Mistakes to Avoid

Preventing foreseeable failure


eaving your country of birth (or residency) and coming to a country such as Canada is hard enough as it is. What pains us, as  immigration consultants, is seeing people make some of the same mistakes, or fall victim to the same scams. These are mistakes, or fraudulent actions that others have made, or fallen victim to, before them, and that others will make after them. These are the mistakes that doom your application to immigrate, or visit, or study to failure every single time. Each such failure is recorded by the Canadian immigration system, and stacks up against you when ever you next apply.

I don’t want to spend the money on a consultant.

We generally hear from the Do-It-Yourselfers twice. The first time is when they phone to try and get professional services for free. When we quote them a price for resolving their issue, they promise to “get back” to us. Some time later, we hear back from them. This  time, their application has been rejected, or they have received a “procedural fairness” letter or they are facing removal or deportation.  Sometimes they have paid an unregulated, person, referred to in our sector as a “ghost” consultant to do it cheap. Predictably, their application was bungled.

In a similar manner, you may not need to have a lawyer represent you in court. But if you don’t have one, you are likely going to face your opponent’s legal representative who not only is versed in the law, but is experienced in actions such as yours. You are not. How likely are you to win your action? Not very likely.

Our firm is a member of Canada’s mandated national regulatory body. Our people are trained and experienced in immigration, settlement and business management. Our fees are fair and reasonable, and reflect the amount of work we  do to submit a well-researched, succinctly presented submission on your behalf. Such skills are time-consuming and expensive to acquire. Those skills require dedication and ongoing study (“professional development”) to maintain. That’s why what we do is so valuable to the people who entrust us with their case.

I am qualified and interested, but I will apply next year.

Acceptance for permanent residency is based on a points system. Each year you delay your application costs you points that you can never get back.  Ask yourself: “Am I serious about coming to Canada, or  not?” If you are serious, there is never a better  time than the present. The self-inflicted turmoil in countries like the USA and the UK means the demand to come to Canada is at an all-time high, pushing selection thresholds higher than ever.

People who put off the decision two years ago are often no longer able to compete with today’s thresholds for permanent residency pathways.  If they had embarked on this journey through our firm when they first contacted us, they would already be re-settled in Canada, and carrying on their life, like others who did retain us. If the process to emigrate  was simple, everyone would do it, and more importantly, they would do it without professional help. But isn’t simple.

  • It takes longer than you expect to get your paperwork together and submitted;
  • It costs more for all aspects of the process than you think ;
  • Emigrating is much harder than you expect it to be.

If the end result of living in Canada, studying in Canada, visiting family in Canada, or investing in Canada is what you want, get on with it! Determined, serious people are the easiest ones to help.

I don’t have a credit card / bank account / e-mail address.

 1. Finances: Develop a financial and credit history

There is no discreet way to state  this. If you want to immigrate to Canada, the system will treat you like an adult, and you will be expected to act like an adult. To demonstrate that you are financially capable of handling your immigration, you will have to show funds in a  bank account that is either held in your name, or jointly in your name. One of the ways your application to come to Canada, visit Canada, or return to Canada is judged is whether or not you have enough money to see you through  while in Canada.

Responsible money management is a skill few adults are taught, but which everyone needs to get along through life. You need a bank account to build your financial history. You also need a credit or debit card. What this implies is that  you will be required to demonstrate that you can save money, and manage credit and debt.

Canada has a self-assessing tax system. Upper Canada Immigration charges and remits all applicable taxes. We don’t offer discounts if you offer to pay with cash.  Wire-transfers from your bank account to ours is easy, and it’s also fine to use your credit or debit card if you have one.

2. Communication: Get a personal e-mail account

You absolutely need an e-mail address to facilitate communication  with you.  Canada’s on-line application system is efficient and very specific in its requirements for electronic documents. Most people we deal with do have e-mail accounts. If we are dealing with you from Canada, and you live outside Canada, how else can we contact you? Facebook and Whatsapp are helpful for sending messages and for making initial contact with us.

Our suggestion is to use a well-established e-mail provider that will travel with you, such as Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo. Avoid a ‘cute’ e-mail address. Use some variation on your name. We don’t care too much what you call yourself, but prospective employers might. Each destination we visit, we encounter just a few people who needlessly complicate their own lives by not having a personal e-mail account.

You normally need a cell phone or home phone too, though just about all the people who deal with us have this. Here is your minimum check list of the contact resources you need to make your life-defining move:

  • A home or personal mailing address;
  • A personal e-mail account that only you use and have access to. It is not wise to use an employer’s e-mail account when you are planning to emigrate;
  • A telephone number at which you can be contacted. Most people have a smart phone and use WhatsApp. This is fine.

I spoke to someone who guaranteed me a job in Canada

This is a common way for unethical employers and agents (usually so-called ‘ghost consultants‘) to separate people from their hard-earned money, and leave them no further ahead. Here’s how it works:

  • You will be quoted a fee, often in the tens of thousands of Canadian dollars, for an employer to invite you to come to Canada, and receive a job offer with that employer;
  • You will come to Canada, pay the agent, and find that the ‘job’ may be much less than you thought it might be. Still, you will rationalize it, and think that it is a start in Canada;
  • In reality, the employer will have been paid by the agent, using some of the money that you paid the agent, to employ you, normally for a period of less than six months. In essence, you are paying the agent to give the employer the money that the employer will use to pay you at the job you have been offered. It’s a profit centre for the employer, who in essence gets your work for free;
  • Just before the time that the money (your money) that the agent gave to the employer to pay you for a few months runs out, the employer will terminate your employment. If you have been employed less than six months, employers have few obligations to the employee, and can end your employment without cause;
  • You likely will not have fulfilled the requirements to apply for permanent residency in Canada by the time your employment is terminated. You will face the choice of either returning to your country of origin, much poorer and no further ahead in becoming a Canadian, or of finding a new employer without the benefit of being a landed immigrant. In other words, you are ripe for being taken advantage of again. Every part of this scenario, by the employer and by the agent whom you paid, is illegal under Canadian law.;
  • It is often at this point that people either give up, or call Upper Canada Immigration with some variant on this story. We explain to them how they have been taken advantage of, and that there are no ‘guarantees’ or shortcuts to relocating in Canada, and that they are back where they had originally started, poorer but wiser. Perhaps this explanation will save you this type of experience.

Immigration consultants ask many personal questions

Trust is a two-way street, and truth is absolutely essential. The application that Upper Canada Immigration will submit on your behalf will be the best-quality application you can get. You need to answer the questions the consultant will ask you truthfully, and completely. You also must inform us of things in your past that may impact our assessment of your situation.  You need to be truthful and open in your dealings with us. We may not ask a relevant question because we are focusing on your current situation. So, to be clear, “completely” means not saying, “Well, you didn’t ask me that” if and when we find a problem in the course of our work.

Documents: Evidence and Proof of what you say

You must furnish us with the documents we ask of you. This also applies to your sponsor or your host, as the case may be. Everything we say in your visa application must be substantiated. You have to be prepared to give us very sensitive and confidential documents. In return, your consultant will respect your privacy, treat your information  confidentially, ask only for the documents and information needed, return any original documents to you and advise you on any deficiencies that you may be able to address during the preparatory  phase. As well, you can expect your consultant to provide you with an opinion on  whether your situation has a strong chance of success, or can be strengthened with some additional efforts.

Respond in a timely manner

Once you retain our services, you must commit to checking your e-mail account often, and responding to us quickly. Turnaround time for queries from the government of Canada is often short . You often need to respond or comply with a request within days of being asked. Plus, if we are seeking answers from you, or are simply seeking clarification on something, it means that we cannot move forward until we hear from you.

When it comes to emigrating, procrastination, carelessness  and an “I can do it myself” approach  usually lead to failure and disappointment. We say this with confidence, because we eventually hear from people after they have failed. Each rejection or failure is recorded by Immigration Canada (and is accessible by other countries that have information-sharing agreements with Canada). Each rejection or failure must be addressed if a future application is to succeed.  Regulated Canadian Immigration consultants are educated and skilled in immigration processes and the law and regulations that govern  such proceedings. Let us handle your cases.

At this point, a lot of people pause and say something like, “Oh. I didn’t know all that.” Now you do. If you think we can help you, click here to get our contact information, and then get in touch with us. Our initial consultation will inform you:  candidly, accurately and objectively, what your chances are for a legal immigration to Canada.

Need more information , or have a question about how to work with Upper Canada Immigration Consultants or how to pay us? Go to the Help | About page on this web site.

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