6 Guidelines for Finding a Canadian Immigration Lawyer
Getting an immigration lawyer in Canada is not difficult. However, getting a trustworthy one with a proven record of delivering impeccable services is not easy. Contrary to erroneous popular believe, a good immigration lawyer is not out of your reach. In terms of value for your money, having a good immigration law firm assist you is more than worth your investment. The following advice should help you get a competent Canadian immigration lawyer without breaking your bank.
1. Ask Questions during Your Consultation
Consulting an immigration lawyer is not free. If you are going to pay for a consultation, which can be anywhere between $150 CAD to $600 CAD, you might as well get the most out of it. Ask whatever questions you may have until you fully understand the answers given. Some consultations can last up to 20 minutes, which is a short time. To maximize your consultation time, prepare your questions beforehand and come to the session ready to shoot.
Before booking an appointment, be sure that the lawyer will give you time to ask your questions. If it is your first session, at least get her or him to spare not less than 1 hour. Subsequent sessions could be shorter.
2. Avoid Multipurpose Lawyers
The complex Canadian Immigration law is not for the lawyer who claims to know all aspects and angles, and complexities of every law. If you come across such a lawyer, be extremely cautious. The term ‘jack of all trades and master of none’ aptly describes a lawyer who says they can practice any law. You need an expert immigration lawyer to be certain of getting value for your money and time.
3. The Cheapest Is Not Always the Best Value
Your first task is to get the best immigration lawyer, not the cheapest. Once you have a lawyer that you feel is competent enough to handle your case, negotiate the fee if possible. Applying for immigration is a complex procedure that requires a lawyer who knows exactly what they are doing. In most cases, the bargain fee offered by a number of firms are only meant to get you in. Once in, you quickly realize that the fee is limited to certain services.
4. Agree on the Fee before Signing
Your immigration lawyer should be forthright and honest about all the applicable fees. The retainer agreement should be clear and unambiguous. Talk to your lawyer about various payment options and only proceed to hire them if the terms are agreeable. The practice in Canada for immigration applications is to charge a block fee, a flat fee, or a fixed fee.
In some cases, an hourly fee for the service might be charged. You will need to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each of these options and settle on the most convenient one for you, which is usually either a fixed or an hourly rate.
5. Avoid Lawyers Who Offer Empty Guarantees
If an immigration lawyer starts giving you empty guarantees, run. The decision to grant or decline your application does not lie with them. Stringing you along with statements like “we guarantee 100% success” should be the most obvious tip-off that they are quacks.
Just keep searching until you get one who can demonstrate a solid past success rate while at the same time letting you know that in spite of the fact that they have had past successes, each case is different. They should be able to give you hope while at the same time tempering your expectation with the fact that the outcome is predicated on factors beyond their control.
6. Avoid Unprofessional Lawyers
The large number of unscrupulous consultants out there will surprise you. You can identify them by their overhyped ability to guarantee success. While you may be tempted to procure their services due to their unbelievably low fees, be very cautious since you could be entering into an agreement with a person whose only goal is to rip you off.