In last week’s column I discussed some of the ways that an experienced immigration practitioner can help you save time in the processing of an immigration application. But can such assistance also save you money? Absolutely.
Most reasonably experienced practitioners charge from $2,500-$4,500 for a family class sponsorship of moderate complexity to about $3,500-$6,000 for a skilled worker or a humanitarian case. The fees charged for business cases can be much higher since, in 2002, these became significantly more complex, time-consuming, and document-intensive.
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This may sound like a lot of money to spend to “fill out a few forms.” This would be true if this were the only thing that clients actually expected from their practitioner. But, in reality, clients expect their adviser to prepare and review every possibly relevant document, be aware of every obscure regulation or condition that might affect their application, follow up every step, solve whatever problems that arise, and get the application done as quickly as possible.
So how can spending this kind of money save you money?
First of all, consider the value of your time and how many hours you will spend researching the process, calling Citizenship and Immigration Canada, asking friends, drafting the material, and following up, let alone worrying if you have done it right
… or not. Sure, I can build my own deck. But will it be worth it? Will I be satisfied with the result? Is the money I am going to save more than the money I could have made doing something else?
Secondly, those sponsoring a spouse or parents abroad often shoulder the financial costs of maintaining a residence here for themselves as well as for their relatives abroad. There can be years of long distance calls, travel costs, and money transfers associated with maintaining these relationships and these relatives abroad. If a practitioner were to shave off even a few months of this time, this could pretty well make up a large part of the fees charged.
One should also take into account the fact that a persons’ earning potential in Canada is often a lot greater than in other countries. The sooner they reach our shores, the sooner they can realize this increased income.
None of these benefits, however, come close to moving on with a life that has been put on hold while an immigration application is in process. Sure, lawyers and practitioners can and do make the occasional mistake which may delay things. But chances are they are less likely to do so than the novice. Hopefully, a good choice in practitioners, and a bit of luck, can help an applicant move on with their new life in Canada.
Guidy Mamann is the senior lawyer at Mamann & Associates and is certified by the Law Society as an immigration specialist. Reach him at 416-862-0000. Direct confidential questions to firstname.lastname@example.org