective regulator to ensure they are registered. Have they had complaints made against them by previous clients? Do a little research before you decide on hiring a consultant. Anyone else offering services is doing so illegally. Be careful of the well-meaning ‘’friend’’ who offers help, this can have disastrous consequences for your application.
If you’re looking for an immigration expert in Calgary, AB, reach out to Briere Immigration Law Services Ltd. I work with integrity, and as an individual, what sets me apart from the others is that I hold myself accountable. I also attribute my success to being available for my clients and doing what I say I will do. My persistence has enabled me to help many people reach their Canadian immigration dream. I offer services such as sponsorship applications, economic immigration (like Express Entry), Appeals, temporary work, and study permits. I provide my services to clients across Canada and Alberta, including Calgary, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Airdrie, Brooks, Canmore, Edmonton, and the rest of the world.