Find the Best Immigration Lawyer in Toronto

Edited by Kathy McGraw, Maria

Canada welcomes more than 250,000 immigrants to her shores every year. With its vast open lands and inclusive political atmosphere, Canada is a much sought-after immigration destination for many people around the world. If you are looking to immigrate there yourself, and you are either already in the Toronto area or want to live there, a lawyer who specializes in Canadian immigration law can help you through the long and confusing application process. There are quite a few immigration lawyers in Toronto, so how do you pick the right one for you? We're here to give you some information to help you choose wisely.

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Why You Might Need an Immigration Lawyer

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While you can fill out the paperwork and go through the immigration process without any legal help, having a lawyer on your side is always beneficial, and in some cases, may make the difference between an accepted or a rejected application for immigration. Here are some reasons why you might need an immigration lawyer:

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  1. 1
    There are more than 60 immigration programs
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    Canada has a diverse range of programs for people to choose from when they want to immigrate there.While this is good because it allows more people to have a way to come to Canada, it also complicates the process. A Toronto immigration lawyer can help you to determine which one is the best for you, based on your particular circumstances.
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  2. 2
    The application for immigration is confusing for many people
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    You will have to answer a long questionnaire as part of your application for immigration, and the questions can get rather convoluted and confusing. It gets quite difficult to know how to answer them, more so if your native language is not English or French. An immigration lawyer Toronto will help you with your application and counsel you on how best to answer the questions.
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  3. 3
    Part of the application process is getting a criminal record check from your native country
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    If you have more than one law enforcement agency in your country, it can get confusing as to which one you should apply to for a criminal record check. Moreover, some agencies may require a fee for this service. Immigration lawyers Toronto can help to smooth this process. They will do the work so that you don't have to.
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  4. 4
    An interview with an immigration officer may be required
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    Depending on which immigration program you are applying under, and depending on how your application goes, you may be required to attend an interview with a Canadian immigration officer before your application is approved. Having an experienced lawyer in immigration law Canada present with you not only will help you feel more at ease but also ensures that you are treated fairly and that if there is anything amiss, that it gets handled correctly.
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  5. 5
    You are applying as a refugee
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    Immigrating as a refugee involves proving that your life is in danger if you went back to your home country. While it seems like it would be an easy thing to prove, there is a lot involved in the process. Having a lawyer to help you navigate through the process is a must.
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How to Choose the Best Immigration Lawyer

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When you hire a lawyer, you are hiring someone to do a specific job for you. Look at it as if you are hiring an employee for a job. When people apply for jobs, the companies they apply to prepare a short list of the most qualified candidates, and then do some background research to narrow the field further. Here are some ways that you can winnow down the large field of practicing Toronto immigration lawyers to a few select candidates:

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  1. 1
    Ask your friends and family for a referral
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    If you have friends or family who has used the services of an immigration lawyer that they were pleased with, ask them for the lawyer's office number. The chances are that the lawyer they refer you to will work out well for you.
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  2. 2
    Use the Law Society Referral service
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    If you reside in Ontario, you can use the Law Society's lawyer referral service. The Law Society Referral service refers Ontario residents to lawyers who practice in the field that they need help with. While you don't have to hire the lawyer
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  3. 3
    Use Google
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    A Google search for an immigration lawyer will yield you not only results from lawyer websites but also websites that refer a number of lawyers in the immigration specialty.
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  4. 4
    Check the local Yellow Pages directory for immigration attorneys
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    Many lawyers advertise their services in the Yellow Pages, and many of their ads will have information about their specialties, and may even list their law license number. Make a list of prospective lawyers, then do your due diligence to research their credentials before contacting them.
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  5. 5
    Make sure that your prospective lawyer's license to practice law is in good standing
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    Check with the Law Society of Ontario to make sure that your lawyer's license is valid and in good standing. The Law Society licenses lawyers to practice law in the province of Ontario and regulates how the law is practiced there. Its website has a directory of lawyers, which shows their law license numbers.
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  6. 6
    Interview your lawyer during your consultation
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    The purpose of the consultation is to give you and the lawyer a chance to decide if you can work well together. The lawyer will be evaluating your case to determine if it something they can help you with, and you will be interviewing them to find out if they have the skills and capabilities to be able to handle your case. Some questions to ask:  
    1. How long have you been practicing? Of course, the longer they have been practicing in the immigration field, the better they will be in doing their job. What is an acceptable amount of experience? Try to choose a lawyer with no less than eight years experience in immigration law.
    2. What is the most difficult part of my case and how will you handle it? This question allows you to evaluate your prospective lawyer on how well they know about the specific aspects of your case. They should demonstrate their knowledge by giving you a clear and detailed answer.
    3. How much will your services cost? Cost is always a factor; however, don't let price be your only consideration. Consider a lawyer on the merits of their experience and let cost be the last factor that influences your choice if you can.
    4. Are you a Certified Immigration Specialist? A Certified Immigration Specialist has fulfilled the continuing education requirements and has kept up to date with the current trends in immigration law in Canada.
    5. Do you speak (your native language) or have someone in your office who does? If you are more comfortable having important matters explained to you in your native language, then the answer to this question is key in determining whether or not to hire a particular lawyer.
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Categories : Political Science & Law

Recent edits by: Kathy McGraw

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