When I checked my inbox this morning I found a very important email from an organization of immigration professionals which I belong to.
In fact, this email is so crucial to my ability to practice best immigration lawyer that I forwarded it to all of my staff, saved it in our firm’s electronic address book, and printed it for inclusion in the binder that sits on my desk right by my telephone.
Yet, the truth is that this email makes me feel like I am a silent partner in a bit of a deception being perpetrated on the public by CIC. Let me explain.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada clearly takes great public pride in the amount of information and resources it provides to the public through its website and call centre. CIC boasts that “All the forms and information that you need to apply for a visa are available for free on this website.”
Therefore, it’s no wonder that in the website’s FAQ, the answer to the question: “Do I need an immigration representative to help me apply?” is a “no.”
The public is told that “The Government of Canada treats everyone equally, whether they use a representative or not.”
Will your case be processed more quickly if you hire a representative? CIC advises that “If you choose to hire a representative, your application will not be given special attention by the immigration officer.”
Is this really true? Is all the information you need really out there? Do you need a lawyer? Would it make any difference if you have one? Put another way: are people who are using lawyers and consultants to handle their immigration applications just throwing away their money?
I hate answering these questions since doing other people’s immigration work is how I make my living. People would be justified in being sceptical about my answers to these questions.
But the truth is “all the information you need” is not really out there and, yes, in many cases a lawyer or consultant’s involvement can spell the difference between success, delay, or abject failure.
The information H1b attorney Nassau County at cic.gc.ca is general in nature and cannot possibly contemplate the infinite factual scenarios that applicants might present when applying. Furthermore, the agents at the call centre cannot and do not provide callers with legal advice. It is simply not in their mandate to do so. Instead, they give “general information on the CIC lines of business… provide case specific information, and accept orders for CIC publications and application kits.”