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But do I need an Immigration Lawyer to Represent Me?

By Michael Niren August 14, 2009 2 min. read

Q.  My family intends to apply for Permanent Residence and we are deciding whether or not we should hire an immigration lawyer to represent us. What are the pros and cons?

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A.  The question as to whether to retain the services of an immigration lawyer to help you with your immigration or visa application is of course a personal one. However, having being involved with thousands of immigration and visa applications over the years, I can tell you that all to many applications are refused, delayed and mishandled by just about everyone involved in the process from the government authorities to the applicants themselves.

The role of an immigration lawyer as I see it is to facilitate the immigration application process to its conclusion, making the procedure as “painless” as possible. Further where an immigration or visa application is refused, the lawyer should vigorously fight for his or her client’s rights where there is a chance to overturn the decision on appeal.

Moving to or working in another country is a major and sometimes life changing decision. Getting it right is obviously important. In a perfect world, it would be nice to just fill out a form, submit it and wait for your Visa. The immigration system is, unfortunately, far from perfect–despite what you may be lead to believe.

Even Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) itself sadly contributes to the “myth” of easy access. The first page of their website discusses the need to hire legal counsel for the immigration process. Their message is beware of fraud and that special treatment will not be given to you just because you hired a lawyer.

While it is true that applicants should be careful about who they hire to represent them and to always check their representative’s credentials, hiring a competent immigration lawyer certainly helps more than hurts! I think CIC is doing a disservice to applicants and their families by skewing the message here. In fairness, CIC should also publish their immigration refusal rates on their home page which would reveal the real picture.  Many of our cases deal with immigration application refusals from people who decided to go it alone thinking that the government is on their side; that all they have to do is follow the instructions on the website or application kit and pay a filing fee. Again we do not live in a perfect world. Application decisions are made by real people not computers.

The message here is hiring an immigration lawyer is up to you. But all told, the pros in doing so certainly outweigh the cons.

Eddie de Witt Avatar

Eddie de Witt

When you get the opportunity to go to the US for work from abroad, then I would say VisaPlace would be your best option to get all your documents in place. My 5 star feedback is based on the help I received from Danielle Grbic as she was really professional, I would straight away ask for Danielle to be in charge of your process. From the time that Danielle took over my case I felt confident that it will go well and at the end it went smoother than expected. On my own I would never have been able to get this internal work transfer done as a L1 visa and was best for the professionals to take charge. After arriving in the US, Danielle was still happy to assist with documents and advise. A huge thanks to Danielle and VisaPlace

Sweet Ness Avatar

Sweet Ness

I spoke with Lilly last week and she’s incredible. Very informative and you can tell she definably cares about her job. She wasn’t pushy at all and she’s there to help you figure out if this service is right for you. I’d recommend contacting VisaPlace if you’re thinkin of traveling internationally and you have questions about the different types of permits.

Peter Gianakas Avatar

Peter Gianakas

I had a great experience with Andrew Diamond from The Visa Place. Andrew was very knowledgable and helped us every step of the way. When we had a discrepancy with my spouse’s Visa Andrew helped us navigate the system in the USA. He even offered to speak directly to the customs and border control officer to help us iron out the situation. Overall the experience was very good and smooth. I highly recommend Andrew and his services at The Visa Place.

Vanessa Gomes Avatar

Vanessa Gomes

I spoke with Lilly last week and she’s incredible. Very informative and you can tell she definably cares about her job. She wasn’t pushy at all and she’s there to help you figure out if this service is right for you. I’d recommend contacting VisaPlace if you’re thinkin of traveling internationally and you have questions about the different types of permits.

TK B Avatar

TK B

Great firm. They helped me with my visa at a reasonable cost. They were very responsive and most importantly compassionate about my situation. I have no hesitation to recommend them to others

Nirmal Singh Avatar

Nirmal Singh

Really the best immigration law firm. I got visa with their help, they helped me at every step. They answered every single question. I ‘d recommend 10/10

Krista Sparkes Avatar

Krista Sparkes

Extremely satisfied with the professionalism, expertise, efficiency, speed and thoroughness at which my file was managed. Fadi & Danielle are true class acts! Their response times were fantastic (especially during a high-stress period), their quality of work was phenomenal, and their willingness to go the extra mile (without hidden costs, no less!) to prepare me for my work permit interview was unmatched. I strongly recommend VisaPlace to anyone seeking legal counsel as it relates to cross-border services. Highest Regards, Krista

VisaPlace is the perfect place to start your path to immigration.