When I checked my inbox this morning I came across a very important email from an organization of immigration professionals that we belong to.
Actually, this email is really imperative to my ability to practice immigration law i forwarded it to any or all of my staff, saved it within our firm’s electronic address book, and printed it for inclusion inside the binder that sits on my small desk right by my telephone.
Yet, the fact is that this email makes me think that I am a silent partner in the bit of a deception being perpetrated around the public by CIC. Let me explain.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada clearly takes great public pride in the level of information and resources it provides for the public through its website and call centre. CIC boasts that “All the forms and knowledge that you need to apply for a visa are around for free on this web site.”
Therefore, it is no wonder that inside the website’s FAQ, the answer to the question: “Do I want an immigration representative that helped me to apply?” is really a “no.”
The public is told that “The Government of Canada treats everyone equally, if they use a representative or otherwise not.”
Will your case be processed quicker should you work with a representative? CIC advises that “If you choose to hire a representative, the job won’t be given special attention from the immigration officer.”
Is really true? Is the information you will need really on the market? Do you really need legal counsel? Wouldn’t it make any difference when you have one? Put yet another way: are people who are using lawyers and consultants to handle their immigration applications just squandering their funds?
I hate answering these questions since doing other’s immigration work is the way i make my living. People would be justified in succeeding as sceptical about my solutions to these questions.
But the truth is “all the information you need” is not really available and, yes, oftentimes legal counsel or consultant’s involvement can spell the real difference between success, delay, or abject failure.
The knowledge at cic.gc.ca is general naturally and should not possibly contemplate the infinite factual scenarios that applicants might present when applying. Furthermore, the agents on the call centre cannot and do not provide callers with legal services. It is simply not within their mandate to take action. Instead, they provide “general info on the CIC lines of commercial… provide case specific information, and accept orders for CIC publications and application kits.”
Put simply, they can’t tell you everything you ‘should’ do when confronted with obstacles or strategic decisions to create.
Also, in the event you encounter a challenge that should be escalated, which isn’t uncommon, you will discover precious little information on the CIC website regarding where you should direct your trouble or question.
Not too with immigration professionals.
The email I received today is an update of CIC’s protocol on how immigration professionals should direct their queries. The correspondence contains the email address contact information for every Canadian visa post overseas and the names and email addresses from the immigration program managers at each and every of the offices. It lets us know how, also to whom, to direct case-specific enquiries for the Case Management Branch in Ottawa so when and how to follow-up if we do not receive a timely reply. It provides instructions concerning how to direct communications relating to service quality complaints, situations involving possible misconduct or malfeasance of immigration officers, procedures, operational and selection policy, and processing times and levels.
To my knowledge, these details are not distributed to the public. CIC’s failure to publicise this info will not reflect preferential treatment for those who are represented. Instead, it’s just an acknowledgement that immigration professionals do, and also have always, played an important role to make an overburdened and under-resourced program function whatsoever (if not function better).
Sharing this information with all the public would result in an avalanche of correspondence being provided to senior officials who’re spread so thinly which they could never get any other work done.
It’s true that, with the exception of exceptional and deserving cases, getting a lawyer or consultant can’t receive an application moved from the back with the line towards the front of the line. Also, an official is not going to approve an applicant who isn’t qualified just because they’re represented. However, additionally it is true that an honest and experienced representative won’t clog up the machine by submitting a credit card applicatoin that simply won’t fly.
Furthermore, professionals who concentrate on the bradenton area know the process and understand how to avoid errors that induce delays. They know the way to sift through mounds of convoluted facts and properly and convincingly document and present the salient ones so that you can establish the cornerstone for that approval of the application efficiently.
CIC doesn’t want to acknowledge the positive role lawyers and consultants play in making its bureaucracy work with people. It is loath to determine us as partners in delivering the immigration plan it is given annually by Canada’s immigration minister during the day.
Immigration law Asheville