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Old Nov 1st 2017, 11:58 am   #1
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Question Shady immigration company... do I need a Lawyer at all?

Hello!
It's my first time posting!

Myself and my partner are 24F and 25F respectively and have been wanting to relocate to Canada (Specifically BC, but would settle for another province) for a while, and are now in a positional financially to achieve this. We both hold degrees and are both employed FT at present (She works in Renewable Energy, I am a registered nurse). No medical conditions, no kids or pets, and she is bilingual. We have both lived in other countries for several years when in our teens and are therefore used to adapting to new cultures and starting over fresh. We are also happy to work in whatever jobs initially to relocate.

We met with an immigration agency at an event in London, and paid them £25 for a initial points assessment which came back saying that we had 71 points and therefore qualified for express entry. We were really happy with this news. The immigration agency/lawyer (Brazolot) invited us for a further meeting in London for free, however after researching online I see that these guys have a terrible reputation (and indeed in the email they sent us inviting us to the meeting they spelt my name wrong, misgendered us and got our address super wrong- three red flags for an agency that would be checking over my visa details!!).

My questions are; is it worth going to a second 'free' meeting just to gather information, or will it likely be a selling pitch for their company, who we aren't interested in handling our visas?

Do we need a Lawyer or immigration agency at all, or is it possible for us to get through the EE application ourselves?

Are there any agencies or lawyers that people on this forum have used that they recommend?

Thankyou all for your help
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Old Nov 1st 2017, 12:32 pm   #2
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Default Re: Shady immigration company... do I need a Lawyer at all?

You can easily sort your own EE application, you do not need immigration consultants.

I am sure others that have used this route will chime in with personal experiences.

They will be very optimistic and at the same time try to persuade you that it is very complicated and easy to make a mistake and be rejected if you are not experienced (not true) and that perhaps they have more success in getting people through (they don't). Of course they will then 'close' you and get you to part with a retainer....
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Old Nov 1st 2017, 2:35 pm   #3
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Default Re: Shady immigration company... do I need a Lawyer at all?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hurlabrick View Post
You can easily sort your own EE application, you do not need immigration consultants.

I am sure others that have used this route will chime in with personal experiences.

They will be very optimistic and at the same time try to persuade you that it is very complicated and easy to make a mistake and be rejected if you are not experienced (not true) and that perhaps they have more success in getting people through (they don't). Of course they will then 'close' you and get you to part with a retainer....
+1 a lawyer is only needed if you have circumstances that are outside of the ordinary and may require someone to argue points of law. Brazalot and their kind are more immigration consultants who will charge you a lot of money to guide you through what is quite an easy process once you get your head around it.

Remember no lawyer/consultant can make you eligible for something you are not eligible for no matter how much you pay them.

Most people who have done it on here have done it on their own with help from the forum in guiding the way.

Places to start:
1) You will need to score 67 points on the following: Hopefully this comes out as 71 the same as Brazalot and yes you basically paid them 25 pound to use this tool.

Selection factors: federal skilled workers

This make you eligible to enter the pool of candidates but does not mean you will be invited to apply.

2) Whether you are selected or not depends on your CRS score and it is a constantly moving target based on the number of people in the pools and their points.

Calculate this here:
Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) Criteria – Express Entry

Will need somewhere around the 420 - 450 mark as a minimum (last draw was 436).

3) are you planning on working in nursing? If so take a good look at topics on this forum on the subject. it is not an easy process to become a registered nurse in Canada and even harder if your education was from outside Canada.

EDITED:

Forgot to mention that with your ages you may also be able to apply for IEC. This gives you a 2 year open work permit to try out Canada and see if it is for you. This is a lottery system but the process is far easier than a full PR application. (Another red flag for not bringing this to your attention). Note: The IEC work permit is not extendable but you can transition to PR during the 2 year period i.e. via the same express entry system you would use now for PR (albeit you would most likely be invited under CEC and not FSW). The program is closed for 2017 and I believe we are waiting for details on the 2018 program from the government.
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/iec/

There is a big immigration announcement due today from Ottowa so it may be in that.
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Last edited by Engineer_abroad; Nov 1st 2017 at 3:12 pm.
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Old Nov 2nd 2017, 1:34 pm   #4
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Default Re: Shady immigration company... do I need a Lawyer at all?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Engineer_abroad View Post
+1 a lawyer is only needed if you have circumstances that are outside of the ordinary and may require someone to argue points of law. Brazalot and their kind are more immigration consultants who will charge you a lot of money to guide you through what is quite an easy process once you get your head around it.

Remember no lawyer/consultant can make you eligible for something you are not eligible for no matter how much you pay them.

Most people who have done it on here have done it on their own with help from the forum in guiding the way.

Places to start:
1) You will need to score 67 points on the following: Hopefully this comes out as 71 the same as Brazalot and yes you basically paid them 25 pound to use this tool.


This make you eligible to enter the pool of candidates but does not mean you will be invited to apply.

2) Whether you are selected or not depends on your CRS score and it is a constantly moving target based on the number of people in the pools and their points.

Calculate this here:
Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) Criteria – Express Entry[/url]

Will need somewhere around the 420 - 450 mark as a minimum (last draw was 436).

3) are you planning on working in nursing? If so take a good look at topics on this forum on the subject. it is not an easy process to become a registered nurse in Canada and even harder if your education was from outside Canada.

EDITED:

Forgot to mention that with your ages you may also be able to apply for IEC. This gives you a 2 year open work permit to try out Canada and see if it is for you. This is a lottery system but the process is far easier than a full PR application. (Another red flag for not bringing this to your attention). Note: The IEC work permit is not extendable but you can transition to PR during the 2 year period i.e. via the same express entry system you would use now for PR (albeit you would most likely be invited under CEC and not FSW). The program is closed for 2017 and I believe we are waiting for details on the 2018 program from the government.


There is a big immigration announcement due today from Ottowa so it may be in that.

Hi, Thank you for your informative reply. They did tell us about the 2 year work permit, and we are considering applying for it. I think if you have at least a years work experience in Canada it can give additional points on your EE profile, so it may be an avenue we will explore.

Yes, I'm certainly aware of just how much of a faff it is to get accredited as a UK nurse in Canada, I'm currently getting all my documents together to send to the NNAS, so wish me luck! However, I'm happy to work in another field if I can't work as a nurse. I have 5 years experience working as a support worker in Mental Health so would be happy to continue with that.

Thanks for your help; I think we'll give it a go without any specialist agency and see how we get on, and I'll use the great resource here to help me of course!
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Old Nov 2nd 2017, 2:36 pm   #5
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Default Re: Shady immigration company... do I need a Lawyer at all?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kezbea View Post
I think if you have at least a years work experience in Canada it can give additional points on your EE profile, so it may be an avenue we will explore.
You do, it must be skilled work experience (NOC code 0, A or B) but that doesn't sound like an issue for you. It gives you extra points and would also most likely make you eligible for CEC which means you no longer need to achieve the 67 points for FSW and no longer need proof of funds to apply.

Good luck what ever you decide.
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Old Nov 2nd 2017, 3:55 pm   #6
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Default Re: Shady immigration company... do I need a Lawyer at all?

+1 for what the others have said. You don't need an immigration lawyer. You don't have any complex circumstances in your case, from what you've written here. You just need to put a bit of legwork into understanding the various routes - EE vs IEC vs CEC... you are both young, educated, and qualified so I'd imagine you'd be scoring pretty high in the points categories. Do the CRS score and have a look at CEC and see where you stack up.

This forum can be a HUGE help in assisting you with navigating the waters and giving you pointers and direction while you work out the process yourselves... and we are way cheaper!

Best of luck, keep us updated!
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Old Nov 3rd 2017, 10:49 am   #7
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Default Re: Shady immigration company... do I need a Lawyer at all?

Hi @kezbea, just to give my two pennies worth re Brazolot, my wife and I met them at an CA/AUS/NZ expo last May (in Cov, I think). We had the interview in June 2016 and also did our background research on them (I know what you're referring to regarding 'reputation'). However in the end we personally were satisfied with the level of professionalism demonstrated and put our not-so-insignificant amount of money where our mouth is.

The upshot is that they have been brilliant for us, our case handler is extremely professional and always available, and we have never felt let down at any point. They helped us through our initial application, Express Entry, formal application and we've now received our COPR and will be doing a 'soft landing' next month to confirm our permanent residency, before returning to tie up our affairs here.

Personally I don't have the patience or skills to navigate the immigration application myself, and would much prefer to pay a professional, but if you can do it yourself then you'll certainly have more to put away towards your settler funds.

In the end, this is just our experience of BMG. I hope this helps, and just want to wish you guys all the best with your application. Please feel free to ask me any questions regarding our experience so far.

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Old Nov 3rd 2017, 10:52 am   #8
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Default Re: Shady immigration company... do I need a Lawyer at all?

Another vote for DIY, or if you do choose to use a consultant, steer clear of BMG. The fact that they charge £25 for a visa assessment (something every other consultant I've ever come across does for free) should tell you everything you need to know!
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Old Nov 3rd 2017, 7:44 pm   #9
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Default Re: Shady immigration company... do I need a Lawyer at all?

When I was learningto drive I thought that there were so many things that needed doing all at the same time that I'd never be able to do it.

But I looked around at all those other bumblers who were driving and convinced myself that if they could do it then I could do it. It's the same with these applications. It looks insurmountable when you first start but if I could get it sorted then you must be able to.
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Old Nov 6th 2017, 9:12 am   #10
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Default Re: Shady immigration company... do I need a Lawyer at all?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kezbea View Post
Hello!
It's my first time posting....

I did express entry, it's pretty straight forward process. There's a lot of steps to it, but if you just go through the process one step at a time it's ok.


I would say apply for 2018 IEC as it's super quick to apply for, way quicker than EE and much less costly. If you both get IEC, it'll allow you to later apply for CEC, this is generally a quicker process and it'll remove the requirements to have settlement funds which for 2 people is currently around £9500 (if you don't have arranged employment).


Also look into nurse registration, there's a few threads on the forum about it. My girlfriend is currently doing it and it's a potentially long and expensive process. It's definitely worth starting before you get into Canada.
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Old Nov 6th 2017, 5:38 pm   #11
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Default Re: Shady immigration company... do I need a Lawyer at all?

... and the 2018 IEC is now open, so get your applications in asap - if nothing else, it will get you here while you work out your best route (and provide work experience points, once you are).
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As of Friday, November 3, 2017, at 3:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time, this pool is open. If you’re eligible, you can submit your profile now."
Find out if you’re eligible – International Experience Canada

There's no need to use an Immigration Consultant unless you have a dodgy or complicated background or medical issues, IMHO.

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Old Nov 6th 2017, 9:15 pm   #12
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Default Re: Shady immigration company... do I need a Lawyer at all?

Another +1 for DIY - it can feel daunting at first but spend the time to understand your options and the respective processes (and of course ask as many questions as you want on forums) and you'll be fine. As others have said your situation is not complex, so you don't need an immigration lawyer.

I've just been through the EE process and it's not difficult, there's just a lot to do.

Best of luck!
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