According to Statistics Canada, in 2021, 46.6% of Toronto’s population were immigrants.
This means almost half of the people in this city were or are currently undergoing a migratory process.
Therefore, a lot of them will find it handy to have some tips on choosing a Toronto immigration lawyer, since processes like permanent residence or citizenship are complex.
An immigration lawyer will also go over your paperwork and confirm there are no mistakes, which can cost you money and have legal implications.
And they will also counsel you in a process that can take several months to years. So basically, they will make this process a lot easier for you. Here are 6 tips to hire a Toronto immigration lawyer:
Before you hire a legal counsel, it’s extremely important to research which legal firms are highly respected and have good online reviews, either on Google or Facebook.
Consider there might be a few bad reviews, but if most of them are good, it means the firm is solid.
It’s also important to see how many years of experience they have, the areas in which they specialize and if their webpage includes any client testimonials.
Checking the Law Society of Ontario to make sure the lawyer you are considering is authorized to practice is also important.
2.) Schedule Consultations
Once your research is complete, you’ll have a list of the firms that interest you. Schedule consultations with each lawyer you are interested in hiring.
Once you’re in the consultation, ask them if they have experience with cases similar to yours, different immigration pathways, any issues that might arise, how long the process might take and your chances of success.
Some good questions to include in your consultation can be:
- How often will you update me on my case?
- How can I get in touch with you if I have any questions?
- How much more will I be charged if any complications arise?
Be wary of lawyers who give you unethical or illegal advice. Also, don’t consider those who claim they have a 100% success rate because this is impossible.
3.) Discuss Prices
During your first consultation, always ask about the fees for your process and how payments for these will be organized.
When you decide what Toronto immigration lawyer you’ll go for, make sure the fees are included and clearly outlined in the retainer agreement you sign.
If you find out your case is complex or want to know the exact price the lawyer will charge for his services, ask for a fixed-fee contract.
4.) Consider You Will Have An Important Relationship With Your Lawyer And Act Accordingly
It is of utmost importance to have a good relationship with your immigration lawyer because you will communicate with them very frequently. Getting along with them will make the process less stressful.
Also, it will put your mind at ease knowing the person who is representing you is reliable and trustworthy.
It’s key to consider in the initial consultation that the lawyer communicates clearly, asks the right questions and is good at explaining complex legal terms.
It’s also important the lawyer doesn’t make you feel rushed or pressured into making a quick decision.
5.) Oversee The Process Constantly
Finally, it’s essential that you’re actively involved throughout the immigration process.
This means you’ll have to ask your lawyer to update you on every development in your case.
Also, remember to ask for clarification if you don’t understand something about your process. This might translate into later issues you could have avoided.
6.) Be Aware Of Red Flags
When hiring an immigration lawyer, it’s crucial to be aware of potential red flags that may indicate an unreliable or incompetent attorney.
While most immigration lawyers are reputable professionals, it’s always wise to exercise caution.
Some of the most common red flags are guaranteeing success, poor communication scales, and/or lack of specialization.
If they have unreasonable or unusable fees, that is another huge red flag. Any lawyers that charge extremely high fees without proper justification or even unusually low fees should be avoided.
Also be careful of lawyers that encourage fraudulent practices such as falsifying documents or general dishonesty to game the system, this can have major consequences for you.
Hiring the right immigration lawyer is a crucial step in navigating the complex process of immigration.
With nearly half of Toronto’s population comprising immigrants, having reliable legal counsel becomes even more important.
By following these six tips, you can make an informed decision when selecting a Toronto immigration lawyer.