Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) does not require you to hire an immigration consultant or lawyer. However, you can use one if you believe it will assist your application.

Many applicants for Canadian immigration try to go through the process without hiring an immigration consultant or lawyer, feeling that they don’t need the help or can’t afford it.

However, thousands of applicants each year work with either a licensed Canadian immigration consultant or a lawyer to assist them.

Hiring a Canadian immigration lawyer or consultant may be the best option for you if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself or if the Canadian immigration process appears daunting. They can help streamline the process and make sure all your documents are in order. Not only can they provide tips on how to make your application stronger, but they can also tell you what increases your chances of being approved.

If you’re not sure if you want to take the plunge, here are some examples of things when hiring a Canadian immigration consultant could be a good idea:

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You don't feel comfortable doing it yourself

If you don’t want to do it yourself, or if the method appears daunting, hiring a Canadian immigration professional could be the best option for you.

For the most part, you will be completing many immigration forms for the first time in your immigration program, but an experienced consultant or lawyer should be familiar with each and every question on every last form. They will also be able to advise you on which immigration options are you eligible for and which documents you will need.

With the assistance of a immigration representative, you’ll be able to go through the process with less worry and stress meaning you can devote more attention to essential things like your job, studies, or family.

You're applying for a more complex immigration program

Did you know that the Alberta Express Entry Stream category requires you to be in the federal Express Entry pool? If you satisfy Alberta-specific criteria, you may be invited. After which, you apply to the province and, if approved, accept your nomination in the Express Entry pool. Afterwards, you apply for permanent residence.

It’s a fact that some Canadian immigration programs are more complex than others. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or confused about your situation it may be a good idea to get help from a regulated Canadian immigration consultant or lawyer.

You have a criminal record

You do not have to have committed a serious crime, like bank robbery or murder, to be considered criminally inadmissible to Canada. IRCC may determine you inadmissible for any number of minor offences. Having a conviction for DUI or petty theft could be an issue.

Overcoming a criminal record and being accepted for entry to Canada, however, can be complex. A Canadian immigration consultant or lawyer will have the expertise and experience to assist you in your situation.

You have been refused by IRCC before

If you have been denied entrance into Canada in the past, IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) should have sent a letter to you outlining the reasoning.

Often, applications are rejected because of human error, for reasons such as; incomplete forms, incorrect documentation, not providing enough evidence or that you were not eligible to apply under the stream you applied for.

In any event, chances are you don’t want to repeat the same mistake or make an entirely different one. A Canadian immigration consultant or Canadian immigration law firm can help you with this issue and get you on the right path.

You have medical inadmissibility concerns

The Canadian government’s immigration policies exclude those who may be a threat to public health or safety, or who would require significant health or social services. As of 2022, the threshold for expenditure on health or social services before it is considered excessive will be CAD $120,285 over five years, or $24,057 per year.

Remember that when you have a health concern, it’s not always the condition itself which will be an obstacle, but rather the long-term cost of treatment or any potential danger to others.

While Canadian immigration consultants and law firms are not medical professionals, they can still help you determine your inadmissibility based on the information given to them by your doctor.

Conclusion

So, do I need an immigration lawyer to move to Canada? The answer is: it depends.

Several factors can complicate your case and make retaining counsel a wise decision. If you have a criminal record that you need help explaining to the Canadian immigration authorities, if you’ve been refused entry before, or if you have medical inadmissibility concerns, then it’s probably in your best interest to seek professional help. Canadian immigration consultants and immigration lawyers have the knowledge and experience necessary to help you overcome any obstacles in your path to immigrating to Canada.

It is not a requirement to hire an immigration lawyer or consultant in order to immigrate to Canada, but it may give you a better chance of success.

Ultimately, the decision is up to you.

If you would like to hire a qualified Canadian immigration consultant under The College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC), contact us.