So you’re interested in Canadian immigration but you have a lot of questions. Deciding what program applies to your circumstances and what documents may be required can be challenging and confusing. You know you need help navigating the process but how do you decide what sort of professional guidance to use? ‘
Are you on a limited budget? Are you a skilled worker seeking to apply for Canadian Experience Class or a Canadian employer who needs to hire temporary workers but is unsure of LMIA requirements? What essentials should you consider and how do you find reputable help for a reasonable price?
Remember, a hefty price tag doesn’t guarantee quality work.
The Long Journey to Canada
Immigrating successfully requires a clear understanding of Canada’s 11 different immigration programs. Knowing where you fit in and what preparations are needed to apply are important if you are going to succeed.
Are you already living in Canada but want to learn more about Parents Sponsorship? Are you a caregiver or someone who is self-employed? Is your goal temporary residency or permanent residency? Selecting the correct category under which to apply and following all the steps correctly will determine whether your application is accepted or rejected.
Read on for a summary of the 11 categories:
- Family Sponsorship: If you’re a Canadian citizen, are registered under the Canadian Indian Act, or a permanent resident, you’re eligible to sponsor relatives or adopted children.
- Caregivers: The Home Child Care Provider Pilot or Home Support Worker Pilot are two ways you can apply for permanent residence if you meet eligibility requirements and have a job offer.
- Express Entry (Canadian Experience Class): If you want to live permanently in Canada and apply for a skilled job, you may be able to apply under Express Entry.
- Provincial Nominees: Workers with the skills, education and work experience to contribute to the economy of a specific province or territory are eligible.
- Atlantic Immigration Pilot: Foreign skilled workers who want to immigrate to Atlantic Canada and international graduates who want to stay in Atlantic Canada after they graduate through this program fit this category.
- Start-Up Visa: Innovative entrepreneurs who can create jobs for Canadians and compete on a global scale are eligible.
- Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot: Skilled foreigners who want to work and live in one of the participating communities fit this category.
- Refugees: Refugees who are fleeing torture, risk to their life or risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment may be eligible.
- Quebec-Selected Skilled Workers: Skilled workers who want to become permanent residents of Canada and live in Quebec should consider this program.
- Self-Employed: Self-employed individuals who want to immigrate to Canada permanently are eligible.
- Agri-Food Pilot: This program helps address the labor needs of the Canadian agri-food sector. This program for pilots provides a pathway to permanent residency.
The Job of the Immigration Lawyer
So you’re thinking of hiring a lawyer…
In Canada, lawyers must graduate from a university program, obtain a Juris Doctor/Bachelor of Law degree from a recognized law school, pass a bar exam, and be licensed in the province or territory where they work. Immigration lawyers are the only ones who can represent their clients in federal court if there is an issue with an application, while consultants can only go up to the appeal tribunal level. This distinction, however, is only important if your immigration case will be complex and has potential to be brought under judicial review.
Immigration lawyers typically charge between $150-$200 an hour, but costs can be much higher, so do your research. Lawyers are governed and regulated independently by provincial law societies. It’s important to understand that experience and ability to interpret the law are key to the successful processing of any immigration application, so do your homework carefully.
Should I Hire an Immigration Consultant?
Canadian immigration consultants are regulated by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). Similar to lawyers, Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) are educated in their area of expertise and must meet requirements to legally represent clients.
Consultants must be citizens or permanent residents of Canada, graduate from an accredited immigration practitioner program, complete a language proficiency test, have no criminal record, and successfully complete a pre-admission test for the . Additionally, RCICs must complete 16 hours of continuing professional development every year in order to remain certified.
Adding further validity to the consultant position, people who begin the ICCRC certification process after August 1, 2020 will be required to complete a new 16.5 month post-graduate diploma program prior to certification. Stated plainly, immigration consultants are highly trained professionals with the expertise to help you decipher the Canadian immigration system.
Except for the difference in representation in federal court (mentioned above), when it comes to practicing immigration law, consultants can offer the exact same services as lawyers. However, consultants tend to be much more affordable. Hiring a reputable immigration consultant with a proven record to help navigate the immigration process is the most sensible option.
Consultants tend to be more resourceful and have time to understand the nuances of individual immigration programs. Unless your case is likely to have extreme complications, it almost always makes more sense, in our opinion, to hire a consultant.
Initial consulting fees can start as low as $50. However, selecting the right consultant for your immigration journey can make a huge difference in your personal experience. Make sure to choose carefully. Canadian immigration consultants are assigned a seven-digit ICCRC number when they are certified. When hiring an immigration consultant, verify that their ICCRC number is valid.
How Immigration Services Can Help
Whether you’re planning to immigrate to Canada or hoping to learn more about sponsoring a family member, choosing the right immigration service will make or break your personal experience.
Green Light Canada’s licensed immigration consultants are known for their professionalism and responsiveness, and have handled some of the most complex immigration cases with a 95 percent success rate. All our licensed immigration consultants can be found in the registry of Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants. Our consultants will provide you with the highest chance of success by crafting a cost-effective immigration plan with a money-back guarantee if you don’t qualify. Green Light Canada’s expertise can improve your chances of a successful immigration experience while providing peace of mind. Get started on your immigration journey now with Green Light Canada.