Patrick Arsenault, Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) works with foreign nationals and permanent residents to address immigration-related legal issues and concerns.
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Hiring a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant is an important decision to make and there are several factors to consider; cost is certainly one of them. Of course, the cost professionals charge depends on several things, including years of experience, credentials, areas of expertise, size of the practice, location and operation costs, types of services offered, etc.
Years of Experience
In 2018, Canadian Lawyer Magazine conducted a survey of immigration lawyers in Canada and found that on average, they charged the following hourly rates. These rates are for lawyers, so expect the fees of Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants to be around 20% to 25% less. That is mostly, because RCICs are specialists and not generalists. They solely focus on immigration, which means that they may not be able to assist in very complex immigration cases that involve other areas of the law such as criminal law.
1 year of experience or less: $201.67 per hour
2 to 5 years of experience: $238.33 per hour
6 to 10 years of experience: $303.33 per hour
11 to 20 years of experience: $347.50 per hour
There are only 13 higher education institutions in the world that grant the credentials required to register as a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant. On the other hand, there are 21 law schools in Canada and thousands more around the world. In addition, many top Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants hold additional degrees and credentials. They also are involved in various professional organizations where they contribute to regional, national, and international high-level conversations about immigration laws, regulations, and procedures. When assessing how much you are willing to pay for a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, consider what kind and level of expertise you are looking for.
Areas of Expertise
Immigration projects are complex and they often require consultants that are well-versed in many areas. I have found that most foreign nationals interested in relocating to Canada are most interested in assistance with education or career projects. Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants must be knowledgeable and competent in areas that they practice in. Often time, clients need more than help getting immigration documents, such as:
Size of the Practice
In the vast majority of cases, clients will opt to enter in a retainer agreement where they agree to pay a set amount for their immigration issue to be resolved or for their complete work permit application. In the long run, this is almost always cheaper than paying the going hourly rate. The all-inclusive prices can vary greatly. Two factors that have an impact on these prices are the type of services and the size of the immigration consulting practice. The 2018 Canadian Lawyer Magazine survey revealed the following.
Work permits: $1,500 to $3,500
Family Class Sponsorship: $4,801 to $5,200
Express Entry Application: $4,501 to $4,900
Refugee Protection Claim: $4,901 to $6,100
One important thing to keep in mind is that smaller offices, particularly independent consultants, sometimes have more latitude to adjust prices for services based on the individual needs of a specific client.
Location and Operation Costs
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant are all authorized to practice everywhere in Canada except the province of Quebec, which requires an additional professional designation. That means that you can hire a Consultant based anywhere in Canada. It does not matter where you intend on settling. Based on the following table taken from the 2018 Canadian Lawyer Magazine survey, foreign nationals are often better off at looking for Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants in either Ontario or Atlantic Canada (East). Beyond that, it is useful to consider where consultants are based. For example, a consultant in rural Ontario would be able to deliver more value for less than a consultant based downtown Toronto, because of operation costs.
West: $3,001 to $4,500
Ontario: $1,500 to $2,000
East: $1,500 to $3,500
Family Class Sponsorship
West: $6,001 to over $6,400
Ontario: $4,801 to $5,200
East: $3,600 to $4,000
Express Entry Applications
West: $5,901 to over $7,300
Ontario: $4,501 to $4,900
East: $4,101 to $7,300
Refugee Claim Application
West: No data available
Ontario: $4,901 to $6,100
East: $3,100 to $3,400
Types of Services Being Offered
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants are all regulated by the same body and must respect the same code of conduct and meet the same requirements to be authorized to legally provide immigration advice and represent clients in immigration cases. However, the services offered can vary quite a bit. You may find a firm that charges $200 less than another, but the firm in question is actually only offering to review your documents or even only providing access to a "Do it Yourself" (DIY) Course. Foreign nationals have to understand what level of service to expect for the price they are paying. If the price you get quoted is not aligned with national minimums and averages as presented in this article, there is probably a good reason!
The Bottom Line...
There are many great reasons to hire a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant. Individuals interested in hiring an RCIC can find it difficult to determine how much they should be willing to pay for these services. I truly hope that this article containing real current data about the going rate of immigration professionals in Canada will help you determine what your budget should be, how to reduce the cost of an RCIC, and what questions to ask before making a final decision. Finally, many RCICs will provide prospective clients with an affordable short consultation. These consultations can allow you to ask questions about the nature of services available, get to know the RCIC better, and learn about additional areas of practice that could be useful, such as educational counseling or career strategy. Also, please keep in mind that this article was published with 2018 data. Prices increased every year.
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Canada is HUGE. It is actually the second largest country in the world after Russia. That means that there are many different places where you could choose to relocate in any of the 10 provinces or 3 territories.
Money Sense recently ranked over 400 different cities and towns in terms of quality of life.
here is the top 10:
See the full ranking online.
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While it is impossible to know the future with certainty, it appears that the popular TN status that allows professionals from certain categories to work either in Canada or the United States fairly easily will remain intact.
Throughout the NAFTA negotiations, Canada had been advocating to expand the list of eligible professions, while the United States aimed to reduce it. In the end both countries agreed to leave things as they were (Dale & Maccharles, 2018).
receive updates on NAFTA developments via BDO Canada.
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Hiring a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) is not mandatory, but it comes with many important benefits. Below are listed 5 reasons to consider hiring a RCIC:
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If you think you have what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur in Canada, you may want to first hire a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant and Career Strategist to guide you through the various steps from approaching designated angel investor groups to making sure you have the correct financial documentation and health checks in place. This immigration pathway is brand new and extremely competitive. The slightest mistake could cause money and jeopardize your financing and immigration process.
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In 2018, U.S. News and World Report ranked Canada first in the world for quality of life, followed by Scandinavian countries and Australia in fifth position. The United States ranked in 17th place. This was Canada's second year in a row as the country with the best quality of life according to the popular ranking.
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Many international students believe that applying for a study permit is a straightforward process. While it has been simplified in previous years, I continue to see several students having to delay their studies by a semester or arrive several days or weeks in the semester because their study permit application was declined or delayed.
In 2017, 39% of all study permit applications were declined across the board. The data shows that although some factors can influence the likelihood of an application to go through such as the country of origin or the destination province, there are high risks of denial in all cases.
On October 2, 2018, processing times for Canadian study permits were between 6 and 14 weeks depending on the country of origin. For many that means that an initial refusal means that a student may have to way an extra three months to try a second time, which could mean wasting an entire semester.
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Canada welcomes immigrants, but it also put policies in place to ensure that Canadian citizens and permanent residents are prioritize when new job opportunities are created. The main way to do that is to require employers to provide a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) when they hire foreign nationals. This process can be cumbersome and act as a roadblock as employers may not be willing to consider any extra step. This can be frustrating for foreign nationals that hope to be considered for job opportunities in Canada.
Fortunately, Canada also recognizes that it needs to attract the best talent in the world in order to thrive. To do so, it is willing to lift the LMIA in some situations. While there are other ways to go around this requirement, here are 3 examples to consider
French-speaking or bilingual workers outside Quebec
Since June 2016, employers that hire foreign nationals that are French speakers are no longer required to get a LMIA for jobs located outside of the province of Quebec. The employer is responsible for a $230 employer compliance fee to be able to submit an offer of employment. Once accepted, the foreign national will receive a temporary work permit and can work with a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant to gain a permanent immigration status in Canada.
Working holiday visa
Although this sounds more like a tourist visa than a work visa, this scheme allows foreign nationals of 32 different countries to come to work in Canada for up to two years on an open work permit. That means that the work permit is not tied to a specific employer, location, or province. Individuals that obtain an open work permit are hence free to live and work anywhere in Canada and employers do not need to get a LMIA. In fact, they don't have to do anything related to immigration. To them, there is virtually no difference between hiring someone on a working holiday visa or a Canadian citizen. They may not even know that you are a foreigner if you don't tell them. One limiting criterion is that there is an age bracket for participants, usually 18-30 or 18-35.
Once you are legally working in Canada, there are ways to apply for permanent residency and settle in Canada. That is something a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant can assist with.
Postgraduate work permit
One of the most common ways to circumvent the LMIA process is to study in Canada and obtain a three year postgraduate open work permit upon completion of the program. This is a popular option, because it allows foreigners to gain Canadian credentials, start to build a network in Canada, use college or university resources and services such as a career centre. Most importantly, many international students qualify for an open work permit when they graduate, which allows them compete on the same level as everyone for jobs.
Labour market impact assessments aim to protect the Canadian job market and ensure a healthy workforce. However, there are cases when Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada recognizes that it can be beneficial for the Canadian society and workforce to waive that requirement. This post presents three of the most typical routes used by immigrants to gain employment in Canada without going through the LMIA process. If you would have been having difficulty finding a job in Canada, you may want to neet with a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant to discuss various options.