Canada has an immigration target of bringing one million new permanent residents into the country between 2019 and 2021. If you are considering immigrating to Calgary, Alberta, you may be wondering whether you should hire an immigration consultant or attorney. The immigration process is lengthy and detailed. Read on to learn how hiring a professional can help you achieve successful immigration to Canada.
Immigration Consultant vs Immigration Lawyer
Anyone accepting payment for Canadian immigration services must be properly licensed. Here are the differences between these two professionals.
Immigration consultants must belong to the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council and should be able to show you their RCIC card. Consultants need a one-year certification to obtain registration. Consultants are less knowledgeable and have a more considerable margin of error in processing applications. Consultants are not lawyers, do not attend law school, and cannot advocate in court for you.
Attorneys must be a member of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society. To be an immigration lawyer, you must attend law school, earn a three-year degree and pass the bar exam to be registered. Your immigration attorney can accompany you to immigration interviews. If your application comes under judicial review, they have the authority to advocate in court on your behalf. Attorneys are held to a high ethical standard and must always work in their client’s best interests. Immigration lawyers are regulated and governed by provincial law societies; they do no have ICCRC numbers. Your attorney’s authority is their registration under the bar and province where they practice law.
While properly licensed immigration consultants are trustworthy, there is a high incidence of fraud in their industry. Verify all services you are receiving and be careful of anything that sends up a red flag, including:
Asking for payment upfront without a consultation
No contract or retainer to sign
Requesting money for a job offer
Guaranteeing a visa, permanent residence application, or work permit
If a consultant is unable to provide an ICCRC number
If an attorney is unable to provide a provincial law association listing
Attorney Abdul Souraya is a member of the Law Society of Alberta. You can go to the Law Society of Alberta website to verify his license to practice immigration law.
Benefits of Immigration Lawyer Representation
Canada’s immigration programs are complex and confusing. Immigration attorneys stay current on laws and changes and can help you walk through the process. If you have any of these conditions, you will want to hire an immigration attorney:
You have a criminal conviction
The above are all factors that could cause a denial of your application. Attorneys are familiar with immigration laws and regulations. You have a better chance of success in obtaining permanent residency, a work visa, or citizenship with a lawyer.
Successful Immigration to Canada
When considering an immigration consultant vs an immigration lawyer, the answer is simple. Phoenix Legal in Calgary can help you complete the application, answer your questions, and provide expert legal advice, increasing your chance of approval. Phoenix law is bilingual, providing services in English, French, and Arabic, making it easy for you to feel comfortable your needs are understood using your native language. Contact Phoenix Law today to start your successful immigration to Canada.