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Canada Immigration Skilled Worker Program FAQ

How the Immigration Process Work?

Why Choose an Immigration lawyer when I can do it myself?

Which professional should I choose? Lawyer or an Immigration consultant?

Is your representative a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident? Does his status matter?

Are your documents well prepared/presented?



How the Immigration Process Works?

Assessing Your Case
Before making a decision to immigrate, you should have your case professionally assessed to determine whether you are eligible to immigrate
Signing the Retainer Agreement with your Lawyer
You should always sign a retainer agreement with your lawyer before proceeding with your case. The retainer agreement sets out the legal fees and the lawyer's responsibilities in representing you
Gathering your Documents
It is important that you gather all documentation which is relevant to your case. Your lawyer should provide you with a list of documents you will need.
Completing Application Forms
Your lawyer should be able to assist you in completing your application forms. Most lawyers have software whereby application forms can be completed on the computer. .
Preparing Application Package/Legal Submissions
After gathering your documents and completing the forms, your lawyer will prepare the documents in an organized presentable fashion. Your lawyer will also prepare legal submissions to the visa officer on your behalf
Submitting the Application to the Visa Office
Your lawyer should be able to advise you as to which visa office to submit your application. You will have to pay your immigration processing fees at this time.
Monitoring Application as it is Processed at Visa Office:
It is important to make sure that your application is being processed according to the visa office's published service standards.
Interview Waiver
Notification of Interview
Application Refused:
If your case is very strong, this visa office may waive your interview. In most cases, interviews are required
If an interview is required, the visa office will notify you of the date and time of the interview.
If, based on your application and documenation submitted, the visa officer determines that you do not qualify even if an interview is conducted your application will be refused.
 
Interview Preparation
Appeal Decision to Fedreal Court of Canada or Reapply
You should know what to expect at your interview and be prepared to answer questions about your case.
 
Attending at the Interview
Your interview will be at the visa office where your application was submittited. You will be given advance notice as the date and time of the interview.
Interview Successful
Interview UnSuccessful
Letter ofAcceptance
Refusal Letter
You will be notififed in writing that you have been accepted for immigration.
You will be notifed in writing of the refusal of your application for a visa
Issuance Of Visa
Appeal to Fedreal Court of Canada or Reapply



Why Choose an Immigration Lawyer when I can do it myself

Before making up your mind on which your representative would be, you may wonder whether or not you even need one. You may know or have heard how about people who obtained their visas or Immigration documents without the assistance of a lawyer or consultant. On the other hand, you may have heard of cases where someone has gone it alone only to find that, for some inexplicable reason, their visa application was refused.

It is our position that; applying for a visa without the benefit of legal representation is a risk that is not worth taking. This is especially if you and your family are serious about successfully achieving the very essence of applying i.e. successfully immigrating. Granted that it is possible for you to represent yourself in some simple immigration matters, the truth is that in doing so, you may complicate what initially appeared to be simple.

Immigration laws are constantly changing and could be complex if not tactfully approached. You may have some basic understanding about what is involved in applying for a visa, but unless you practice daily on this area of law, you will not be aware of all the issues which will impact on your case. Moreover, even if you apply on your own and get your visa, you may have created some problems that could impact on your status long after your visa has been issued. What ordinarily seems like a successful visa application may turn out to be just the opposite.

The question one is tempted to ask if leaving it all to the experts solves the whole problem. Our answer to this question is NO. We are of the view that is important that applicants educate themselves about the application process and work along side their lawyer. Both applicants and their lawyer working together will greatly enhance the applicant’s chances of success. Applicants know more of their circumstances and their ability to effectively communicate these to their lawyer who would apply these set of facts and circumstances to the Immigration law is the building blocks of a successful visa application. Successful immigration cases result from bringing applicants and immigration professionals together to work as a team.


Which professional should I choose? A Lawyer or A Consultant?

Applicants should at least have background knowledge of the Visa process in order to be able to reconcile the information being given to them by the individual holding himself out as immigration professional when they are really not. There is a great deal of fraud in immigration practice today. By having a basic understanding about immigration, applicants can arm themselves against being victims of fraud.

There are essentially two types of immigration representatives offering their services to clients: Lawyers and Consultants

Consultants

Always ask if your representative is a lawyer or Consultant. Consultants are immigration representatives who are not lawyers. They may or may not have acquired formal training. They are often called paralegals, law officers and, immigration specialists. Immigration consultants are now regulated by the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants. The Society is responsible for regulating the activities of Immigration consultants who are members and who provide immigration advice for a fee.

Immigration Lawyers

Immigration Lawyers on the other hand are lawyers who practice primarily or exclusively in immigration law. They generally have a greater level of expertise than a general practitioner. Because they practice in this area of law on a daily basis, they are more abreast with the ever evolving and developments on immigration law. Clients interested in hiring a lawyer with experience in immigration law should always ask the lawyer what percentage of their practice is dedicated to immigration law to determine if they practice immigration law on a regular basis.

Is your representative a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident? Does it matter?

Yes it matters. Before hiring a representative, you should always ask whether he or she is a Canadian Citizen or a Permanent Resident. This is important because Citizenship and Immigration Canada has made it a policy to deal only with representatives who are Canadians or Permanent Residents . It is becoming more frequent for Canadian Consulates and High Commissions to ask a representative to provide proof of their status in Canada before dealing with them. You should therefore always ask to see your representative’s Canadian passport, Certificate of Citizenship or landing document before hiring him or her. If your representative is not a Canadian or Permanent Resident, he or she may not be able to effectively protect your rights.


Are Your Documents Well Presented/Documented?

Many people mistakenly believe that all that is involved in applying for immigration is completing some forms and paying a fee. Nothing can be further from the truth. Completing your immigration forms accurately and honestly is essential of course but what really may make the difference between a successful application and one that is refused, are the documents that included in your application that are in support of your case. Not only do your documents serve to substantiate the information that you have filed in on your application, but they also tell the visa officer reviewing the case, your story and pleads your case also. The documents show the visa officer that not only do you qualify for a visa but that there is a real live person behind the application who really needs a visa. Consider the case of an applicant who applies for Canadian permanent residence under the Independent/skilled worker category. The Independent /Skilled Worker Category is for people applying for immigration based on their own personal credentials such as their education, employment , experience etc. Applicants applying for immigration under this category are required to complete a particular application form (Form IMM0008). This form asks the applicant to provide some personal information including the applicants’ employment history and educational background. These questions are very important and must be completed properly. Now it is clear that the applicant’s own documents in such a case would go a long way to substantiate the applicant’s claims made on the application form. For instance employment references from previous and current employers would help prove that the applicant really performed the duties of his or her occupation and has worked in that occupation for the length of time that the applicant claims. Not only this but such documents also often reveal personal aspects of the applicant that the standard immigration forms simply cannot show. In the case of employment references, the letters often say something nice about the applicant in terms of his or her performance at work. These “personal touches go a long way to make the applicant real in the minds of a visa officer. Of course, what is most important is to provide credible and trustworthy documents that are authentic and relevant to your case. However, documents are by nature personal items that do more than just prove who you say you are; they tell the officer that you are a unique person and not just a file with a number. Proper presentation of your documents is also important. The more organized your documents, the less risk there is of frustrating the visa officer by making it difficult for him or her to find the relevant information. Your goal as an applicant (or your lawyer’s goal) should be to make the visa officer’s job as easy as possible. Nothing is worse than presenting a disorganized application that annoys a visa officer. What documents are you required to include with your application? The answer depends on the nature of the application that you are submitting. For example, the documents that are required in support of a Study Permit application are much different than those required for an independent/skilled worker application. Generally, you asked to include documents proving your identity such as birth certificates or national identity cards. If you are married, you should also include your marriage certificate. Do you have to submit original documentation? In most cases, photocopies of documents are acceptable but be prepared to submit original employment references and police clearance certificates. Each application has specific requirements for documents. It is important to carefully check what is required. Documents tell your story and plead your case at the same time. Make sure to include all relevant documents in support of your immigration case.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: The following has been prepared by Roy C.Amadi, Barrister and Solicitor for the sole purpose and intended reference by interested individuals and is not intended to create an attorney-client communication. This write-up maybe reproduced for the personal non-commercial use of interested individuals on the express or implied condition that the contents herein are neither edited, modified nor altered in whole or in part, directly or indirectly without the express written consent of the author herein.

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