Please click on to our FAQs to get answers to the questions many people ask us! Of course you can always contact us with any questions we have not answered.
- How Does the Immigration Process Work?
Step 1: Assessing Your Case
Before making a decision to immigrate or apply for a visa, you should have your case professionally assessed to determine whether you are eligible
Step 2: Signing the Retainer Agreement with your Lawyer
Once you are told you can get a visa and you wish to hire a lawyer introduced to you by VisaPlace to help, 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.
Step 3: 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.
Step 4: Completing Application Forms
Your lawyer should be able to assist you in completing your application forms. Our lawyers use software whereby application forms can be completed on the computer.
Step 5: Preparing your Application Package
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
Step 6: Submitting the Application to the Visa Office
Your lawyer should be able to advise you as to what visa office to submit your application. You will have to pay your immigration processing fees at this time.
Step 7: Monitoring the 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. If not, your lawyer should be pro-active to make sure your case is processed on time.
Step 8: You may have an interview
Some visa cases require an interview with a visa officer. If an interview is required, the visa office will notify you of the date and time of the interview. Your lawyer should prepare you for your interview.
Step 9: Letter of Acceptance or Refusal Letter
After your interview or if you don’t have one, you will be eventually notififed in writing that you have been accepted for immigration or refused.
Step 10: Issuance of Visa or Appeal because of a Refusal
If you get approved for your visa, congratulations! And don’t forget to thank your lawyer! But if your case is refused, you should consider your options for appealing the refusal. Do not delay if your case is refused because there are often deadlines to file applications.
- Why choose an immigration lawyer when I can do it myself?
Before making the decision to choose an immigration representative, you may wonder whether or not you even need one. After all you may know people who have successfully obtained their visas without hiring an immigration lawyer or consultant. You may have heard stories of people simply filling out the forms, paying the government fees and they have been issued their visa.
However, you may have also heard of cases where the adventurous have gone it alone only to find that their visa application was refused. These stories are just that: stories.
Our position on applying for a visa without the benefit of legal representation is that it is a risk just is not worth taking. While it is true that it is possible for you to represent yourself in some simple immigration matters, the reality is that in doing so you are taking a big gamble.
Immigration laws are constantly changing and are very complex. You may have some basic understanding about what is involved in applying for a visa, but unless you are a full time immigration professional, you will not be aware of all the issues which may 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. So what seemed like a successful visa application, may turn out to be just the opposite.
Does this mean that we think you should leave it all up to the experts? No way.
We believe that it is important that applicants educate themselves about the visa process and work with a professional as a team. Both applicants and immigration professionals working together can maximize the applicant’s chances of success. Applicants know more about their personal circumstances than the professional, whereas the professional knows more about immigration law. Successful immigration cases result from bringing applicants and immigration professionals together to work as a team.
- Who should I choose? Lawyer or Consultant?
Applicants should also know something about the visa process to protect themselves from individuals representing themselves as immigration professionals when they are really not. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of corruption in the immigration business. 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 are immigration representatives who are not lawyers. They are often referred to as paralegals, law officers and, immigration specialists. Some consultants are former immigration officers who have left the government to work in the private sector. Immigration consultants are now regulated by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Counsel (ICCRC).The ICCRC is responsible for regulating the activities of immigration consultants who are members and who provide immigration advice for a fee.
The ICCRC grants memberships to only those individuals who have demonstrated their knowledge and ability to advise, consult and represent people who wish to seek Canadian immigration, have passed the Society’s Knowledge and Ethics Test and have demonstrated their good character.
Lawyers often act as representatives for applicants with immigration matters. Unlike consultants, lawyers in Canada are required to have a university education and to complete law school. Lawyers are regulated by the Provincial or State Bar in the jurisdiction in which they practice. The fact that lawyers are regulated provides their clients with protection against unethical and incompetent practitioners
Immigration Lawyers are lawyers who practice primarily or exclusively in immigration law. They generally have a greater level of expertise than a general practitioner who may merely dabble in the field. 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.
VisaPlace Group only works with licensed US and Canadian Immigration Lawyers. Of course VPG Lawyers have support staff who may include consultants and legal assistants but the responsibility for your visa case always falls on the VPG lawyer.
- Who is VisaPlace? How can they help?
VisaPlace.com was founded by Michael Niren, an immigration lawyer, who had one mission: “to provide clients with affordable, effective and expeditious immigration solutions.” He started his immigration law firm back in 1997 and grew it to become Niren and Associates, an award winning and leading law firm in Toronto. During his years of immigration experience, Michael has developed what he considers to be the “best practices and procedures” for Canadian and US Visa Cases.
VisaPlace.com, backed by the latest technology in case processing and its network of trained immigration lawyers known as the VisaPlace Group (VPG), represents Michael’s vision of providing the very best, most efficent and cost-effective mmigration and visa services available.
Welcome to the VisaPlace Group (VPG)
All our cases are handled by competent and experienced immigration lawyers who belong to our immigration group. We have licensed award winning Canadian and US lawyers who adhere to the highest standards of client service. VPG Lawyers are all trained to be very responsive and know how to deal with government officials effectively in order to maximize outcomes for all visa applications.
The VisaPlace Group uses technology, a wide range of advanced case management tools and of course top talent to ensure that your Visa case is handled with the upmost care.
Our lawyers have:
- Over 40 years of combined experience;
- A proven track record for handling all US and Canadian visa cases;
- Fully licensed US and Canadian lawyers
- Access to the latest access to technology making the visa experience smoother and more cost effective for their clients
We know that these days, the Canadian and US government has created complicated barriers to entry. Immigration rules and regulations are becoming more and more complex. In order to qualify to relocate to Canada or to the US, you must present your case properly to an immigration officer who has the authority to grant or deny your admission.
We have made it our primary goal to assist you in getting your visa to Canada or to the US. And if you are facing removal, we are here to help you resolve your immigration problems. Our job is to help open the door so that you, your relative, friend or employee can live, work or study in Canada or the US.
- What documents do I need?
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 you include in your application that are in support of your case.
Not only do your documents serve to substantiate the information that you have filled in on your application, but they also tell the visa officer reviewing the case, your story. 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.
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 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. In most cases, the applications contain instructions on which documents are required for a particular application. Generally, you are 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. Make sure to include all relevant documents in support of your immigration case.
- What should I expect from my immigration lawyer?
The lawyers of the VisaPlace Group (VPG) are committed to resolve your legal problem in an efficient, cost effective manner.
If you are applying for a Visa or entry to Canada or the United States, our lawyers are trained to assess your specific legal issues, outline solutions that work and take the necessary steps to get you, your family or employees the necessary paperwork for Canadian or US legal status.
You should expect friendly, professional and timely service from your VPG Lawyer. You should expect be informed every step of the way during the visa application process. And most importantly, you should expect results!
- What are your legal fees?
Legal fees are always quoted to you in advance. Immigration cases are charged on a flat-fee basis not on an hourly rate so there is no “running tab”. This way you know exactly how much your case will cost with no surprises! We will also outline any additional office disbursement charges as well as applicable government application fees. VPG lawyer’s fees are very competitive. Since VPG lawyers restrict their practice only to immigration law, they handle a wide range of cases which keep fees low and reasonable without sacrificing service.
- How do I know if you can help me?
Before taking you on as a client, your VPG Lawyer will always conduct a comprehensive assessment of your specific situation. This involves listening to you, understanding your background, history and objectives. Only after getting a clear idea of your unique issues, can we provide you with solutions that will work. And we will tell you whether we can help, what steps must be taken, how long and at what cost.
We have an online assessment form which is the first step towards understanding your case. Fill it out and expect to be contacted within one business day!
- If I hire a VisaPlace Group Lawyer what is the next step?
After conducting your immigration assessment and if you are eligible for a visa, your lawyer will ask you to sign a “Retainer Agreement” that clearly outlines the nature of the case, the legal fees and other costs as well as the role of your lawyers and what we expect from you as their client.
A VPG Lawyer will then send you a detailed list of documentation by email guiding you on what is needed for your file and will begin gathering the necessary information in order to complete any application forms, legal submissions or other paperwork necessary. After your file is complete and ready, your lawyer will send it to you for review and signature. And then your application will be submitted to the immigration authorities on your behalf, ensuring that your file gets into the correct hands and is processed in a timely manner.
Of course, during the application process, your lawyer will keep you informed on what’s going on and you can always contact them any time with your questions and concerns. Once your Visa or permit is ready to be issued, they will make sure it’s delivered to you so things go smoothly when you are ready to make the move.
- Can you help people from anywhere in the world?
The VisaPlace Group has attorneys licensed to practice in both US and Canada immigration law. They are centrally located in Toronto but can process cases for people from all over the world. This means a VPG lawyer can represent you no matter where you presently live.
Further VPG Lawyers are totally accessible by phone, email, fax and video conference.The nature of immigration practice does not require the inconvenience of your physical attendance at our offices.
VPG Lawyers represent clients throughout the United States, Canada and even overseas. Though the use of the latest technology, they are equipped to handle all immigration and visa cases for you regardless of your current location.
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"VisaPlace helped us navigate the immigration landscape and they directed us to a great law firm and great lawyers. All I can say is "thank you" for getting my visa quickly. VisaPlace knew exactly what kind of legal team could help where other's couldn't. The fees were reasonable and everything went smoothly. I would highly recommend VisaPlace and the immigration attorneys they work with to anyone wishing to move to Canada or to the US."
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