New application Help needed

Old Dec 2nd 2004, 4:25 am
  #1  
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Default New application Help needed

Hi, I am a first time poster. I am about to place an application to the Canadian embassy.

Should I download and complete myself? or use one of the many agencies who offer to hold your hand for a large fee

If anyone would wish to divulge their experiences I would be very grateful

Regards
Chesy :scared:
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Old Dec 2nd 2004, 5:43 am
  #2  
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Default Re: New application Help needed

Originally Posted by chesy
Hi, I am a first time poster. I am about to place an application to the Canadian embassy.

Should I download and complete myself? or use one of the many agencies who offer to hold your hand for a large fee

If anyone would wish to divulge their experiences I would be very grateful

Regards
Chesy :scared:

If your case is clear cut (safe margin on points, no criminal or security issues, no other liabilities or risks in the process) then all a consultant will do for you is save some reading and some legwork. He may fill out the forms for you based on an Interview and you can call him with questions. You may have a bit more peace of mind when preparing the initial application, allthough I personally feel more at ease having worked myself deep enough into the procedure to send mine off on my own. That knowledge gives me more peace of mind, than I would have, had someone else done it for me. A consultant will not speed up your timeline in any way, and sometimes you can get quicker and more reliable answers to your questions on this forum, because you get multiple opinions.

Dont get me wrong, an expert is invaluable for critical and borderline cases, but I feel the process has been intentionally designed in such a straight forward way, that you can do it on your own. I and many others on this forum have.
And it feels like a good way to start your new life, but make sure you read the instructions 25 times and follow them to the letter.

Just my 2 cents worth
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Old Dec 2nd 2004, 6:58 am
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Default Re: New application Help needed

I'm sorry to bust here but your opinion is based on common misconception.

I agree that professional cannot speed up the process but he or she can assure that application package is prepared perfectly, that all case specific questions and doubts processing officer may have are fully and conclusively addressed and that all other evidence is also fully conclusive - thus eliminationg or substantially reducing risk of any unncessary delays usually caused by request for additional info or documents and by request for interview. Getting interview waiver may save you anywhere from 6 months to over 2 years of processing time, depending from visa post. I think that year or two in saved processing time alone is worth hiring experienced and reputable immigration practitioner.

You won't find information or guidance for case specific circumstances in application kits and instructions which are intended as basic information only. And unfortunately majority of applicants simply follow the minimalist approach and submit only basic required documents, often not in the form required or inconclusive and as result suffer long delays, interview and often refusals.

Of course compared to "old times" (like before mid 1990's) when there was no information published by CIC at all about rules, process, criteria, etc., today is much easier to find more detailed info, but still not all what is necessary to know for successful application in most of cases.

If you would be able to find all info on CIC website then we won't be having this discussion as this forum wouldn't even exist. And when you read most of questions posted here you see that those who ask are not even reading (or have problems understanding) basic instructions included with application kits. So, how can you expect them going beyond basic instructions and make a conclusive case, how they will know what case specific issues should be addressed and how?

No offence to those who ask, but this and other forums as well as tons of direct emails I receive every day prove that there is a huge percentage of applicants who simply cannot do it right without at least some sort of professional help.

Thus stating here that one needs professional help only if his/her case is borderline is clearly misleading and does more harm than good. You and the poster who asked original question in this thread should remember that reaching or exceeding pass mark and not having any admissibility (medical, criminal and security) problems doesn't guarantee approval. There are many applicants beeing refused with score well above 75 points and with clean health, criminal and security bills...


Just my 2 cents after working in this field for almost 15 years and filing thousands of cases over that time ...



Originally Posted by mhhp
If your case is clear cut (safe margin on points, no criminal or security issues, no other liabilities or risks in the process) then all a consultant will do for you is save some reading and some legwork. He may fill out the forms for you based on an Interview and you can call him with questions. You may have a bit more peace of mind when preparing the initial application, allthough I personally feel more at ease having worked myself deep enough into the procedure to send mine off on my own. That knowledge gives me more peace of mind, than I would have, had someone else done it for me. A consultant will not speed up your timeline in any way, and sometimes you can get quicker and more reliable answers to your questions on this forum, because you get multiple opinions.

Dont get me wrong, an expert is invaluable for critical and borderline cases, but I feel the process has been intentionally designed in such a straight forward way, that you can do it on your own. I and many others on this forum have.
And it feels like a good way to start your new life, but make sure you read the instructions 25 times and follow them to the letter.

Just my 2 cents worth
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Old Dec 2nd 2004, 7:03 am
  #4  
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Default Re: New application Help needed

In case you meet requirements, then do it yourself....It is really simple.


Originally Posted by chesy
Hi, I am a first time poster. I am about to place an application to the Canadian embassy.

Should I download and complete myself? or use one of the many agencies who offer to hold your hand for a large fee

If anyone would wish to divulge their experiences I would be very grateful

Regards
Chesy :scared:
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Old Dec 2nd 2004, 8:00 am
  #5  
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Default Re: New application Help needed

I think I am right in saying that the vast majority of us on this forum have applied on our own, without the use of a consultant. It is all personal choice. We wanted to do ours ourselves, although the thought of using a consultant did cross ours minds at the beginning. It took us a good few months to collect the information that we needed (FBI checks, police clearance form etc) so in that time we researched as much as we could. We did make a slight mistake by not sending more than was requested in the application guide, but CHC have been quick to contact us asking for these documents. This has probably delayed our outcome by 4 or 5 months, so more than likely all in, it will probably take us near on 2 years for decision. If you wish for a speedy conclusion then I suggest you send as much info as you have and more, lol!!

Read the application tonnes of times and when you think you understand it fully (after all it is very simple when you read it) take a moment and read it again! The simplicity of it doesn't feel so apparent this time, and then the further down the line you get, the more grey the directions appear!

If it is any consellation, I haven't seen any UK citizen during my time on this forum, refused. So that bodes well for all us DIYers.
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Old Dec 2nd 2004, 8:08 am
  #6  
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Default Re: New application Help needed

As most people have said, you can do it yourself, read the documents properly, and take each one at a time. Go over it with friends and family, and ask others that have gone through the whole thing, questions you are not clear on.

Some people use consultants, because they think it's going to speed up their case in some way, but the thing is, once the applications are sent away, there is nothing the consultant can do to speed things up.

During ours, we did everything by ourselves, and people that we know that used consultants, are still waiting for their visas.

Good luck !
 
Old Dec 2nd 2004, 11:02 am
  #7  
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Default Re: New application Help needed

"Andrew P. Miller

Authorized Immigration Consultant
Registered member of CSIC - ID# M041188"

Mr Miller feels that it is best to use a consultant ...... well he would, wouldn't he!

I am not actually disagreeing with you, but bear in mind sir, that the thousands of files you have advised on are presumably from people who felt they needed advice.

Do you have figures for people who manage to conduct their own applications with no help at all?

Personally, we DID get our application checked before we sent it, just for that peace of mind, .... and there were a few minor omissions corrected, and recommendations made which I felt were well worth the money. Plus having that contact to call at all hours for reassurance was also invaluable. We were very happy we did decide to seek assistance!

We are 12 months since applying to CHC London, (AOR was feb 9th) and hopefully it's still all churning along as smoothly as it can!

Morw
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Old Dec 2nd 2004, 7:25 pm
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Default Re: New application Help needed

Originally Posted by Andrew Miller
I'm sorry to bust here but your opinion is based on common misconception.

I agree that professional cannot speed up the process but he or she can assure that application package is prepared perfectly, that all case specific questions and doubts processing officer may have are fully and conclusively addressed and that all other evidence is also fully conclusive - thus eliminationg or substantially reducing risk of any unncessary delays usually caused by request for additional info or documents and by request for interview. Getting interview waiver may save you anywhere from 6 months to over 2 years of processing time, depending from visa post. I think that year or two in saved processing time alone is worth hiring experienced and reputable immigration practitioner.

You won't find information or guidance for case specific circumstances in application kits and instructions which are intended as basic information only. And unfortunately majority of applicants simply follow the minimalist approach and submit only basic required documents, often not in the form required or inconclusive and as result suffer long delays, interview and often refusals.

Of course compared to "old times" (like before mid 1990's) when there was no information published by CIC at all about rules, process, criteria, etc., today is much easier to find more detailed info, but still not all what is necessary to know for successful application in most of cases.

If you would be able to find all info on CIC website then we won't be having this discussion as this forum wouldn't even exist. And when you read most of questions posted here you see that those who ask are not even reading (or have problems understanding) basic instructions included with application kits. So, how can you expect them going beyond basic instructions and make a conclusive case, how they will know what case specific issues should be addressed and how?

No offence to those who ask, but this and other forums as well as tons of direct emails I receive every day prove that there is a huge percentage of applicants who simply cannot do it right without at least some sort of professional help.

Thus stating here that one needs professional help only if his/her case is borderline is clearly misleading and does more harm than good. You and the poster who asked original question in this thread should remember that reaching or exceeding pass mark and not having any admissibility (medical, criminal and security) problems doesn't guarantee approval. There are many applicants beeing refused with score well above 75 points and with clean health, criminal and security bills...


Just my 2 cents after working in this field for almost 15 years and filing thousands of cases over that time ...
Yes I do agree, that if someone does not feel up to (or want to get into) the task himself, then he should get a consultant.

It is also a fact that you are allways taking a risk of making mistakes, however (no offense) there is also an inherent risk in using a consultant. On this forum I have read far more emails along the lines of "Help my consultant screwed me" than "shit I should have used one". Andrew himself has been helpfull countless times in pointing out fraudulent or incompetent advise from other consultants.

In the end there is no guarantee either way, but after having done it myself I, like many others, feel it is doable.

And again this forum is invaluable, without it I probably would have chosen a consultant myself.
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Old Dec 2nd 2004, 8:48 pm
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Default Re: New application Help needed

Consultants can not speed processing up once the application is within the Canadian High Commission, however I have read many submissions from applicants within this forum that have wasted at least 5 months on submitting further documents that the CHC have had to request at a later date.

Consultants can advise on all necessary documents needed for processing, but more importantly, specific documents that are needed from each individual case.

Clients of mine are glad that they used our services, as they also did not have to wait months to submit their application whilst they were researching on DIY kits. Who knows what changes could be made to the system within those couple of months it would take you to do research.

For those of you that have used an immigration consultant and had bad experiences with them - did you do checks prior to using them? i.e. were they registered consultants? Did they work on a 'no win no fee' guarantee?

I think that having a professional consultant at the end of a phone line or email address to answer ANY queries you may have at any time is priceless!
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Old Dec 2nd 2004, 9:01 pm
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Default Re: New application Help needed

Thank you all so much for replying so quickly. A strong message came across from many of you which was hopefully confirming what I wanted to do in my own mind
Once again thanks - and hopefully I will be a regular contributor to this forum

wish me luck - I think Im going to need it. I know I can meet the required number of points - time to start reading the questionnaire etc

regards
Chesy



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Old Dec 3rd 2004, 12:02 am
  #11  
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Default Re: New application Help needed

Originally Posted by chesy
Thank you all so much for replying so quickly. A strong message came across from many of you which was hopefully confirming what I wanted to do in my own mind
Once again thanks - and hopefully I will be a regular contributor to this forum

wish me luck - I think Im going to need it. I know I can meet the required number of points - time to start reading the questionnaire etc

regards
Chesy



not so scared
Thanks Chesy for initiating this interesting discussion. I added a Poll on this topic in a new thread

http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=270015

Thought it might be interesting to get some representative info on what most people think.
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Old Dec 3rd 2004, 1:31 am
  #12  
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Default Re: New application Help needed

Thought I would share my reasons for having used a consultant. You have heard those against and those for - mainly consultants themselves.

I would say that I have done the process myself through a consultant. I have read everything and was ready to go it alone knowing what had to be done. With many years project management I felt it eemed all straight forward and less complicated than projects I deal with at work. Then I realised that it is my experience in the field that helps me - seeing a problem before it becomes a problem and doing something in time. It was then that I decided to get legal expertise as a just in case insurance. I collected the information together myself and sent the pack to my attorny. They informed me that it was a very well put together pack - one of the better ones they had seen - but then suggested a couple of extra things that might help if I included them. As soon as they suggested it I realised how obvious it was - but not being experienced I realised that like any project I am involved with there is what you know, what you know you dont know and what you dont know that you dont know. They knew things I didnt realise I didnt know. - hope you follow that.

The end result for me was an interview waiver because thee were no elements of doubt.

In my mind money well spent. But if money is tight and time is cheaper then go it alone.

Originally Posted by chesy
Hi, I am a first time poster. I am about to place an application to the Canadian embassy.

Should I download and complete myself? or use one of the many agencies who offer to hold your hand for a large fee

If anyone would wish to divulge their experiences I would be very grateful

Regards
Chesy :scared:
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