Immigrating to Canada is a journey hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals make each year. For some, life in Canada offers opportunities unavailable in their home country, while for others, living in Canada has been a lifelong dream. And it’s not difficult to see why.
Canada is a culturally diverse, resource-rich country with one of the highest standards of living amount first-world nations. Canada is also very open to immigration; throughout the first half of 2021, Canada has welcomed over 222,000 new permanent residents and hopes to reach 410,000 by the end of the year.
There Are Over 100 Immigration Pathways to Canadian Permanent Residency
Given the Canadian government’s desire to increase immigration levels, it’s unsurprising that there are over 100 ways for foreign nationals to earn Canadian permanent residency. What can come as a surprise for many people is just how complex and labour-intensive the Canadian immigration process can be – and how much paperwork is involved.
Before a candidate can even begin assembling their application, they first need to decide what immigration program to apply for based on their qualifications, where they prefer to live, and which program offers their best chance of success.
There are several federally run immigration programs. These include the widely used Express Entry and Provincial Nomination Program streams. However, each province and territory also operates its own immigration streams, targeting specific groups based on that region’s employment gaps.
Individual programs may provide qualified candidates with several immigration options. Some programs may have less competitive entry requirements, while others may offer fast-tracked application processing to fill high-demand occupations. Knowing your options and choosing the program that best matches your abilities could greatly improve the likelihood of a successful application.
What Immigration Consultants Do
Immigration consultants are licensed immigration professionals. While not directly affiliated with any federally or provincially managed immigration programs, these consultants are regulated immigration experts, professionally obligated to provide honest, impartial, and accurate immigration advice.
As pointed out above, there are over 100 ways to gain permanent residency in Canada. An immigration consultant will know the details of each and every program, helping you choose the one that is right for you. But that’s not all.
An immigration consultant can also help you through each step of the immigration process, including your application, supporting documents, and interviews. Because of their local experience, Canadian immigration consultants can also help you with choosing an area to live, finding suitable housing, navigating the healthcare system, and tips on studying or working in Canada.
What an Immigration Attorney Does
Immigration attorneys are also immigration professionals intimately familiar with all aspects of Canadian immigration.
But where an immigration consultant is available to help clients navigate the various programs available for Canadian immigration and assist with submitting an application, immigration attorneys typically work with clients who have had an issue with their application, have had an application refused, or who may not qualify for immigration to Canada under traditional channels.
While both professions can provide practical immigration advice, immigration attorneys are much more acquainted with Canadian immigration law than immigration consultants. To become an immigration attorney, candidates must first complete a three-year bachelor’s degree program before attending a three-year law degree program. They must then pass a provincial bar exam and complete an internship period.
In their capacity as legal professionals, immigration attorneys are legally allowed to attend immigration interviews with their clients. They can also advocate in the Canadian courts on your behalf should your application be subject to an official judicial review. While licensed immigration consultants are also legally allowed to assist with your immigration application, they are not lawyers. They cannot be present in interviews or represent you in a legal capacity.
What Kind of Immigration Help is Right for You?
Foreign nationals looking to immigrate to Canada are not required to use either an immigration consultant or an immigration attorney in Vancouver. However, many choose to employ one or the other to assist with Canadian immigration, to improve their odds of a successful application.
If your case is straightforward and you only require professional advice on program options, help with compiling your documents, assembling, and submitting your permanent residency application, an immigration consultant could be the right choice.
If your case is more complex, you may wish to consult with an immigration attorney. For example, if you do not meet all of the conditions for admissibility to Canada, you’ve had an application rejected, or if you are in Canada and are facing removal or deportation, an immigration attorney may be more qualified to assist you.
For any assistance with Canadian immigration, 5S Immigration Solutions is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about how we help immigration dreams come true.