We Have The Answer To Your Immigration Questions
WHAT HAPPENS DURING AN IMMIGRATION CONSULTATION?
During the consultation, we will ask you specific questions and discuss the details of your immigration matter. Based on your case, we will provide you with our legal recommendation as well as different options. We provide consultations in person in Toronto and Montreal, as well as phone and Skype consultations during the day and in the evenings. A member of our team may first conduct an initial intake. You will then speak with Mary Keyork to discuss the complete details of your case.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO BRING WITH YOU DURING A CONSULTATION?
You should bring with you a government issued photo identification as well as all documentation you have received from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the Immigration and Refugee Board, the Federal Court and Canada Border Services Agency. During a phone or Skype consultation, you should have these documentation handy in the event that we need information contained in them. You may also email or fax us these documentation prior to the phone or Skype consultation.
HOW CAN YOU PAY FOR THE CONSULTATION?
We accept the following methods of payments:
- Credit Card via PayPal
- INTERAC E-Transfer
WHAT ARE YOUR LEGAL FEES?
We base our legal fees on the specifics of your case as well as the different issues revolving around your application. We will quote you legal fees following the consultation, once we have a good understanding of your case.
We do not charge by the hour, but instead work on a flat-fee basis. You will not receive an invoice with legal fees which you did not know about. The entirety of the legal fees will be outlined in a retainer agreement (contract). If your matter with us lasts months or years (some cases do), the legal fees will remain the same as long as we are dealing with the same application.
WE ACCEPT THE FOLLOWING TYPES OF PAYMENTS:
- Credit Card
- INTERAC E-transfer
- Wire Transfer
- Direct Deposit (RBC)
1. IMMIGRATION SERVICES & CONSULTATION
Initially, we will conduct a consultation to determine the specifics of your immigration and formulate the best strategy for you. Once we have finalized the retainer agreement and legal fees, we will open your file and start working on your application.
2. LIST OF DOCUMENTS AND INSTRUCTIONS
We will then submit to you by email a list of documentation needed for your application. We will also provide you with forms to complete. The list of documents and the forms will be accompanied by specific instructions to guide you in the collecting the documentation. You will have questions with respect to the list of documentation and the forms – this is quite normal. Our office will be available to you by phone and email to answer all your questions and ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible for you. We have dealt with thousands of applications and will be ready to answer any questions you have or any clarification that you need.
3. SUBMITTING DOCUMENTATION
Once you have collected the documentation and completed the forms – you will submit them to us. We prefer that you provide us the documentation as you collect them in order for us to review them immediately and ensure that you are on the right track. With respect to the forms, we will always advise you to complete them as best as you can. It is quite normal not to be able to complete every question – once we receive your forms, we will finalize them with you.
Once we have received all your documentation, we will proceed to finalizing your application. We carefully review your entire application and ensure that the application is strong and complete. During this process, should we determine that certain aspects of your application need improvements, we might ask you for further information of documentation. This is common practice as we want to ensure that your application is perfect.
5. SUBMISSION LETTER
With your application, we submit what is called a submission letter. A submission letter is a cover letter preceding your application which outlines your story and the legal framework behind your case. A submission letter is often the most important part of an application as it contains the complete details of your case. The more complex your matter, the more important a powerful submission will be. We work carefully on our submission letters – we will work together with you to ensure we have all the required information.
6. FINAL TOUCHES
Once the documents, forms and submission letter are finalized, we might ask you to complete some final steps such as obtaining a medical examination (if required), making payment of the government application fee, etc. Finally, we will also meet with you (or speak with you if you are outside Canada), to review the entire application, obtain your original signatures and ensure that all your questions are answered.
7. SUBMISSION OF YOUR APPLICATION
Once we have finalized your application, we will submit it to the appropriate immigration office. Most applications are submitted by courier – meaning that we will have a tracking number to ensure that your application is properly delivered. We will also keep an entire copy of your application in our file for our records and yours.
We will also provide you with approximate processing times based on the CIC website but mostly based on our office experience.
8. FOLLOW UPS WITH IMMIGRATION
Once your application is in process, we will regularly follow up with immigration to ensure that your application is being handled properly. Should the processing time exceed the usual times, we will submit requests for updates and contact immigration supervisors on your behalf.
9. RESULT OF YOUR APPLICATION
Once your application has been approved, we will advise you and provide you with our final recommendations.
10. CLOSING YOUR FILE
Once we have finalized your case, we will proceed to closing your file. This means that your case will no longer be in our active file list – however we have a legal obligation to maintain an entire copy of your file for at least 15 years. We will return any original documentation we have on file as these belong to you.
Should any other immigration matter come up once we have closed your file, you can communicate with our office for our legal recommendation as we will be familiar with your file.
MY IMMIGRATION CASE IS SIMPLE – DO I NEED A LAWYER?
I JUST WANT TO KNOW THE LEGAL FEES AND IF YOU CAN TAKE ON MY CASE?
This is a very common question that I receive from potential clients. The truth is, after having practiced immigration law for so many years – there is nothing like a “simple” immigration case.
Although the facts of your case can be straightforward, for example you are in a genuine relationship and want to be sponsored to Canada or you are a bona fide visitor and want to obtain a visitor visa, the manner in which CIC processes and evaluates applications is quite complex, detailed and systematic. CIC is a huge bureaucratic and administrative body, with all types of immigration officers analyzing and deciding on applications. Some officers have been in these positions for years and know the law very well, others have recently started and might be very new to the multitude of policies, rules, regulations, case law and guidelines that regulate immigration applications. The regulations and rules change often a daily basis and without an immigration lawyer specialized in your type of application, a very simple and straightforward case can be easily refused or returned causing not only delays but a lot of stress and suffering, especially if the goal is to reunite family members in Canada.
As lawyers, we have an ethical obligation to schedule consultation with you in order to ask you a series of detailed questions to ensure that we have all of the background information before rendering our legal recommendation. Often information such as previous marriages, financial status, minor medical conditions or previous refusals can have a huge impact on the outcome of an application. Potential clients do not know how these details will play out in an immigration application. However, as lawyers, we have a different vision and understanding of the laws and as we have submitted hundreds of immigration applications, we know exactly how to prepare your application to avoid a refusal as much as possible.
Most of my clients are individuals who previously submitted an immigration application on their own, without consulting with an immigration lawyer. Clients who followed the instructions on the CIC website, read blogs on forums and discussed options with other individuals in similar situations. This is one of the main reasons why so many applicants get their applications refused or delayed. Every single case is different and getting information from the wrong source can have a devastating impact on your immigration application and your future in Canada. Once an application is refused, in some cases, we can appeal. However, this means years of delays and high legal fees. It is always best to submit an initial application properly to avoid having to go through the hurdles of the legal system for years to come.
The small investment you make now with a consultation will be priceless in ensuring that your application is submitted adequately without any errors or misrepresentations. Furthermore, an immigration lawyer is also able to provide you precious guidance with respect to your expectations in terms of the possible outcomes and processing times. Many applicants file applications and believe that processing times will match their friends' processing times or the months posted on the CIC website. This is not true. Processing times vary greatly and only an immigration lawyer who has experience in submitting multiple applications will be able to give you a more accurate approximation of the times. This in turn, will manage client expectations and in the long run, will contribute to reducing stress and anxiety over the immigration process.
With respect to lawyer fees – a lawyer is unable to give you a specific legal fee without first consulting with you to understand the details of your case and the work that needs to be done. This is our ethical obligation – obtaining all the information from you to be able to adequately quote you fair legal fees which match your specific case.
Canada’s immigration rules and regulations change regularly and the systems in place are quite complex – it is our job as immigration lawyers to ensure that we decipher the processes for you, assist you and represent you in navigating through the immigration world.
I LIVE OUTSIDE OF CANADA, HOW CAN YOU ASSIST ME WITH MY IMMIGRATION CASE?
The answer is yes. Many of our clients live outside of Canada and a great deal of our work is done by email, phone, scan, fax, and mail! Also, immigration law is a Federal Law which means that most applications do not require your representative to have a specific provincial license.
The work on your file is handled by our head office in Toronto. You do not need to be physically present in Toronto or even Canada for us to work on your file!
If you are living outside Canada, we can conduct a consultation with you by phone or by Skype. Skype is great as it allows our clients to meet us and know who their representative will be.
If you decided to hire our services, we will be sending you by email complete instructions as well as a list of documents to collect and submit to us for your application. Most of the documentation we need are copies and these can be submitted to us via email or fax. If we need original documentation, you will be able to submit those to us in person or by registered mail.
We correspond with our clients by email and telephone when we need more information or wish to provide you with an update. At any time, our office is able to schedule an appointment with you by phone or in person should you have a specific need.
Our office uses advanced communication tools to increase our ability to meet the needs of our clients. This, in turn, allows us to reduce legal fees as our office disbursements are decreased. Of course, our office ensures that we always meet the law society requirements to properly retain confidential and safe records for our clients as well as to provide timely and effective lawyer-client communication.