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We can help with your immigration matter.
Unfortunately, we have seen many meritorious cases refused as a result of self-representation or under-representation (by an inexperienced or negligent previous representative). For instance, genuine marriages have been refused due to minor inconsistencies during a visa interview and even where the couple has had children, they have been refused on appeal. Post-graduate open work permits have been refused for minor payment or upload errors with no mercy whatsoever by the Department. Entire Permanent Resident applications have been returned or refused due to minor deficiencies in employer letters of support (sometimes relating to job duties that have been copied word-for-word from the government website description of all jobs in Canada or where the duties stray too far from the government description’s bullet points).
For corporate immigration, we have seen refusals at ports of entry into Canada which we know based on our experience should be avoided at all costs due to a pattern of refusals of genuine cases.
In our experience, when immigration officers err and refuse improperly, it is important to have a very strong application upon which to ask for reconsideration or appeal.
Our reputation was built on a very simple approach: honesty. If your status has expired, it is unlikely that our Firm will recommend a Temporary Resident Permit simply because it’s possible to request one and take a fee from you. We will similarly not likely advise you to make a refugee claim simply because you have overstayed and heard it’s your last option to keep working here. We will never offer to sell you a Labour Market Impact Assessment or facilitate a fake sponsorship. Similarly, we will probably not suggest filing an appeal where you have not met your residency obligation at all (there are exceptions, for instance, for children).
Having said that, rather than offer 3 options which will all likely fail, we often are able to present one viable option that is cost-effective and with a higher chance of success, but often involving some additional effort on your part.
If you approach us when it is too late after being badly misguided by others, even if it is possible to file applications or appeals, we will strongly encourage you not to hire us and to save your money.
If there is one thing that has grown our client base (unintentionally but fortunately for us), it has been this: simple honesty.
We have a reputation for lightening fast response time. You will often receive an email instantly and if you wait longer than a day, you are welcome to escalate to the lawyer on file or Founder of the Firm personally and you will receive a response in no time. You are also welcome to call or email the Founder or any lawyer or Team Lead or Case Analyst at your convenience.
Here are my thoughts on this subject from “What makes for a good immigration lawyer” by Canadian Lawyer Magazine (https://www.canadianlawyermag.com/practice-areas/immigration/what-makes-for-a-good-immigration-lawyer/360106):
While many believe they can file their applications themselves, this attitude underestimates the “extraordinarily complex” nature of immigration law, says Ravi Jain [a] certified specialist in immigration law.
“Many people believe that they can save money by filing their application on their own only to later learn that they filed their application at the wrong place or with incomplete materials,” he says. “This can lead to delays, which costs the applicants time and sometimes money… An immigration lawyer can ensure that a case is filed in a complete way and can sometimes assist in speeding the case along by avoiding unnecessary back-and-forth.”
“Immigration law also changes quite rapidly. What can seem like a fairly simple situation may in fact be quite nuanced. An immigration lawyer can ask the right questions and provide advice as to all available options.”
“It may also be useful to look at whether the lawyer has taken the time to volunteer with lawyers’ associations and whether the lawyer is regularly invited to speak as an expert at conferences,” says Jain.
“Mentorship is also extremely important,” he says. “Has the lawyer worked with other respected immigration lawyers in an environment where knowledge has been shared over many years?”
Given the hyper-specialization of the legal field, Jain recommends choosing a lawyer who exclusively practices in immigration law.
And immigration law is not like death and taxes, when it comes to work permits, permanent residency or refugee status, there are no sure things. Jain says prospective newcomers should avoid any lawyer guaranteeing success.
“No lawyer with integrity will ever guarantee that a visa or permit will be issued because at the end of the day, it is not the lawyer who issues the visa or permit but an immigration official and those officials sometimes make mistakes.”
Fees are always a concern for clients, says Jain. But clients should be weary of those offering these services for a bargain.
“An experienced lawyer at a good firm will obviously cost a little more. Unfortunately, immigration law is saturated with consultants who are not qualified lawyers and while some charge less (and do not provide service at the level of a lawyer), there are those who exploit their own communities by charging extremely exorbitant fees, much higher than lawyers.”
It is common for our lawyers to conduct around 8 consultations per day. Our Founder has kept up this pace for several decades. It’s a safe bet that we’ve seen your particular situation before countless times. Based on our reputation for honesty, excellence and leadership, it is simply not possible to offer free consultations. To be fair to everyone who has paid before, whether a large corporation or international student on a budget, and given the high demand, we must charge a fee.
Please read the above answer to “I have been misguided by previous representatives. What is your reputation and how do I know I can trust you?”
Even if we have advised that you should not hire us or anyone else, we cannot issue a refund. This is because we have provided honest advice and we have taken the time to study your case and advise you based on many years of expensive legal education and experience. When we advise against proceeding, we believe you should take our advice and save yourself thousands of dollars. Even when it’s not what you want to hear initially, we have had many positive experiences where people have thanked us for our honesty and have referred others to us. Also, if you have received a consultation, you have taken a timeslot from someone else who may have needed urgent assistance and so we have lost the ability to help that person. We believe that the consultation has had value, even when we turn down your case at this time. Note that you will always have a credit on file if we are able to assist you in the future.
If we do agree to take your case, we will provide a credit and so the consultation fee which has been paid will be deducted from the legal fee for the service we will provide assuming no other discount has been offered (e.g., when being retained for multiple matters at once).
Yes. Even for litigation matters where the associate lawyer is assisting with much of the legal memorandum writing and prepping for the hearing, Mr. Jain is always involved to discuss high-level strategy and to share his extensive experience and up-to-date knowledge of the latest court cases and policy and operational direction of the Department and how all of this applies to your case.
As you can see from his biography, Mr. Jain has been extensively involved with leadership with the Canadian immigration bar and has liaised with many Ministers of Immigration, the Minister’s key office staff and with Senators, Members of Parliament and senior civil servants in charge of policy and operational matters. He brings all of this experience to bear on his work. This is not to say he “calls in favours” but rather that he has his finger on the pulse of all that involves immigration law, including as it intersects with other areas of law and including US immigration law.
We reserve timeslots which are not initially offered or viewable by the public for truly urgent matters. Also, even if you have an upcoming ‘deadline,’ we can often ask for an extension of time – whether for litigation or to respond with respect to your application in process.
Very rarely is it worthwhile to ask for a reconsideration. Mr. Jain has been advised by very senior civil servants that most reconsideration requests are routinely denied. Having said that, it may be worth asking for if a minor error was made or a refusal is based on a simple document was missing which is readily available. Strategically, it may be worth asking for reconsideration so that the denial of reconsideration then itself forms a basis for an appeal.
If an application was very poorly put together, it may be best to re-apply. In some cases, an appeal is appropriate to preserve the limitation period for filing the appeal and to learn more about the basis for refusal (refusal letters often provide little information but appealing allows us to see the officer’s internal notes). If it appears the officer made an error, we can continue with the appeal. We often recommend appealing refusals of student visas, visitor visas and work visas given re-applications often have a low chance of success whereas an appeal has a higher chance.
We have noticed many people approaching us who have tried to file on their own or used another type of representative who have experienced delays or received letters expressing concerns about the application. By professionally filing your application, we avoid unnecessary back-and-forth and allow the officer to review and approve without delay.
Where an application is taking too long and it is not simply due to the government’s annual levels plan priorities, it may be possible file a ‘mandamus’ application in Federal Court which involves a judge ordering the Department to finalize an application.
No. Sadly, we have seen many instances where people have received a returned application with a check mark indicating a deficiency and assumed they could fix that one problem and be totally fine. We’ve also seen refusals where only one issue is mentioned. In both cases, please understand that the officer has simply identified the FIRST problem with your application. There could be several more! They are under no obligation to ‘teach’ you how to file a proper application by identifying all the errors. Simply put, officers are not schoolteachers, and they are not paid to fully grade your application.
Though we live an age of instant communication, do not expect the officer to call you on the cell phone you provided or email you. We have seen people approach us with applications returned for the smallest of errors. These mistakes are not ‘material’ to the application. They don’t affect the substance of it. Please be aware that the people returning these applications are not highly trained immigration officers but rather clerks who are following a checklist.
We should also advise that there is a cynical view as to why this is allowed to happen. It’s no secret that governments like to trumpet fast processing times. Did you know that returned applications do not count as a ‘processed’ application? Thus, if an application is returned three times over 6 months, the processing time for that application only counts as of the day it was finally accepted into processing – which provides better optics for the Department.
We can help with your immigration matter.