When you apply for Canadian Permanent Residence visa under the Skilled Worker Immigration scheme, you have two options:
a) Hiring an Immigration Representative: The first option is to hire the services of an Immigration Representative / Consultant. They are also called Immigration Lawyers. Their job is to make the process easier for you, because they know exactly the documents you need to submit with your application. They normally charge legal fees and government fees. The legal fees refer to the fees they charge for their consulting services, and the government fees refer to the fees that have to be paid to the Canadian government in order to apply.
According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (2005), authorized, paid representatives may only be:
– Immigration consultants who are members in good standing of the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants. If you wish to verify if an Immigration Consultant is in good standing of this Institution, please visit the following website:[http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/consultants/verify-rep.html#consultants]
– Lawyers who are members in good standing of a Canadian law society and students-at-law under their supervision. Please visit their following website to verify a lawyer’s status in a Society: [http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/consultants/verify-rep.html#law-societies]
– Notaries who are members in good standing of the Chambre des notaires du Québec and students-at-law under their supervision. For further information please visit the following website: [http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/consultants/notaries]
If you wish to hire an Immigration Representative to assist you with your Permanent Residence application, you need to complete the form called “Use of a Representative” [Number – IMM 5476].
Its purpose is to appoint the representative to establish communication and conduct business with Citizenship and Immigration Canada on your behalf. Please note that the forms may change from time to time, so you should verify which form you need to use at [http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/consultants/index.html].
Of course, not all Immigration Lawyers are professional and ethical. If you are interested in finding an ethical and authorized Canadian Immigration Lawyer, send me an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be glad to send you my recommendations.
b) Applying by yourself You can also apply by yourself. The advantage is that you save the legal fees of the Representative, which sometimes can be 2 to 3 times the government fees.
If you decide to apply by yourself, I strongly recommend downloading Step-by-Step Immigration to Canada. This take-you-by-the-hand manual will simplify your Canadian visa application process.
Alex Berez is author of “Step-by-Step Immigration to Canada” and owner of http://www.stepbystepimmigrationcanada.com.