1. Do I have to get a lawyer?
You are not mandated to have a lawyer for many types of immigration and refugee applications. If your matter is straightforward and you have the time and ability to handle your own application, then you may decide that this is the best option for you. However, for many individuals, having the guidance and assistance of a trusted, reputable, and knowledgeable advocate is an important consideration for putting the best case forward.
2. What are the benefits of having a lawyer?
Lawyers are different than non-lawyer representatives in terms of the specific requirements they must meet to both obtain and maintain their license to practice law.
In Ontario, lawyers must abide by the strict educational, training and testing requirements imposed by the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC). This often includes securing an undergraduate degree from a recognized university, a law degree from an accredited institution, writing Bar Admissions Exams, and currently, the completion of an “articling” apprenticeship under another lawyer.
Once licensed, the LSUC further imposes ongoing continuing education requirements, insurance requirements, and regulates how lawyers manage your money, how lawyers operate their practice and how lawyers manage their professional responsibilities and any potential conflicts of interest.
Together, these licensing requirements assist in protecting the interests of clients and the public.
3. How do I find the right person to represent me?
Not every lawyer or representative is for everyone. As a starting point, it is useful to arrange an initial consultation and meet with the person in question. This will enable you to get a feel for the person and whether or not they will fit you and your particular needs. It is also a good opportunity to ask questions and clarify any issues you may have. For example, when meeting with a representative, you may wish to ask how your application will be prepared and what will be included, and/or what you can expect from your representative and what he or she will expect from you.
4. What are your fees?
Fees depend on the type of application(s) you are seeking to put forward and the complexity of your case. We know the importance of having a clear idea of your expenses and managing your finances. For this reason we offer a block fee option to all our clients.
After undertaking an initial consultation, we will provide you with a block fee for our services. On top of this fee would be HST (13%) and an estimated cost of “disbursements”. Disbursements are costs incidental to your application, and includes such things as: applicable government fees for the application, photocopying charges, and courier fees.
Should you wish, we also offer our clients an hourly billing option. This service is recommended for individuals who wish to have some assistance with only part of their application. Should you choose this option, a detailed invoice will be provided accounting for all the time spent on your file.
In all cases however, booking an initial consultation is the first step towards determining both the right representative and billing option for you.
5. Do you take legal aid?
We accept legal aid certificates issued by Legal Aid Ontario (LAO).
6. Can I get legal aid?
In order to get legal aid, you must be both financially eligible and have a legal problem that is covered by legal aid. To find out if you qualify, contact Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) directly either via phone at 1-800-668-8258 or by consulting their website at http://www.legalaid.on.ca/
7. I need help right now, what can I do?
We offer 24 hour emergency service so you can feel free to call us anytime that something comes up and you find yourself in need of legal assistance.