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9 Reasons to Hire an Immigration Lawyer (Not a Consultant)

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Ackah Law

9 Reasons to Hire an Immigration Lawyer (Not a Consultant)

The chances of a successful immigration application to Canada are much higher - nearly double - if you hire an immigration lawyer to help get your study, work or visitor visas, according to immigration data obtained under an access to information request by The Toronto Star.

Canadian lawyer Marina Sedai, chair of the immigration section of the Canadian Bar Association, told The Star she wasn’t surprised lawyers had the highest success rate:

Canadian lawyers’ rigorous education, legal analysis skills, and high ethical standards enforced by an effective regulator, have long been understood to result in better outcomes.

Currently, approximately 1,000 lawyers practice immigration law in Canada, and there are 5000 licenced immigration consultants in Canada.

According to the data provided by The Star, Canada had 342,154 temporary resident applications in 2017:

  • 86% of applicants declared themselves as self-represented
  • 6% were represented by consultants
  • 5% were represented by lawyers

9 Reasons to Hire a Canada Immigration Lawyer

1. 10.4% of immigration applications to Canada prepared by an immigration lawyer were rejected

Not everyone is qualified to move to Canada, no matter how badly they may want to. And not every application will be accepted, especially those cases where the applicant has difficult factors in their background, such as medical or criminal inadmissibility.

If an applicant has been denied admission to Canada, they may be entitled to an appeal. An immigration lawyer is willing to take on challenging, complex individual and business immigration cases that take time and legal expertise to maneuver through the system.

2. 18.9% of all applications were rejected

Getting your immigration application to Canada approved is not easy - if it was, Canada would have more immigrants and fewer immigration lawyers and consultants. There are many requirements for immigration to Canada, and many forms, fees and deadlines that must be met - and are constantly changing.

3. “Many immigration consultants have only completed online courses at a community college. The education and training is just not comparable.” (The Star)

Immigration lawyers have more rigorous training and education than immigration consultants. Canada requires immigration lawyers to have a 4 years college degree plus a law degree which typically takes 3 years to complete and they must pass Canada's legal bar admission exam in order to practice law.

A licenced Canada "immigration consultant must meet a minimum language requirement and graduate from an accredited immigration practitioner program, which takes about a year to complete full time." (The Star)

4. 19.3% of those who complete their own Canada immigration application were refused

Meeting the requirements in a Canada immigration application requires following all directions, correctly completing all forms, paying all fees and documenting all qualifications. But often there are things an applicant can do to improve their chances of approval that are not a requirement. An experienced immigration lawyer knows what actions an applicant take that aren't required to improve the likelihood their application will be approved.

5. 18% of immigration applications prepared by an immigration consultant were rejected

Immigration consultants can typically offer lower rates than immigration lawyers because they do not have the education, skills or resources to successfully navigate complex and difficult immigration cases. Some immigration applications are easy and straight-forward, but many are not. That is why there is a growing need for immigration lawyers to help applicants have the best chance to get their application approved.

6. “Canadian lawyers’ rigorous education, legal analysis skills, and high ethical standards enforced by an effective regulator have long been understood to result in better outcomes” (The Star)

In addition to over 7 years of graduate education that is required to apply for the Canada bar exam, the immigration section of the Canadian Bar Association provides members with ongoing education, resources and information to maintain their skills. This enables immigration lawyers to be aware of current and proposed immigration law changes so that their clients have the most reliable information available.

7. Mistakes can be costly and stressful

"An immigration lawyer's experience means we can identify potential problems in your application, and advise you on your best options. Our expert legal team delivers proven and effective immigration law solutions to our clients, and we offer flat fee pricing for most immigration cases so our clients are never surprised or caught unprepared. I have 20 years experience as an immigration lawyer, and that's the only type of law I practice. As an immigrant to Canada myself, immigration isn't just a job to me - its personal," says Canada immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah.

8. Reapplying after your application is denied is challenging

If your immigration application to Canada has been refused, it is more difficult to have it approved if you re-apply - and costs additional time and money.

9. Immigration lawyers have expertise with very difficult immigration cases

Ravi Jain, vice chair of the bar association’s immigration division, told The Star the success rate for lawyers would be even higher if not for the fact lawyers often take up very difficult and complex cases.

The Ackah Business Immigration Law Team

At Ackah Law, founder and managing lawyer Evelyn Ackah has 2o years experience in Canada and U.S. immigration law, and the team at Ackah Business Immigration Law only practices immigration law. Our paralegals and consultants work under the direct supervision of immigration lawyers and are vital to providing immigration services to individuals, families and businesses.

Ackah Law's expertise and success rate in successfully managing immigration cases give us the knowledge and skills to manage cases efficiently, seek innovative solutions to immigration challenges and use technology to afford cost-savings to our clients. In many cases, we can offer our clients a flat-fee rate because of our expertise and global network of immigration officials and consular staff.

Our high ethical integrity and commitment to client care earned have our firm a national reputation for excellence which we are proud of and work hard to maintain. We identify potential problems before they happen. Our expert legal advisors deliver proven and effective personal and business immigration law strategies to our clients.

Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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