Recently, the United Nations Development Program issued their annual report of the best places to live, which indicated that Canada was ranked fourth in the world for living standards. This reflects the high quality of life that residents experience in this multicultural and dynamic country. It is no surprise then that Canada is consistently rated as one of the most desirable destinations for relocation and immigration.
Canada is often referred to as a cultural mosaic, built by a society that respects and celebrates the cultures of many countries from around the world. In 2006, Statistics Canada recorded that 6,186,950 foreign-born people now live in Canada. Immigration accounted for virtually one in five, or nearly 20% of the total Canadian population, the highest proportion in 75 years.
Although recessionary pressures and recent changes to criteria have tightened the entry requirements, immigration to Canada remains comparatively easy, and applications can be made through the relevant authorities under your own steam. However, recent statistics reveal that an estimated thirty percent of all applicants who lodge their application directly with the immigration authorities get it incorrect and are denied on technical issues because they did not use an agent to compile and double-check their application and test for immigration eligibility.
Increasing competition for a fixed number of places allocated to Canada means that the immigration authorities can only approve applicants with the best prepared applications, thus creating the need for independent immigration consultants. Immigration consultants not only streamline the application process, reducing waiting times and the stress involved, but also provide valuable information and services such as job search and advice, business migration and settlement services and obtaining official recognition for your trades and skills.
However, all things are not created equally, and there are certain factors that you should look for when selecting an immigration consultant for your intended move to Canada. The immigration consulting industry has been formally recognised by the various governments through the creation of professional industry bodies. Therefore, it is imperative to ensure that you use a consultant that is recognised by the relevant professional and regulatory bodies, in this case the Canada Society for Immigration Consultants – CSIC. This is your protection that you are dealing with a reputable, professional firm. Certified consultants are equipped with the latest information on immigration law, procedures and practices and go about their business according to a strict, enforceable Code of Conduct.
The more reputable agencies are able to offer free jobseeker programs with integrated fast track visa programs, which will assist in you not only in the immigration process, but in finding employment that is both desirable and lucrative, in an industry in Canada which represents your skill sets and experience.
Before deciding upon a specific immigration company or consultant, you need answers to key questions such as:
– Are they a member in good standing of the country’s main professional regulatory/licensing body?
– How long have they been practising?
– What is their (audited) success rate?
– Are they telling you that they can guarantee success?
– What payment and terms of payment are expected?