Immigration Consultant vs. Immigration Lawyer in Canada: What’s the Difference?

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Written on: May 18, 2023

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Canada Immigration - Why Using Immigration Lawyers

Canada is a welcoming country that has long been a popular destination for immigrants and international students. If you are planning to apply for a work permit or immigration status in Canada, you may be wondering whether to use an immigration consultant or an immigration lawyer. Both are authorized representatives who can provide assistance with the immigration process, but there are some important differences to consider.

What is an immigration consultant?

An immigration consultant is an authorized representative who is trained and authorized by the government to provide guidance and assistance with the immigration process. In Canada, immigration consultants must be licensed by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). They can provide assistance with a wide range of immigration matters, including work permits, study permits, visitor visas, and permanent residency applications. 

What is an Immigration Lawyer?

An immigration lawyer is a licensed legal professional who can provide legal advice and representation in immigration matters. They have a deep understanding of the law and legal procedures, and they are authorized to represent clients in court and other legal proceedings. Immigration lawyers can provide assistance with a wide range of immigration matters, including work permits, study permits, visitor visas, and permanent residency applications. 

What are the Differences Between an Immigration Consultant and an Immigration Lawyer?

While both immigration consultants and immigration lawyers can provide assistance with immigration matters, there are some important differences to consider. 

Legal Training and Expertise: Immigration lawyers have completed law school and are licensed legal professionals who have a deep understanding of the law and legal procedures. They can provide legal advice and representation in court and other legal proceedings. Immigration consultants, on the other hand, are authorized representatives who are trained and authorized by the government to provide guidance and assistance with the immigration process. 

Scope of Services: Both immigration consultants and immigration lawyers can provide assistance with a wide range of immigration matters, including work permits, study permits, visitor visas, and permanent residency applications. However, immigration lawyers may have a deeper understanding of the law and legal procedures, and they may be better equipped to handle complex cases. 

Cost: Immigration lawyers typically charge higher fees than immigration consultants. However, the cost may be worth it if you have a complex legal case that requires legal representation and advocacy. 

Approval Rates: According to a 2019 study by the Canadian government, applicants who used an authorized representative, such as an immigration consultant or lawyer, had a higher approval rate than those who applied on their own. The study found that the approval rate for permanent residency applications was 87.8% for those who used an authorized representative, compared to 82.5% for those who applied on their own. 

When Should You Use an Immigration Lawyer?

While immigration consultants can provide valuable assistance with a wide range of immigration matters, there are some situations where an immigration lawyer may be necessary. These include: 

  • Complex legal cases involving multiple issues or grounds of inadmissibility 
  • Previous denials of a visa or entry to Canada 
  • Criminal records or a history of immigration violations 
  • Facing deportation or removal proceedings 
  • Seeking a waiver or exemption for a certain requirement, such as a medical or criminality requirement 

In these situations, an immigration lawyer may be better equipped to provide legal representation and advocacy to help you navigate the complex immigration system. 

When Should You Use an Immigration Consultant?

For simpler cases, such as straightforward work permit applications or study permit applications, an immigration consultant may be able to provide adequate assistance. Immigration consultants can help you prepare your application, ensure that you meet all the requirements, and submit your application to the appropriate government agency. 

Choosing the Right Professional for You

Ultimately, the choice between using an immigration consultant or a lawyer will depend on the complexity of your case, your budget, and your personal preferences. It’s important to do your research and choose a reputable and experienced professional to help you navigate the Canadian immigration system. 

Final Thoughts

When seeking assistance for immigrating to Canada, it’s essential to evaluate your circumstances and needs to determine whether an immigration lawyer or consultant is the best fit for you. Immigration consultants and lawyers both offer valuable support in navigating the immigration process.

If you’re dealing with a complex legal case, facing deportation or removal proceedings, or require in-depth legal expertise, consulting an immigration lawyer may be necessary. However, for simpler cases, an immigration consultant can often provide sufficient assistance.

How Can Trutiics Help?

Explore the options available on Trustiics, an online legal service marketplace. Connect with vetted immigration lawyers who can guide you through the immigration process, ensuring your needs are met.

Sign up for free on Trustiics today to find the right immigration professional for your specific situation.

Don’t forget to take advantage of our Quick Legal Consultation service, available for a flat fee of just US$120. Address specific legal concerns and seek immediate advice, gaining valuable insights and guidance at an affordable cost.

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