Migrating to Canada and officially becoming a citizen of this beautiful and great country is a dream cherished by many and with good reason! With the quality of life offered under the maple leaf, who wouldn’t be ready to endure those harsh winters, right? Before being able to enjoy this dream to the fullest, it is necessary to go through a few preliminary stages which have their share of complexity.
These are the steps that an immigration lawyer will help you take so that your simple visitor status does not become citizenship as quickly as possible. Since each country has its own immigration rules, these vary greatly from place to place. Here are the services, however, with which an immigration lawyer can help you without a problem!
What are the services offered by immigration lawyers?
Depending on the objective sought by your approach, you will have to go through different immigration processes to achieve it! There are procedures for all types of immigrants, both those who want to study here to leave later and those who want to raise their families in Canada.
To guide you in this process, here are the main services offered by immigration lawyers in Canada.
Obtaining a work permit
Any immigrant on Canadian soil who wishes to work must complete the process of obtaining a work permit, failing which the practice of any paid work will be illegal. There are two main types of work permits issued by Canadian immigration authorities, the employer-related permit and the open permit.
In the first case, you will have the opportunity to work only for the employer mentioned in your work permit for a specified period and under the conditions mentioned therein.
Most work permit applications linked to an employer are made through foreign worker hiring programs and are mainly aimed at sectors of economic activity in demand in Canada.
With regard to open work permits, these allow holders to work for any type of employer, with the exception of those who are explicitly excluded because of their non-compliance with legal requirements. In particular, services of an erotic nature, even those that are legal, are ineligible for such work permits.
Permanent residence card
Obtaining a permanent resident status is the path to citizenship, but one thing at a time. Permanent residence should not be confused with foreigners who reside in Canada for an extended period such as students and workers.
Permanent residents obtain, by virtue of their legal status, rights such as health care coverage, the protection of all laws and rights applicable to citizens (or almost) as well as the right to settle anywhere in Canada.
Restrictions for permanent residents on the level of voting rights and the occupation of positions requiring so-called high-level authorizations.
Permanent residence also carries the right to apply for citizenship after a certain period of time, which will give the person concerned all the rights and obligations of a Canadian citizen.
Help in obtaining citizenship
For most foreigners, applying for citizenship is a coveted step but it requires several prerequisites. The most important of these is that of obtaining permanent residence status.
You must hold permanent resident status and have resided in Canada for a period of 3 years in the past 5 years. You will also have to pass a language test and an examination of your knowledge of the rights and obligations of Canadians.
In addition to these requirements, it is a comprehensive approach that an immigration lawyer will take to help you get your citizenship after so many years of waiting.
A sponsorship is linked to permanent residence in the sense that it involves bringing a spouse or dependent children in order to grant them Canadian permanent residence. This is primarily conditional on the ability of the claimant to support the people affected by the claim.
The other conditions are that of being a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident. Otherwise, each province has its own sponsorship conditions to determine the eligibility of applicants.
Application or modification of study permit
It is also possible to hire a lawyer to apply for a study permit or to change the permit already in force. Such permits are conditional upon enrollment in a school designated by the immigration authorities as well as proof of the financial means necessary to pursue such academic ambitions.
The most common way to come and study in Quebec is to apply for a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (or CAQ). Seek the help of a lawyer to get one quickly!
Normally, the study permit ceases to be valid 90 days after the end of the study program. As this permit is not a visa or permanent resident status, you will have to take other steps to stay in Canada if you wish.
Asylum and refugee claims
Some people may apply to be considered a refugee in Canada. Only those who fear violence, serious repercussions, or even cruel and unusual treatment in their own country can make such a request.
In addition, the Government of Canada provides legal aid services to asylum seekers to improve their access to justice.
Whatever your immigration law request, you will need to navigate the complex mechanisms of the federal government. This involves delays, ambiguity, and frustration, not to mention the risk of refusal. Put the odds on your side with an immigration lawyer.
Having problems with Canada’s immigration services? Ask the help of a lawyer!
In the allotment of permits, applications, and privileges, the immigration authorities have a great deal of latitude and wide discretion. It is therefore possible that the slightest anomaly could bring down your otherwise impeccable request. Here are the refusals you could face!
Denial of citizenship / permanent residence: The conditions for obtaining one or some of these statuses are precise and precise. As they confer important rights and privileges, many are denied their request each year.
What’s the point of hiring a lawyer? They know how to get these statuses right at their fingertips and will help you prepare a proper request. What you invest in legal costs, you will save in administrative costs linked to repeated denials.
Refugee claim: As mentioned above, the success of refugee claims depends very much on the level of danger anticipated in the country of return. If you think the danger is greater than what the immigration authorities have taken into account, a lawyer can try to convince them to the contrary!
Expulsion from the country: The main reason for expelling an individual from the country is the commission of a crime. However, you don’t have to pack overnight. Remedies exist to cancel or delay such a decision.
Refusal of sponsorship: Your sponsorship request may also not be accepted by the competent authorities due to your insufficient financial means or your lack of permanent resident status. There are, however, ways to get things done by legal means.
Problematic case: Can a lawyer help you to immigrate successfully?
Just because your case has some complexities, it does not mean that you should be satisfied with a denial. It is true that immigration services can be demanding in many ways, but these spokes in the wheel are rarely essential.
We can specifically cite the health problems of potential new arrivals! If you have been diagnosed with a contagious disease, your request may be rejected. The same is true for a serious illness that puts what is called an “excessive burden” on the Canadian health care system.
Potential newcomers with a criminal record are also denied entry to Canada, but not all histories are treated equally. Perpetrators of violent crimes or crimes against humanity are obviously not considered, but those who have only one task in their course attributable to fortuitous circumstances retain a certain eligibility.
Refusals based on other grounds than those mentioned are also considered problematic and justify the intervention of a lawyer. If you risk going back to unfavorable or even dangerous circumstances in your country, the help of an immigration lawyer becomes essential!
If the situation in your country is extremely dangerous, you can ask a lawyer to help you file an asylum or refugee claim. These requests are even covered by government legal aid if your financial situation is precarious.
Are you not a Canadian citizen and have been charged with a crime?
If you are in such a situation, the time to act is running out. In fact, the laws governing permanent residents who commit crimes differ from Canadian citizens in that you risk deportation, if guilty. You obviously still benefit from the presumption of innocence under Canadian law but your guilt could cause you to lose your status.
The risk of deportation applies when you have committed a serious crime, a criminal court has convicted you, and the Canada Border Services Agency is taking steps to deport you. What is a serious crime within the meaning of an eviction procedure?
- Crime punishable by more than 10 years’ imprisonment
- Impaired driving / drinking and driving
- Theft or possession of stolen property
- Violent crimes
- Use of false official documents (passports, permits, credit cards, etc.)
Why is immigration law expertise essential in such a scenario? Because hiring a criminal lawyer with no knowledge of immigration law could harm you because sound advice that is very good for a citizen could be harmful for a permanent resident who is at risk of deportation.
Frequently asked questions for immigration lawyers in Quebec
You are trying your best to find yourself in the quagmire of the Canadian immigration process. You hear falsehoods left and right about immigration to Canada. Fortunately, we have some answers for you to the most frequently asked questions!
Are immigration services eligible for legal aid?
Legal aid is not available for all types of immigration law applications. It is mainly humanitarian cases that will be eligible for legal aid such as application for asylum for refugees, the review of detention as well as loss of status cases (permanent residence and refugee).
Can a lawyer help me to immigrate to another country (i.e. to the United States)?
Absolutely! If you want to fly to Uncle Sam’s country to start your new life in the hot Florida sun, an immigration lawyer can certainly help you get the famous, coveted “green card”.
How do the fees of an immigration lawyer work?
Except for fees for a legal aid case, immigration lawyers charge either hourly rates that will vary the cost of the bill depending on the number of hours invested or a lump sum.
The lump sum is mainly applicable for procedural requests such as obtaining a work permit since the lawyer in question is used to these types of cases and they usually present few surprises!
Do you need a special status to hire a lawyer?
Not at all! The right to be represented by a lawyer applies even if you are not yet a Canadian citizen. It is therefore entirely possible, even desirable, that you retain the services of a lawyer while still being a permanent resident or even a student seeking citizenship.
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