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Why Choose an Immigration Lawyer?

Published: Dec 12, 2018


If you have been following our regular news items, you will see that every one of them ends with a recommendation that you obtain professional help before you make any immigration or citizenship application.

Some statistics reported in the Toronto Star on December 9, 2018 reinforce this advice. In 2017 Canada received 342,154 temporary resident applications. 86% of the applicants were self-represented. 6% were represented by consultants. Another 5% were represented by lawyers. The remaining 3% were assisted by Quebec notaries or unpaid representatives.

Overall, 18.9% of the applications in 2017 were rejected. Those who prepared their own applications had a 19.3% refusal rate. Those who paid a consultant to help them had an 18% refusal rate. Those whose applications were prepared by a lawyer had a 10.4% rejection rate. While only about 1,000 lawyers, according to this newspaper article, practice Immigration law, there are five times as many licensed consultants in Canada.

The Toronto Star gave several explanations for the difference in success rates. The Toronto Star reported "when it comes to the lower success rates for consultants, lawyers are quick to point out that group has lower educational requirements and a less robust regulatory regime than lawyers. For their part, consultants say the Immigration data is too general and does not give the full picture". One person interviewed by the Toronto Star said "the success rate for lawyers would likely be even higher if not for the fact lawyers often take up very difficult and complex cases".

The rejection rate for all temporary resident visa (student, work and visitor) applications has increased in 2018 to over 30% (The Globe and Mail, July 9, 2018).

You often only have one chance to succeed when making an immigration application. We believe at Eisenberg & Young LLP that it is still possible to successfully apply for citizenship, temporary worker and permanent resident status in Canada. We continue to strongly recommend, given the complexity of the present and ever-changing immigration system, that you do not apply without first obtaining professional help.

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