One of the most challenging aspects of assisting many immigration, citizenship and protected person applicants is that they do not keep a copy of their applications and supporting documents (old passports in particular for citizenship applicants are critical). This does so much harm to applicants because many things in the future depend upon what was filed in the past. Was your child listed even though at the time they did not want to come to Canada? Did you list you had that medical problem or that you were denied a visa in another country? What about that common law relationship five years ago who is now your husband? The failure to disclose, or to disclose fully can have serious consequences in the future. Although files going back at least seven years can be accessed through the Government they may not have necessarily kept all your accompanying documents that you originally filed. There may be in a document that you attached then but now cannot be proven now, evidence that you did disclose critical information or in other words evidence that you were being honest.
When clients come forward asking for help without their applications or parts of their application the fishing expedition and the guess work begins. It is akin to showing up at a Doctor’s office with a partial list and some documentation of a condition and treatment somebody received years ago and asking the doctor to determine what you had and how it affects your health now. One of the key benefits of hiring a lawyer that many clients to do not consider is that lawyers keep a full and clean copy of any application they filed on your behalf for many years. Think of the storage fees alone that lawyers must pay but in the end when you are in need and that application can be provided to you in a few days – it may be the best investment you ever made. Keep those applications and all supporting documents!