Permanent residents and Canadian citizens who have immigrated to Canada and made the tough decision to leave their family behind in their home country yearn for the day to be reunited with their families.

The most common question Canadian citizens and permanent residents ask immigration lawyers is how can they sponsor their families to come to Canada.

You may be eligible to sponsor certain family members to Canada under the Family Class if you’re at least eighteen years old and a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.

It is important to note if you sponsor someone to come to Canada you must:

  • support your relative financially when they arrive,
  • be able to meet basic needs for yourself and your relatives, such as food, shelter, and clothing, and
  • make sure your relative doesn’t need social assistance.

Canada will insist on sponsors signing what is called an undertaking. The undertaking makes you financially responsible to the person you decide to sponsor in Canada for a period of time. The period of time you are financially responsible for the sponsored person can range from three to twenty years, depending on the person’s living situation and their relationship to you.

The relatives that may be sponsored are:

  • spouses,
  • common-law partners,
  • conjugal partners,
  • dependent children,
  • parents,
  • grandparents, and
  • orphaned brothers or sisters, nephews or nieces, and grandchildren who are under eighteen years of age and not married.

We understand how difficult a decision it is to sponsor your family in Canada. We also understand how difficult it may be to navigate the immigration laws surrounding sponsorship. We strive to help families not only understand the laws surrounding sponsorship but also make the process less stressful. If you have any questions, please call Heath Law LLP to book a consultation.

Each year, Canada sets targets for the number of people allowed to enter under each of its immigration programs. Between 2019 and 2021, Canada set a target of allowing one million new permanent residents into the country.

If you are considering immigrating to Canada, you may be wondering who can help you with your immigration needs. You may also wonder whether you should hire an immigration consultant or a lawyer.

Anyone accepting payment for Canadian immigration services must be properly licensed. The following are the differences between immigration lawyers and immigration consultants:

What Is an Immigration Consultant?

An Immigration consultant must belong to the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) and have an ICCRC number.

Consultants need a one-year certification to obtain registration. Consultants are less knowledgeable than lawyers and have a more considerable margin of error in processing applications.

Consultants are not lawyers, did not attend law school, and cannot advocate in court for you.

What Is an Immigration Lawyer?

Lawyers must attend law school, pass the bar exam and be a member of a provincial Law Society.

An immigration lawyer can attend immigration interviews with you. If your application comes under judicial review, a lawyer has the authority to advocate for you in court.

Lawyers are held to a higher ethical standard than consultants and must always work in your best interests.

Immigration lawyers, and lawyers in general, are regulated and governed by provincial law societies; they do not have ICCRC numbers. Your lawyer’s authority is their membership under a Law Society.

Avoid Fraud

While properly licensed immigration consultants are reliable and helpful in the immigration process, there are however reports of a high incidence of fraud. Ensure you verify all immigration services you are receiving and be careful of anything that sends up a red flag, including:

  • payment upfront without a consultation,
  • no contract to sign,
  • money for a job offer,
  • guarantee of success in your immigration application,
  • a consultant unable to provide an ICCRC number; or
  • a lawyer unable to provide a provincial law association listing.

Benefits of Immigration Lawyer Representation

Canada’s immigration law and programs are complex and confusing. Immigration lawyers stay up to date on Canada’s changing immigration laws and can help walk you through the process of immigrating to Canada.

You will want to hire an immigration lawyer where you have:

  • medical concerns,
  • prior refusals, or
  • a criminal conviction,

The above are all factors that could cause a denial of your application.

Lawyers are familiar with immigration laws and regulations and can help you obtain permanent residency, a work visa, or citizenship.

Immigration to Canada

When considering whether to hire an immigration consultant or an immigration lawyer, ensure you are getting the best possible representation by doing a little research. Heath Law LLP can help you with your application, answer your questions, and provide expert legal advice.

Canadian Permanent Residence Entry

One of the main questions people wishing to immigrate to Canada ask immigration lawyers is how they can receive permanent residency in Canada. Achieving a status of permanent residency is one step closer to achieving Canadian citizenship. The Canadian government receives thousands of applications each year for people wishing to become permanent residents.

What Is a Canadian Permanent Resident?

A permanent resident is a citizen of another state given permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada.

A person allowed in Canada temporarily, such as a student or a foreign worker, is not a permanent resident and does not have the same status as a permanent resident.

As a permanent resident, you will have the following rights:

  • to receive the social benefits that Canadian citizens receive, including health care,
  • to live and work anywhere you wish in Canada,
  • to apply for Canadian citizenship, and
  • to be protected under Canadian law.

As a Canadian permanent resident, you must pay taxes and respect all Canadian laws at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels.

There are five main programs to obtain permanent residency:

  • Express Entry—certain economic immigration programs that allow for foreign nationals to immigrate to Canada to fill jobs where there is a lack of available skilled Canadian workers.
  • Business Immigration—allows foreign nationals to invest in Canada. Usually, business immigration is a path for those immigrants who have experience owning, managing, or investing in businesses.
  • Family Sponsorship—a Canadian citizen or permanent resident can sponsor family members to immigrate to Canada through several programs. If a family is separated when immigrating to Canada, family sponsorship helps reunite them.
  • Canadian Experience Class—allows temporary foreign workers and foreign students to apply their work experience and education toward their applications for temporary residency.
  • Provincial Nominee Program—allows workers who have the skills, education, and work experience to contribute economically to a specific Canadian province or territory. Each province has its own stream and programs that target students, business people, skilled workers, and semiskilled workers.

Navigating the different programs toward permanent residency may be complex and difficult. Heath Law LLP would be pleased to help with your immigration needs.