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March 13, 2023

5 Reasons to Choose an Immigration Lawyer vs. an Immigration Consultant

Choose an immigration lawyer vs. an immigration consultant for the best in experience and expertise.

As an experienced immigration lawyer, Eastman Law understands how difficult the process is. Immigrating to a new country can be a complex and challenging process, and many individuals choose to hire an immigration professional to help them navigate the process.

There are two types of professions people seek to help with their immigration process: an immigration lawyer or an immigration consultant. And while both are licensed professionals authorized to provide assistance with immigration matters in Canada, there are some key differences between the two that should be considered before making a decision.

Immigration lawyer vs an immigration consultant  – what’s the difference?

Immigration lawyers are licensed by the Law Society of their province to provide legal services, including advice and representation, on a variety of legal matters, including immigration. They have a much more comprehensive legal education than Immigration consultants. Immigration consultants are licensed by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) to provide advice and assistance to individuals seeking to immigrate to Canada. Consultants must complete a designated education program, pass an exam, and meet other requirements set by the ICCRC. They have the authorization to represent clients before the Canadian government on immigration matters.

While both immigration consultants and immigration lawyers receive training in immigration law, lawyers can provide far more extensive legal services.

Why choose a lawyer for your immigration needs?

Immigrating to Canada can be a complex and daunting process. You don’t want to leave your immigration needs to chance. Here are five reasons why you may want to choose an immigration lawyer vs. an immigration consultant:

1. Legal expertise

Immigration lawyers have a deep understanding of Canadian law and are trained to provide legal advice and services, which can be particularly beneficial for complex immigration cases. They are equipped to provide legal analysis, develop legal strategies, and provide expert guidance through the entire immigration process. They have completed an undergraduate degree, a law degree, and a period of practical training before being called to the bar and practising law, providing a more in-depth legal education than immigration consultants.

2. Representation in court

One of the main differences between immigration lawyers and immigration consultants is the ability to represent clients in court. Immigration lawyers are authorized to provide legal representation in court, which can be essential in cases where an immigration application has been refused or when a hearing is required. On the other hand, immigration consultants cannot represent clients in court, which can limit their ability to assist clients in some circumstances.

4. Scope of practice

Immigration lawyers are authorized to provide legal services on a broad range of legal matters beyond immigration issues. They can provide legal advice and representation on non-immigration-related issues such as family law, civil litigation, or criminal law. This can be beneficial for individuals who require legal assistance beyond immigration matters.

5. Professional standards

Immigration lawyers are held to a higher standard of professional conduct than immigration consultants. They are subject to the professional standards and ethical guidelines set by their respective provincial law society, which can provide an additional layer of protection for clients. Immigration lawyers are required to maintain professional liability insurance and can be held accountable for any breach of their professional standards, while immigration consultants are accountable to the ICCRC.

6. Complex cases

Immigration lawyers are better suited to assist with complex immigration cases than immigration consultants. These types of cases may include issues such as criminal inadmissibility, misrepresentation, or appeals. Immigration lawyers can provide more in-depth legal analysis and develop more effective legal strategies for these types of cases. They have a more comprehensive legal education and can provide a wider range of legal services than immigration consultants.

Whether you’re considering an immigration lawyer or an immigration consultant, it’s important to research and compare before making a decision. Take into consideration their qualifications, experience, and fees. But when you choose an immigration lawyer, you enjoy greater peace of mind knowing that you have a highly qualified professional to assist you through the complicated immigration process.

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