Immigration Lawyers

Immigration lawyers offer many services to people coming to the country as immigrants. This includes thousands who request refugee status. Some of these services include:

  • Explaining your rights under Canadian law and the protections you may have as a refugee
  • Helping you prepare the paperwork you need to immigrate or make a refugee claim
  • Dealing with Canadian authorities on your behalf

Do I Really Need a Lawyer?

It’s not absolutely necessary to hire a lawyer when you arrive in Canada, but it can be very useful. Here are some advantages:

  • Immigration, especially for refugee claimants, can be a long and difficult process with lots of paperwork. A lawyer sees this paperwork all the time and understands it well.
  • The immigration system is designed to be fair, but mistakes can happen. A lawyer will make sure you are being treated justly under the law.
  • If you have been convicted of a criminal offense in your country of origin, it is usually very difficult, if not impossible, to immigrate to Canada. However, exceptions are made in some cases. A good lawyer is familiar with these exceptions and may be able to help you.

Immigration Lawyers: The Basics

Here are a few key things you need to consider when you decide to consult with a lawyer:

  • What type of immigrant are you? There are several categories: skilled worker, business class, provincial nominee and family class. For refugee claims: do you qualify as a “convention refugee” or “person in need of protection”? Try to find a lawyer who specializes in a particular area.
  • Do you have all the proper forms? Most immigrants need to complete several application forms that ask for personal and family information. Because you are hiring a lawyer, you will need to fill out an additional “Use of a Representative” form.
  • How qualified is your lawyer? Before choosing one, ask about experience in immigration law and look for references.
  • If you have trouble understanding English, look for a lawyer that can speak your language (many immigration law firms offer multi-lingual service).