Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I hire someone to help me to migrate? Can I make an application on my own?
You may apply on your own without hiring anyone to help you and your case may be approved. However, there are two kinds of serious risks of doing it this way.
First, moving to a new country is a serious matter with long term consequences to your life. If something goes wrong and your case is rejected or delayed, how serious would that be to your plans? Do you want to take this risk? We do these applications every day as our profession and so the risk of problems occurring is minimized.
Second, are you sure that you are making the best kind application for your particular situation? Do you really know the informal rules on how the system really works, not just what the government or some self-serving advisor or blogger wants you to know from their website? Do you really know all of your options? There are over 50 different types of permanent residence applications and most people (and even many advisors) don’t know them all.
What Factors should I Consider When Choosing an Advisor?
There are several factors you should look at:
1. Is the advisor a qualified Canadian immigration consultant or a Canadian lawyer? (See below in the FAQ for more information on important differences between lawyers and consultants.)
2. How much experience do they have? (Mr. Goldman has 18 years of experience as an immigration lawyer.)
3. What combination of services do they offer? (Please see the page “Why Choose Us” for more information about our services.)
4. Is the advisor directly involved in your case? Can you contact the person easily? (With Goldman Associates, the answer is yes to both questions.)
5. Do you have a good personal relationship with the advisor? Do your personalities fit together well?
6. What is the reputation of the advisor? You should google the advisor to see what others say in general about the quality of services.
What is the difference between an immigration lawyer and an immigration consultant?
Only qualified immigration lawyers or qualified immigration consultants are authorized to represent migrants with the Canadian immigration authorities. However, there is a big difference between these two different occupations.
It is much more difficult to become an immigration lawyer than an immigration consultant. A lawyer is usually required to have a three-year undergraduate university degree before getting into law school. Then they must usually spend at least three years to get a law degree at a university. Then they must spend another nine months of practical training under the supervision of a senior lawyer. Then they must pass the extremely difficult bar admission exams. In total this usally takes at least seven years.
By contrast, immigration consultants are only required to pass a relatively easy exam after taking a course that need not be offered at the university level and that can be done completely online or that can be done for only four hours per day for only four months.
So lawyers are required to spend at least seven years to become qualified while consultants can become qualified in under one year.
Mr. Goldman has gone through the process of becoming a lawyer in addition to getting an honours undergraduate degree (an extra year) and a Master’s degree plus he has almost 18 years of experience as a Canadian immigration lawyer.
To understand the relative roles of lawyers and consultants at our law firm, you should note that some of the staff in our law firm are or were immigration consultants but they are always operating under the strict supervision of our managing lawyer, Mr. Goldman. Mr. Goldman is responsible to the authorities for your application and all representations made and has been taking these responsibilities very seriously for the past 18 years. He personally approves all letters and applications that leave our law firm.
In addition, lawyers are able to challenge the decisions of immigration officers because we are able to go to Federal court on behalf of our clients. Immigration consultants cannot take court action and are therefore much less powerful than lawyers at representing their clients’ interests if the authorities do anything unreasonable.
Are your fees more expensive than immigration consultants or other lawyers?
Our fees vary depending on the difficulty of your case but in general we try to position ourselves in the middle of the market. We have seen that consultants often charge more than we do. We invite you to compare the quality of our services and our fees with our competitors.
Since I do not Live Near one of your Offices, How am I Able to Get Advice and Review the Application with You?
We travel regularly to try to meet our clients for face-to-face personal meetings. For all other times, we use email, telephone and Skype video/audio calls to remain in regular communicate with you. We also have a leading edge computer system which allows you to have a personal password to enter our system and to provide us with information, to upload documents and and to review the current status of your application in real time.
Can Goldman Associates help me with applications for Quebec?
Definitely. Ian Goldman is routinely granted special authority by the Barreau du Québec (The Quebec Bar Association) to represent clients to the Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés Culturelles in Quebec. Ian Goldman represents many Quebec-bound clients with their applications, with Quebec Investor applications being a focus.
Consultations can be provided in French upon request.
Are you looking for agents to represent Goldman Associates overseas?
Yes, we are always looking to develop new relationships with agents overseas. If you believe that you would be suitable to be an agent then please send an e-mail to us and we will provide you with more information. Thanks for your interest.
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