Do I need a representative to help me apply?
One of the questions that we get asked a lot is, “Do I need to hire a rep?” It’s usually followed up by, “I’ve looked through all of the forms and they don’t look that difficult.”
If only immigrating to Canada was as simple as filling out a few forms. Our job would be so much less stressful!
Completing the forms is a no brainer. Almost anyone can take information from one place and put it into the proper line. Immigrating to Canada is so much more than a few forms.
Let’s compare it to building a house. Anyone can read online about how to build a house, and then purchase their own hammer and start pounding nails. But out of 100 people who learned how to build a house on the internet, how many will actually be able to construct a structure that anyone would want to live in? Do you want to build your own house?
Building your own house is much more than putting together a few pieces of lumber. There can be issues with the ground that need to be rectified before you start to build, there are bylaws and building codes to follow, you have to take the weather into consideration. There are so many factors that need to be taken into consideration for a house to be built successfully that most people would never take the risk of building their own home. With homebuilding, as with many things in life, It’s usually what you don’t know you don’t know that will trip you up.
It’s the same with applying for immigration to Canada. The forms are not what matters. The process is what matters. And if the process is not managed correctly, you can find yourself permanently separated from your loved ones, unable to work for months at a time, or even refused admission to Canada. The stakes are high in a Canadian immigration application; therefore, it’s very important that the process is handled correctly.
Can I apply for Canada Immigration on my own?
Here are some questions that are worth considering if you are trying to decide if you want to hire a rep or manage the process on your own:
Do I understand the process of what happens from start to finish, how long it should take, and what to expect along the way?
How important is it for me to be successful on the first attempt with this application? Can I make a second attempt if I’m not successful this time?
Do I understand what IRCC is looking for in this sort of application? What do I need to prove that might not be obvious from my perspective?
Does it matter how long it takes before I have an approval for this application, or do I just need it to happen eventually?
Do I know what to do or who to contact if something gets lost at IRCC or the normal process that I am expecting doesn’t seem to occur?
Do I understand how I am qualified for the application that I am making, and can I advocate on my own behalf if IRCC makes a mistake?
Is this application a once in a lifetime opportunity, or will I be able to apply again if I do something wrong on the first attempt? (Anytime an invitation to apply is involved, consider it a once in a lifetime opportunity, because there is no guarantee that you will receive another invitation if something goes wrong).
DIY Immigration disasters
Here are just a handful of scenarios that come to mind on the topic of people who chose to manage their own application, and then realized after the fact that they wished they had obtained professional help. We could literally tell sad stories for hours.
A lovely young couple was working in Canada and entered their details into the Express Entry pool. They assumed they had implied status on that basis, and stayed in Canada, working, past the expiry of their permits. When they came to us, we advised they were out of status, working illegally and the only way to fix their situation was to leave Canada as soon as possible. They went from planning their future in Canada to buying tickets home in the space of an hour.
A newly married couple did not submit an Express Entry application properly and it was returned as incomplete. As a result, the bridging open work permit was refused. The couple faced a choice between moving back overseas in order to work, or waiting inside Canada without working until their new PR application was finalized. As of the time of this writing, they have been out of work for months and are living on their credit cards, waiting for their PR to come through.
A lucky couple received an invitation to apply to sponsor their parents and managed the application on their own. They called our office, panicked, and unable to sleep or eat, because they discovered that their package was delivered to IRCC after the deadline for submission. IRCC returned their application because it was received late, their parents are still overseas, and there is no way to know if they will ever receive another invitation to sponsor.
How much do Immigration Consultants charge in Canada?
When considering the cost of hiring a representative for your immigration to Canada, ensure that you also factor in the losses that you will incur if you decide to manage the application on your own and are unsuccessful.
Every single week, our office gets calls from panicked folks who realize too late that they missed something important with their immigration applications. Sometimes we can assist them to rectify their situation, and other times there is no way to fix the mistake. Tears are common during these meetings. Most of the time, the cost of making a mistake on their own ends up to be significantly higher than hiring a representative in the first place. Losing the chance of life in Canada, flying home on short notice, not being able to work for months on end, living on the other side of the world from your parents indefinitely….these are the hidden costs of representing yourself on an immigration application, with all too real consequences for those who end up down this road.
The best decision in terms of hiring a rep or doing it yourself is going to be different with each situation – people have different circumstances and different levels of comfort with government administrative processes. At the end of the day, ask yourself, “What is my worst-case scenario with this application, and can I live with that?” If the answer is yes, then you’re fine to proceed on your own. If the answer is no, then we would recommend that you enlist the help of a professional to ensure that you are successful on the first attempt and that you have your application approved at the earliest possible opportunity.
The Way Immigration helps people get out of the immigration messes they create on their own while ensuring that our own client files are done properly the first time. No matter how comfortable you feel with your immigration situation, we’re certain that we can provide valuable insights because we do this every day! We have been through the same process thousands of times, we know the ins and outs. Contact our office for an appointment today – you might be surprised at what you haven’t thought about regarding your Canadian immigration application.