IMMIGRATION knowledge base

Below is a list of commonly asked questions that Bon Voyage receives on a daily basis from existing and potential clients around the world as well as the answers to those questions, which may prove useful and relevant to you.

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“the frequent changes of the law in the immigration field…which are almost impossible for lawyers to keep up with, let alone ordinary people.”

Hiring a Canadian Immigration Lawyer or Consultant does not result in guaranteed acceptance of your Canadian immigration application but it has been proven to reduce the chances of having your application returned or refused outright. Canadian immigration laws and procedures are extremely complex. It is worth noting that:

*Over 25% of files submitted by applicants without the assistance of a representative are returned for being incomplete.
*Over 45% of all Canadian immigration applications submitted without the assistance of a representative are refused.

By having your Canadian immigration application refused or returned you risk wasting several months as well as forfeiting the Canadian government application processing fees. You will have to resubmit your application (assuming that you still qualify) to the back of the queue.

Therefore, a well-qualified Canadian immigration lawyer or Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant can save you time and money in the long run.

You may only be represented by one of the following:

• Lawyers and paralegals who are members in good standing of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society,
• Immigration consultants who are members in good standing of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC).
• Quebec Notaries

These people are called “authorized” representatives. Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada will not deal with representatives who are not members of one of the above groups.

The Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) is a Canadian government organization created with the objective to regulate Canadian immigration consultants. Members are known as Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants or RCIC’s.

Bon Voyage Immigration Services Inc. is proud members of the ICCRC, our license number is R515042

Each member will have a certificate of authorization and a photo identity card. Their license number with begin with an “R” and be followed by 6 digits. You are also advised to verify membership by visiting the ICCRC website: http://secure.iccrc-crcic.ca/search-new/EN

To practice Canadian immigration law a person must meet the following requirements:

• Must be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident.
• Must pass a recognized Canadian immigration law program.
• Pass the ICCRC 3-hour licensing exam.
• Undergo extensive security, credit and insolvency checks.
• Must hold valid errors and omissions insurance in the sum of $5 million.

All regulated Canadian immigration consultants must attend bi-monthly seminars and training events to keep up to date with changes in Canadian immigration law.

They must also abide by a strict Code of Professional Ethics and maintain errors and omissions insurance to ensure that you, the client, are protected.

In some circumstances we can provide an eligibility assessment after reviewing your CV. If your situation is more complex or you want detailed answers to your Canadian immigration questions then we recommend a personal consultation at one of our offices in Birmingham or London, England or Vancouver, Canada.

This will give us an opportunity to provide more tailored Canadian immigration advice as well as conduct a legal merits test to assess your Canadian immigration pplication has a strong chance of success.

Bon Voyage makes every effort to respond to all inquiries within one (1) calendar day. Please contact our office if we have not acknowledged receipt of your communication within one (1) calendar day from the time of receipt.

You can communicate with us by phone, visa email, Facebook or by simply dropping in our office during business hours. Our business hours are Monday to Saturday, 09:00-17:00, Pacific Time and Sunday by appointments only.

Obtaining "permanent residence" or "permanent resident status" in Canada is also known as "immigrating to Canada" or becoming a "landed immigrant." The successful end result of the Immigration process is the issuance of an “immigrant visa” or “confirmation of permanent residence document”. Persons to whom an immigrant visa/confirmation of permanent residence document has been issued must present themselves to an Immigration officer at one of Canada's official ports of entry in order to become landed immigrants.

Canadian permanent residents/landed immigrants and citizens enjoy all of the same rights and privileges (i.e. free health care, free elementary and secondary education, etc.) with three (3) exceptions:

- Permanent residents cannot vote;

- Permanent residents cannot get employed in a job that needs high level of security clearance.

- Permanent residents cannot hold a Canadian passport;

- Permanent residents can be deported for certain criminal convictions and for other grounds of inadmissibility.

Within any five (5) year period, a permanent resident must be:

physically present in Canada for at least 730 days (two (2) years) in that five (5) year period
OR
outside of Canada, accompanying a Canadian citizen, who is his or her spouse or common-law partner or a child accompanying a parent
OR
outside of Canada, employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business
OR
an accompanying spouse, common-law partner or child of a permanent resident, who is outside Canada and is employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business.