Congratulations on making the decision to go abroad! Whether it’s for education, a job, a business venture or perhaps even for a vacation, you will need your immigration for a trip overseas. Choosing the right immigration lawyer is crucial.
You will want someone you can trust as immigration fraud is a serious threat in most countries. Here are some things you can ask a lawyer before hiring him.
- Qualification and Credentials
- Years of Experience
- Whether he has handled similar cases
- Billing Procedure and Cost
- Procedure after hiring the lawyer
Qualification And Credentials
Credible lawyers should have graduated from a recognized law school and must have a good reputation with their provincial bar association. You can check this by yourself on the province’s bar association website. Also do some background check of the law school to make sure that it is a recognized institution.
Even if your lawyer has graduated from a top Canadian law school, years of experience bring something else to the platter. An experienced lawyer will get the process done quicker, smoother and will be aware of any small glitches that can occur during the procedure.
You can be sure that your papers don’t get stuck up at some authorized representative’s desk. Ask your lawyer for how long he has been practicing law, especially Canadian immigration law.
Every immigration application may not be the same. If you have any specific causes of concern, like a criminal record or a communicable disease, then make sure that your lawyer has handled a similar case. In addition to that, you may also want to ask how many such cases he has handled. The more the merrier!
Billing Procedure And Cost
Once you set up a meeting with your prospective lawyer, he should ideally provide you with a contract that clearly explains the role of the lawyer, his duties, the confidentiality agreement, the expected payment for the services. It should also list out when you are to make these payments.
However, keep in mind that some costs associated with your application such as government processing fee, courier fees, etc., may not be covered in this contract. Though the procedural costs may be subject to change according the government’s rules, your lawyer must be able to provide you with a rough estimate of the total cost of the application.
Procedure After Hiring The Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer doesn’t mean that you can sit back and relax. You will still have to actively pursue your application. You should be clear on what services you can expect from your lawyer and what steps involve you. You can have a talk before hiring the lawyer to make things clear.
Detecting A Fraud
Yes, you read right. There are lawyers with fake credentials trying to make a quick buck. You should be vigilant in choosing a well-known and respected lawyer to make sure you don’t end up with no trip abroad and a huge loss of money.
You can stay away from frauds by checking their credentials and logging onto the province’s bar association website and performing the background check. You can also detect that a lawyer is trying to scam you if they are not willing to share their credentials or their billing procedures.
Also, if a lawyer is overenthusiastic about getting your application done, convincing you that he would be doing the hard work for you, then you should be suspicious.
Important: Difference Between An Immigration Lawyer And An Immigration Consultant
The IRCC authorizes two representatives: Immigration Lawyers and Immigration Consultants.
Immigration lawyers or Immigration attorneys have more legal experience than consultants. Moreover, they have to be in good standing with the provincial bar association. They would have attended law school for a period of three years. Most programs require an undergraduate degree. Lawyers are also required to pass the bar exam to be able to legally practice law.
In addition to this, immigration lawyers also attend interviews with you and in the rare case that you are brought under judicial review, whatever the reason maybe, a criminal record or biological defect, your will and should advocate for you.
Immigration consultants, on the other hand, are only able to legally represent you and are not allowed to advocate for you in federal court. They would have undergone a one-year certification program to become a consultant. It is not necessary for an immigration consultant to have an undergraduate degree or to have even attended law school.
Immigration consultants have to be registered with the IRCC. They can be approached for questions on the legal processes of acquiring immigration, but only a lawyer would be able to guide you through the nooks of the entire application procedure.
With this guide, you are all set for getting your application running and flying abroad. Happy Journey!