Why should I hire a lawyer or consultant to prepare my Canadian immigration application?

It is worth noting the following comments by a member of the senior judiciary in DP (USA) 2012 EWCA Civ 365

“the frequent changes of the law in the immigration field…which are almost impossible for lawyers to keep up with, let alone ordinary people.”

Hiring a Canadian Immigration Lawyer or Consultant does not result in guaranteed acceptance of your Canadian immigration application but it has been proven to reduce the chances of having your application returned or refused outright. Canadian immigration laws and procedures are extremely complex. It is worth noting that:

*Over 25% of files submitted by applicants without the assistance of a representative are returned for being incomplete.

*Over 45% of all Canadian immigration applications submitted without the assistance of a representative are refused.

By having your Canadian immigration application refused or returned you risk wasting several months as well as forfeiting the Canadian government application processing fees. You will have to resubmit your application (assuming that you still qualify) to the back of the queue.

Therefore, a well-qualified Canadian immigration lawyer can save you time and money in the long run.

Who can represent me with a Canadian immigration application?

You may only be represented by one of the following:

  • Lawyers and paralegals who are members in good standing of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society,
  • Immigration consultants who are members in good standing of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC).
  • Quebec Notaries

These people are called “authorized” representatives. Citizenship & Immigration Canada will not deal with representatives who are not members of one of the above groups.

What is the ICCRC?

The Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) is a Canadian government organization created with the objective to regulate Canadian immigration consultants. Members are known as Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants or RCIC’s. Sterling Immigration are proud members of the ICCRC, our license number is R507916.

How do I verify that a company or individual is a member of the ICCRC?

Each member will have a certificate of authorization and a photo identity card. Their license number with begin with an “R” and be followed by 6 digits. You are also advised to verify membership by visiting the ICCRC website: http://secure.iccrc-crcic.ca/search-new/EN

What is the ICCRC’s Licensing Process?

To practice Canadian immigration law a person must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident.
  • Must pass a recognized Canadian immigration law program.
  • Pass the ICCRC 3-hour licensing exam.
  • Undergo extensive security, credit and insolvency checks.
  • Must hold valid errors and omissions insurance in the sum of $5 million.

How does a member of the ICCRC maintain their License?

All regulated Canadian immigration consultants must attend bi-monthly seminars and training events to keep up to date with changes in Canadian immigration law.

They must also abide by a strict Code of Professional Ethics and maintain errors and omissions insurance to ensure that you, the client, are protected.

Can a UK trained immigration lawyer represent me with a Canadian immigration application?

The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) is the regulatory authority for immigration consultants who are authorized to represent members of the public in relation to British immigration law.

Can a member of the OISC represent me with my Canadian immigration application?

OISC members ARE NOT authorized to provide advice or representation in connection with Canadian immigration law. They can only represent you in connection with British immigration applications and appeals. Solicitors who are members of the Law Society of England & Wales are also not authorized to represent you with a Canadian immigration application or appeal.

How do I start the Canadian Immigration application process through Sterling Immigration?

In some circumstances we can provide an eligibility assessment after reviewing your CV. If your situation is more complex or you want detailed answers to your Canadian immigration questions then we recommend a personal consultation at one of our offices in Birmingham or London, England or Vancouver, Canada.

This will give us an opportunity to provide more tailored Canadian immigration advice as well as conduct a legal merits test to assess your Canadian immigration application has a strong chance of success.