• By: Allen Brown

A Comprehensive Guide to Navigating Immigration Law in Ottawa: Immigration Lawyers and Resources

In recent times, Ottawa’s immigration system has been overwhelmed with information requests. It’s evident that the government had prior information about the increasing demand. However, Ottawa’s actions seemed insufficient to handle the situation effectively.

Due to the overwhelming number of inquiries about visas, work permits, and family sponsorships, there is now a considerable backlog. This has resulted in extended waiting times and increased concern for applicants. For those seeking to understand this intricate system, it becomes increasingly essential to be equipped with the right information. This guide aims to break down the immigration law in Ottawa, highlight the role of immigration lawyers, and point you toward valuable resources.

A Guide to Immigration Law in Ottawa

Canada’s immigration procedures recently underwent significant changes set to take effect between 2023 and 2025. The purpose of these updates is to make the immigration process work better. If you or your family are thinking about moving to Canada, you need to know about these changes and how they could impact your plans.

The biggest change is how they decide who can come. Now, they’ll use a points system to judge if someone can immigrate. Rather than classifying applicants into general categories, they will evaluate each person’s individual qualities and experiences to assign them a specific score or points. Here are the specific qualities, they’ll look at:

• Skills: This metric evaluates the individual’s professional and vocational abilities. For instance, proficiency in certain trades, IT skills, or other specialized professions can garner higher points.

• Education: Higher educational qualifications, especially from globally recognized institutions, can increase an applicant’s points tally. It’s an acknowledgment of the potential contribution such individuals can make in their respective fields in Canada.

• Work Experience: Canada values both domestic and international work experiences. A rich professional background can signify that the applicant is well-equipped to contribute positively to the Canadian workforce immediately.

Family in Canada: An Added Advantage

The new plan understands that having a family in Canada is important. So, people who already have family living in Canada might have a better chance to come. This is because having family here can help newcomers settle in and feel more at home.

Economic Growth

Canada seeks individuals with skills that contribute to economic growth. However, Canada remains committed to accommodating individuals seeking refuge.

Primary Immigration Pathways in Ottawa

Here are the primary immigration pathways in Ottawa:

  1. Express Entry

Canada’s updated system assigns points to immigration candidates based on factors such as age, employment history, and language skills. This method is primarily divided into three distinct application pathways.

• Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP): This pathway is for individuals who have a skilled work background and those who’ve gained work experience within Canada.

• Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP): Tailored for professionals with specific work experience in Ontario in eligible trade occupations. It recognizes the value of hands-on skills and the contribution tradespeople can make to the Ontario economy.

• Canadian Experience Class (CEC): This is for individuals with skilled work experience in Canada. It requires a minimum of one year of skilled work experience in Canada within the last three years. Those with recent Canadian work experience who plan to live outside of Quebec are given preference under the scheme.

Criteria: Factors such as age, educational background, employment history, and language skills contribute to the points awarded. The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) is used to rank candidates, with regular draws to invite top candidates for permanent residency.

  1. Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

This program allows Canadian provinces to nominate individuals for immigration. Each province has its own set of criteria, primarily based on their specific labour and demographic needs. Ottawa, being in Ontario, would follow the Ontario Provincial Nominee Program.

Criteria: Here are the basic criteria for the OINP:

• Job Offer: Many of the OINP streams require applicants to have a job offer from an Ontario employer. The job offer should be full-time and permanent.

• Work Experience: Depending on the stream, applicants might need a certain amount of work experience. For instance, some streams require a year of work in a specific occupation.

• Education: Some OINP streams may ask for a degree, diploma, or certificate from a recognized institution.

• Language Proficiency: Applicants often need to prove their language skills, either in English or French. This is typically done using tests like IELTS or TEF.

• Intention to Reside in Ontario: Applicants should have a genuine intention to live and work in Ontario.

• Minimum Funds: Depending on the stream, applicants may need to show they have enough money to support themselves and their families in Ontario.

    1. Family Sponsorship

Individuals who have family members in Canada can be sponsored for immigration under this program. It’s designed to reunite families by allowing Canadian citizens or permanent residents to sponsor their eligible relatives.

Criteria: Residents in Ottawa can sponsor family members for immigration, under the federal family sponsorship program. Criteria include proving the relationship and ensuring financial support for the sponsored family members.

Each of these programs has distinct eligibility criteria, paperwork requirements, and processing times. It’s essential to research and understand each program’s specifics to find the best fit for your situation.

The Job of an Immigration Lawyer in Canada

A lot of people dream about living in Canada because it’s a friendly place. But moving countries means lots of forms and understanding new rules. That’s when an immigration lawyer can really help.

What Does an Immigration Lawyer Do?

People might think a lawyer just helps with papers. But, they do much more:

• Explaining Tough Laws: Sometimes, the rules have tricky words or are hard to understand. Lawyers can explain these rules in simpler words so that everyone gets them.

• Giving Personal Advice: Every person’s life and story is different. So, lawyers give advice that’s just right for each person’s situation.

• Staying Updated: The government might change the rules from time to time. Lawyers always keep learning so they know all the new rules.

• Handling Tough Times: Sometimes things might not go right, like if a person’s visa doesn’t get approved. During these times, lawyers are there to help figure things out.

• Guiding Through Steps: There are many steps to moving to a new country. Lawyers know all these steps really well and make sure things go smoothly.

How to Find the Best Immigration Lawyer?

Looking for a good immigration lawyer in Canada is a lot like looking for a trusted helper or friend.

• Experience is Key: It’s good to find lawyers who’ve helped many people before, especially if those people had similar needs to yours.

• Check Opinions: Before choosing, it’s smart to look online and see what other people say about the lawyer.

• Money Talks: Before you start, the lawyer should tell you how much they’ll charge. If the price sounds too low, think twice.

• Communication is Important: It’s best to have a lawyer who talks clearly and often. They should keep you updated about what’s going on.

• Meet Before Deciding: It’s like a test run. Talking to a lawyer before choosing can help you feel if they’re the right fit for you.

Choosing the right lawyer can make moving to Canada much smoother. So, it’s worth spending time finding the one that’s just right for you.