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Misslead by Immigration lawyer - did this happen to you and what can I do?

Misslead by Immigration lawyer - did this happen to you and what can I do?

Old Feb 11th 2009, 12:20 am
  #16  
Immigration Consultant
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,144
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Default Re: Misslead by Immigration lawyer - did this happen to you and what can I do?

Originally Posted by Sleeping_Beauty45
Well that is the whole thing, they have a "money back guarantee" which they are now saying is null and void. I took screen dumps of where they are still saying they will give money back if your application isn't successful. They are saying that because they sent a letter saying that we can pull out due to the new rules that they have covered themselves but in that same letter they still say that our chances are excellent and that they have no reason to believe our application wouldn't be successful. I therefore think that they have been misleading, I know they think they have covered their bases.
It does sound to me like you were badly mislead. To begin with whoever it was you were using should have made you aware of the situation that existed last year, namely that no Skilled Worker applications received between February and November without Arranged Employment were being processed at all. They were all placed in a holding pile pending the release of new "Ministerial Instructions" which was essentially the list of 38 occupations. But as of May last year nobody yet knew what these Ministerial Instructions were going to be, thus is would have been grossly misleading for anyone to tell you your chances were "excellent" (unless they literally had a crystal ball!). They couldnt have known what your chances were, only that you met the points score etc, but not whether the application was likely to meet the new unkonwn criteria.

What sort of recourse you have against the firm you used depends on who they were and who they were regulated by. If they were Lawyers (i.e. members of Law Society in Canada) then obviously they will be regulated by them and you can complain to that Law Society. If they are Immigration Consultants who are CSIC (Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants) then you can take the matter up with the CSIC. If they were neither then they are unlicensed and should not have been advising you in the first place.

If, for example, the person advising you is a member of CSIC (or an employee or agent of that member) then they should have adhered to the following rules of professional conduct (see http://www.csic-scci.ca/content/professional_conduct) where it says such things as:

"An Immigration Consultant should avoid overly bold and confident assurances to the Client, especially when the Immigration Consultant’s employment may depend on advising in a particular way."

and

"an Immigration Consultant or his or her Agent shall not provide false or unrealistic expectations as to either results or processing times"

and

"Use of the term “guarantee” when describing services or fees is inappropriate, and must be avoided"

I would imagine a law society would have similar rules in its own code of etthics and conduct.

From what you have said it sounds like you were given unrealistic expectations (in the context of the uncertaintly over the rules at the time) in order to solicit your business/fees.

There are detailed guidelines regarding the use of Paid Representitives, how to complain and who to in one of the CIC manuals here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resourc...s/ip/ip09e.pdf. Note that this is a manual for Visa Officers but it would probably give you the information you need if you cannot resolve the matter with the firm and need to complain to someone else.
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Old Feb 11th 2009, 12:23 am
  #17  
Immigration Consultant
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,144
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Default Re: Misslead by Immigration lawyer - did this happen to you and what can I do?

Originally Posted by Sleeping_Beauty45
Hi

I have checked the CSIC and can't see my firm of solicitors on there (well by the senior partners name anyway) yet they are supposedly a very big and very well known firm of immigration attorneys - is that possible or do you think one of their staff's name is on there and is there any way of checking?

For obvious reasons I don't want to say who it is I'm using on a public board.

Thank you.

S&B
Feel free to PM (Private Message) me with the name of the firm and the person you dealt with if you dont want to post it here
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Old Feb 11th 2009, 12:26 am
  #18  
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Default Re: Misslead by Immigration lawyer - did this happen to you and what can I do?

Originally Posted by NSpaul
It does sound to me like you were badly mislead. To begin with whoever it was you were using should have made you aware of the situation that existed last year, namely that no Skilled Worker applications received between February and November without Arranged Employment were being processed at all. They were all placed in a holding pile pending the release of new "Ministerial Instructions" which was essentially the list of 38 occupations. But as of May last year nobody yet knew what these Ministerial Instructions were going to be, thus is would have been grossly misleading for anyone to tell you your chances were "excellent" (unless they literally had a crystal ball!). They couldnt have known what your chances were, only that you met the points score etc, but not whether the application was likely to meet the new unkonwn criteria.

What sort of recourse you have against the firm you used depends on who they were and who they were regulated by. If they were Lawyers (i.e. members of Law Society in Canada) then obviously they will be regulated by them and you can complain to that Law Society. If they are Immigration Consultants who are CSIC (Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants) then you can take the matter up with the CSIC. If they were neither then they are unlicensed and should not have been advising you in the first place.

If, for example, the person advising you is a member of CSIC (or an employee or agent of that member) then they should have adhered to the following rules of professional conduct (see http://www.csic-scci.ca/content/professional_conduct) where it says such things as:

"An Immigration Consultant should avoid overly bold and confident assurances to the Client, especially when the Immigration Consultant’s employment may depend on advising in a particular way."

and

"an Immigration Consultant or his or her Agent shall not provide false or unrealistic expectations as to either results or processing times"

and

"Use of the term “guarantee” when describing services or fees is inappropriate, and must be avoided"

I would imagine a law society would have similar rules in its own code of etthics and conduct.

From what you have said it sounds like you were given unrealistic expectations (in the context of the uncertaintly over the rules at the time) in order to solicit your business/fees.

There are detailed guidelines regarding the use of Paid Representitives, how to complain and who to in one of the CIC manuals here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resourc...s/ip/ip09e.pdf. Note that this is a manual for Visa Officers but it would probably give you the information you need if you cannot resolve the matter with the firm and need to complain to someone else.

Paul that is incredibly helpful. Thank you so very much for taking the time to reply. They are members of the law society so I will be contacting them I think.

I have just asked them some very direct questions and as yet I'm awaiting a reply to my last correspondence but I have a real feeling that I'm not the only one duped in this manner.

I will go and read through the manual now.

Once again I really appreciate you taking the time to reply. I can't believe with such a huge firm this has happened, I did my research, I spoke with others that were going through the process (who co-incidently also have now had problems) and everything did seem to add up.
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