Lawyers often get posed this question? Are you an Immigration Consultant? What is an Immigration Lawyer? Why should I hire an Immigration Lawyer who costs more, rather than an Immigration Consultant? There are many misconceptions about Immigration Lawyers vs. Immigration Consultants and I will provide an answer to why you hire a licensed Immigration Lawyer, who has the required education, training and ethics to ensure you have the best representation in your path to Immigration.

As a Lawyer, there is extensive educational training. Canada and the U.S requires a 4-year college degree plus a 3-year Law degree. Lawyers must also pass their local legal bar admission exam in order to practice law. This is over 7 years of post-secondary education. Immigration Consultants are NOT Lawyers. They do not go the law school and in fact, many of them do not hold a bachelor’s degree and they surely do not have to undergo a vigorous Bar Exam. In fact, the Immigration Consultant program is 1-year in duration and often times can be taken ONLINE. In addition, Lawyers are REQUIRED to take continuing legal education classes every year and these classes are typically in the lawyers practice area. Therefore, Lawyers are constantly staying up to date in their field and are constantly receiving updates about the law from government agencies approving the cases. We know the law and our success rate shows this. Our education, training and analytical skills help you achieve the best outcome possible!

Lastly, another MAJOR benefit of hiring an Immigration Lawyer is that only Lawyers may appear before the Federal Court. In the unlikely event your application is denied due to a mistake of law, as a Barrister of the Court, we have the authority to appear for you. An immigration lawyer will review, analyze and challenge cases based on their legal expertise. On the other hand, the Immigration Consultant would not be able to perform the same action and they will have to refer the case to a Lawyer.

When people contact me, it is often after the fact, when they have already had a negative experience, lost time and lost significant money because of false promises. Currently, there is a lot of distrust in the immigration field because of the amount of negligence and fraud and Immigration Canada is aware of this problem. As Lawyer’s we must mitigate this from happening as we have taken an oath and must adhere to the rules and regulations of the licensing Bar, which has a higher standard of governance. The instances of fraud by Immigration Consultants is continuous and it doesn’t just happen in Canada. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has brought action against Consultants submitting fraudulent visa applications in Texas and California for temporary work visas. The State Bar of California has published an article to warn the public about Immigration Consultants and to understand their scope and limitations. This is just one example of a licensing Bar taking action to warn the public. Having a Licensing Bar creates and maintains a code of ethical standards for lawyers. It teaches us to be competent, prompt and diligent and ensure our conduct conforms to the law or face liability. Having a Licensing Bar increases public understanding of the legal process and provides avenues for the public to submit complaints of fraud.

After reading this, I hope you will do your due diligence when hiring someone to represent you in one of the most important decisions you will make. Now, wouldn’t you feel more comfortable if the person you hired had the education, training and skills and was also subject to special standards and regulations? As a Lawyer Licensed in two countries (Ontario, Canada and Georgia, U.S.A), I have two governing bodies that regulate my practice. I answer each email personally and as a client, you will always have direct contact with ME, no one else. After working in a Fortune 500 company and successfully leading several volume programs, I obtained specialized, in-depth immigration legal skills to get you approved! Do not make the mistake of being lured into false promises and false hopes. No one should be taken advantage of. Trust a professional, licensed Immigration Lawyer and get your process underway. Contact the Law Firm of Faryal R. Poonah now!