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Work and Study Permits

Do I Need an Immigration Lawyer?

Q. I have to soon apply for a post graduate work permit and I am wondering if I need a lawyer. I read the following on Citizenship Canada’s website: You are not obliged to hire a representative for immigration matters. The Government of Canada treats everyone equally, whether they use the services of a representative or not. If you choose to hire a representative, your application will not be given special attention nor can you expect faster processing or a more favourable outcome. I know you are a lawyer but I have followed your column and value your advice. Please do not publish my name.

A. After reading your question I visited the website again and also noticed that it is the first link on the site and there is also the tag: Warning: Don’t be the victim of a scam. The tone and tenor of the entire message in my opinion, conveys an improper and misleading message about representatives. It is true you are not obliged to hire a representative for immigration matters. It is also true you cannot expect faster processing or a more favourable outcome. Again, this is true in other legal contexts as well but otherwise the statement is not accurate. Lawyers play a critical role in advancing applications and sometimes selecting the appropriate immigrant category means a more favourable outcome. Catching missing information as another example will avoid a lengthy delay which means faster processing. Properly presenting and advocating on behalf of a client in an ever increasingly complex web of regulations, rules and policy often means the difference.


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