Don’t ask these questions when immigrating to Canada

Don't Ask Immigration CanadaLucas is a citizen of Andorra who intends to immigrate to Canada. Of course, he is willing to find a fast and easy way for immigration. However, one of Luca’s friends says to him: Don’t ask specific questions when you intend to immigrate to Canada. Lucas wonders why is that? Isn’t it a legitimate question to expect a fast, easy, cheap and guaranteed immigration option?

Once upon a time, Canada offered extremely cheap farmland to encourage immigration. Unfortunately, those good old days are long gone. The current immigration system is complicated and time-consuming. Many people do not qualify to apply in the first place. Consequently, if you intend to immigrate to Canada, don’t ask any of the following questions!

Table of contents

Don’t ask: “Can you offer me an easy immigration option?”

The process of immigration to Canada is challenging. Why? Simply put, millions of people want to immigrate to Canada. However, Canada can accept a limited number of immigrants every year. Therefore, they put many measures to cherry-pick the best candidates. For example, some of the typical requirements include the following:

  • Knowledge of either English or French languages: To verify language abilities, you need to take an official test and get high scores. Unless you master one of those languages, none of the existing tests is easy.
  • Post-secondary education: If you do not hold a post-secondary credential, you will have limited options to immigrate to Canada. Regardless, you need to evaluate your credentials via specific organizations. Of course, this takes time and money.
  • Past work experience: Imagine going back to your employers one by one and asking for work reference letters.
  • Financial documents: Think about collecting bank statements, business financial statements, etc.
  • Background information: You need police certificates from every country that you have lived for a long time. Of course, the immigration authorities must make sure you are not inadmissible to Canada.
  • Medical examination: If a person is a threat to Canadians’ health, they could become inadmissible to Canada. Also, you must not impose an excessive demand on our healthcare system. Therefore, you and your dependent family members need to go through a comprehensive medical examination.

Of course, these are some generic examples. Depending on the method of immigration, the documents you need vary. Collecting documents is not an easy task. Nonetheless, the officer may request more documents from you in the future. They may even invite you to an interview.

Don’t ask: “Can I immigrate quickly?”

The immigration process is time-consuming. I remember attending an event with the former Minister of Immigration, Ahmed Hussen, as the speaker. He mentioned that IRCC had implemented procedures to meet a 12-month processing time for spousal immigration. Of course, this is not the case all the time. My sponsorship applications have taken anywhere from three months to 22 months so far. However, even if we accept the claim, it is proof that the immigration process is time-consuming. Keep in mind that spousal sponsorship is usually one of the quickest options for immigration to Canada. Nonetheless, consider reading my article on this topic.

Don’t ask: “Can you offer me a cheap immigration option?”

I hate to break it to you, but immigration to Canada is costly. Of course, if you decide to do it yourself, you do not need to pay professional fees to a practitioner. However, you may not escape the following expenditure:

  • Processing fees could cost up to $1550 per person in your household for Federal options. Of course, you also need to pay hundreds or sometimes thousands of dollars in processing fees for provincial programs.
  • If they approve your application, you need to pay up to $1000 in landing fee (Right of Permanent Resident Fee)
  • Most people need to give biometrics, which costs $85 per person and $170 per family.
  • Medical examinations could cost hundreds of dollars per person.
  • Consider other expenses, depending on the immigration options, namely:
    • Appraisal of properties
    • Collection and translation of documents
    • Travel expenses to attend an interview with the officer.
    • Mailing the packages
    • Preparing financial statements for your businesses
    • Review of your financial documents by a trusted partner of the immigration authorities
    • Business registration or purchase in Canada
    • Assessing your education credentials
    • Conducting exploratory visits to Canada

Of course, this list is neither inclusive nor exclusive. As mentioned earlier, if you decide to hire a professional, you also need to pay the professional fees, which could be thousands of dollars.

Don’t ask: “Can you guarantee my success?”

What a weird question that I hear a few times a month! Let me be frank with you. No one in this world can guarantee your success. Here are some reasons:

  • The decision-maker is an immigration officer, not the immigration practitioner: How can you expect the middle-man to guarantee the authorities’ decisions in charge?
  • Whether we like it or not, the immigration officers can incorporate their discretion in the decision-making process. Of course, they have to follow the immigration law, but the law leaves room for them to decide. Even courts rarely interfere with the job of an immigration officer. They have a term for this practice: deference.
  • Sometimes unforeseen issues result in the refusal or rejection of an application. For example, Canada may exit an international treaty, or the new government may decide to stop a popular immigration option.
  • Since the immigration process is time-consuming, your situation could change. For example, I had a client who got a divorce from her husband and lost most of her net worth in the process. Unfortunately, this resulted in her disqualification.

If you request guaranteed results, you only push away honest practitioners. Consequently, you may end up with fraudsters or dishonest people who will empty your pockets or cause misrepresentation.

Don’t ask: “Can you give me references?”

Asking for references seems a reasonable expectation. However, at best, the practitioner will cherrypick some of their most satisfied customers. I’m not quite sure how this could help you in deciding whether to hire that professional or not. Of course, if you encounter a dishonest practitioner, they may introduce fake clients to you. This practice is counter-productive. Instead of focusing on references or testimonials, consider the following:

  • Make sure the practitioner holds a valid licence.
    • Contact their regulator to investigate their disciplinary history.
  • Visit their websites and social media to test their extent of knowledge and customer service.
  • Review their blog posts, videos and other types of publications
  • Check out their media presence.
  • Look into their memberships to respected organizations.
  • Contact them directly and use your critical thinking to see if they are trustworthy.

As usual, this list is neither inclusive nor exclusive.

Conclusion

There is no magic wand in finding your way in the labyrinth of immigration. Nonetheless, your critical thinking remains your best friend.

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Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

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Al Parsai

Al Parsai is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) in Toronto, Canada. He also teaches the official immigration consulting courses at Ashton College in Vancouver, Canada. Al who holds a Masters degree from Yorkville University is a member of ICCRC and CAPIC organizations. Al, the CEO of Parsai Immigration Services, has represented hundreds of applicants from more than 30 countries to the immigration authorities since January 2011.

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