Starting the process - advice?

Old May 19th 2009, 8:47 pm
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Default Starting the process - advice?

I am currently in the US on an H1B that will expire June 30 2009. Have considered moving to Canada after a visit to England. A lawyer I was in contact with said that my credentials were favourable and that the process should take 6-8 months.

Anyone got any advice on a good lawyer? This one is going to charge $2000 US for the process, plus the immigration fees, and then a final $490 fee.

Thanks
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Old May 19th 2009, 8:54 pm
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Default Re: Starting the process - advice?

Originally Posted by cathy22w View Post
I am currently in the US on an H1B that will expire June 30 2009. Have considered moving to Canada after a visit to England. A lawyer I was in contact with said that my credentials were favourable and that the process should take 6-8 months.

Anyone got any advice on a good lawyer? This one is going to charge $2000 US for the process, plus the immigration fees, and then a final $490 fee.

Thanks
You don't really need a lawyer unless you have prior criminial convictions or similar things... if you have a pretty straightforward and clean record then you can do the application yourself (or for example with the help of experts on this forum).
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Old May 19th 2009, 9:17 pm
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Default Re: Starting the process - advice?

Really? Is it that straightforward? I have heard that the process could take longer without a lawyer.... so I thought that was the best option. Having tackled the USA immigration system, I am just used to lots of red tape.
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Old May 19th 2009, 9:48 pm
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Default Re: Starting the process - advice?

Originally Posted by cathy22w View Post
Really? Is it that straightforward? I have heard that the process could take longer without a lawyer.... so I thought that was the best option. Having tackled the USA immigration system, I am just used to lots of red tape.
Canada is way easier! No need for a lawyer at all unless you have complicated circumstances. And it certainly won't get it done any quicker, you'll be processed at the same rate as everybody else. You'd still have to compile all the paperwork anyway, they'd just fill in the forms!

What visa will you be applying for?

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Old May 19th 2009, 9:57 pm
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Default Re: Starting the process - advice?

Originally Posted by cathy22w View Post
Really? Is it that straightforward? I have heard that the process could take longer without a lawyer.... so I thought that was the best option. Having tackled the USA immigration system, I am just used to lots of red tape.
Canadian immigration is nothing like USA immigration. It's far less intimidating, although much more enigmatic, in my experience.

I was just saying to my partner yesterday that I'm so glad we never used an immigration lawyer for our Canadian PR application, as it probably would have been very frustrating due to the even more convoluted flow of info.

This forum has been a wealth of information for me during the entire process, and provided a bit of moral support too.
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Old May 19th 2009, 10:11 pm
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Default Re: Starting the process - advice?

I have looked at US immigration forms before and it's a nightmare and no wonder that you need a lawyer. But if you look at the Canadian forms they practically spell everything out for you and there are tons of guides online on how to fill them correctly, and if you have any specific questions you can always come here as this forum is filled with people who have gone through the process. This forum is also regularly visited by Immigration Consultants and a former visa officer (Jim Humphries) who provide very helpful advice here free of charge (cheers to you guys, can't say it often enough).
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Old May 19th 2009, 10:42 pm
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Default Re: Starting the process - advice?

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
Canada is way easier! No need for a lawyer at all unless you have complicated circumstances. And it certainly won't get it done any quicker, you'll be processed at the same rate as everybody else. You'd still have to compile all the paperwork anyway, they'd just fill in the forms!

What visa will you be applying for?

I'm going to apply for the skilled worker visa - wow, this actually fills me with some hope that I could do it myself. It cost so much money to move here to the US - the lawyer fees alone were extortionate. I think the total process, without flights and removals, came to about $5000 US.

Thanks for your comments and offers of support. Really enjoying life this side of the pond, and actually relieved not to have to go through the tedium (not to mention expense!) of the green card process here.

:-)
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Old May 20th 2009, 7:56 am
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Default Re: Starting the process - advice?

Originally Posted by cathy22w View Post
I'm going to apply for the skilled worker visa - wow, this actually fills me with some hope that I could do it myself. It cost so much money to move here to the US - the lawyer fees alone were extortionate. I think the total process, without flights and removals, came to about $5000 US.

Thanks for your comments and offers of support. Really enjoying life this side of the pond, and actually relieved not to have to go through the tedium (not to mention expense!) of the green card process here.

:-)
Great. Just so that you are aware though, the SW visa takes 6-12 months, not the 6-8 months your lawyer quoted. Since the system was overhauled last year, CIC have said they will process all new applications within a year and so far they are sticking to that.

Best of luck with it all - no doubt you will have loads of questions about the forms so do shout with any, or search the forums as they've usually been asked by somebody before who's been through the same thing!

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Old May 20th 2009, 9:07 am
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Default Re: Starting the process - advice?

Cathy, i am currently at the end of my immigration process from the UK and chose to use a lawyer, which i regret. (It ended up being more of a hinderance than a help)

From my experience, it does not speed up your application in anyway, but if you chose to go down the route of an immigration lawyer, make sure you get a CIC approved one. I must point out that my lawyer was NOT an approved lawyer, but he charged me exactly what you have been quoted $2000 can plus processing fee and RPRF.

Good luck!

Wayne
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