It will depend on your situation and personal preference, especially since there is no requirement or law mandating anyone looking to move to Canada to hire a lawyer. Know that it is possible to apply for permanent residence, get a work or study permit, or even gain entry into Canada temporarily, without the help of an expert.
However, it is genuinely advisable to use a lawyer, and in some cases, it is highly recommended. The process necessary to move to Canada requires a massive range of paperwork, bureaucratic hurdles, and policy-necessary considerations.
Even temporary immigration, like study or work permits, still comes with some of these issues, and they can make the process more complicated. Note that hiring or working with an experienced and reliable Canadian immigration lawyer can make the difference between a rejected and accepted application.
A lawyer will ensure your information is correctly noted to guarantee that there are no mistakes, and will also help you obtain vital supporting documentation to back your case. They also know the exact type of program you should apply under and how best to present your case. Although they do not work for free and their charges can be quite expensive, the fees you pay them should be considered as an investment into your future.
Top Reasons Why You Will Need a Lawyer to Move to Canada
Just as was noted above, the need for a lawyer when looking to move to Canada will depend on your situation and personal preference. Here are the top reasons why anyone should work with a lawyer when looking to move to Canada.
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You Intend to Apply Via A More Complex Immigration Program
You may need to work with a lawyer if you intend to apply via a complex immigration program like some provincial immigration schemes in Canada. For instance, the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) Express Entry Skilled Worker category expects applicants to be in the Express Entry pool, meet all BC-specific criteria, and also enter a BC-specific pool from where they can then be invited to apply to the province.
If approved, the applicant will need to accept the nomination in the Express Entry pool, where they will then have to be invited to apply for permanent residence. These processes can be quite complex and confusing, and not just the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program, the Manitoba program, and many other provincial programs can also be this challenging.
In addition, these programs can change requirements and eligibility criteria at any moment. Owing to that, if you are looking to avoid confusion during your application or you are already dealing with the ups and downs of the immigration process, you may want to seek the services of someone who lives and breathes it.
You Don’t Have Time or Don’t Like Filling Out Forms
This is, without doubt, one of the top reasons why people hire lawyers when looking to move to Canada. When applying to move to Canada, you will be expected to fill out some vital immigration forms, and these forms can be quite cumbersome and very complex to fill out.
By working with an experienced consultant or lawyer who is conversant with every single question on every last form, you can save yourself the stress of filling out the many forms that come with a visa application.
You Have Committed or Was Previously Convicted Of A Crime
You must not commit murder or rob a bank to be considered criminally inadmissible into Canada. Have it in mind that some minor crimes can put you on IRCC’s bad book and ensure that your application gets rejected. If, for instance, you have a conviction for breaking speed limits or petty theft, your application to move to Canada can be rejected by the IRCC.
However, there are ways to surmount these barriers and get your application approved, but it requires expert knowledge. Working with an experienced and reliable Canadian immigration lawyer can make the difference between a rejected and accepted application.
Possible Case of Medical Inadmissibility
According to Canada’s immigration policies, there are 3 possible reasons for medical inadmissibility: danger to public health, danger to public safety, and excessive demand on health or social services. Note that the cost threshold for excessive demand on health or social services is $24,057 in 2022.
This simply entails that now, if your expenses exceed $120,285 for five years from the time you enter Canada, then you may be considered medical inadmissible.
If you have a health concern, have it in mind that it is not really your condition in itself that will impede your application from getting approved, but rather the cost of treatment of that condition over time, or any inherent danger it may pose to others.
Although immigration lawyers are not medical practitioners, however, they tend to have experience in analyzing inadmissibility based on information provided by your doctor, and can also proffer solutions.
Your Application Have Previously Been Denied
This is another top reason why you may want to work with an experienced Immigration lawyer when looking to move to Canada. Note that once your visa or PR application to Canada gets rejected, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will forward a letter to you noting why your application was rejected.
Most times, applications are rejected because of incomplete or erroneous documentation, or because it was discovered that you weren’t actually eligible to apply in the first place.
Your application can also be rejected because the IRCC officer doesn’t believe you would or could meet the criteria of the program, like proving that you have the necessary funds or showing your intent to leave Canada after a temporary stay. Regardless of the situation, you wouldn’t want to make the same mistake again. Owing to that, you may want to leverage the expertise of a Canadian immigration lawyer.
Agreeably, you don’t have to work with an immigration lawyer when looking to move to Canada, but it might be a good idea. Note that having access to the vast range of analysis and practical know-how that lawyers provide can be very useful before, during, and after moving to Canada. A well-organized and concise application that addresses the key issues can be assessed more effectively, meaning applications are approved faster.