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Consumer Protection


What is an immigration lawyer
What is the immigration department?
How can an immigration lawyer help me?
How do I find an immigration lawyer?

Particular considerations for refugees


Beware of:

  • So called “ghost consultants”, travel agents, translators and interpreters or any other individual who promises quick and easy solutions to immigration problems.
  • Anyone who guarantees they can get you a visa.
  • Lawyers from other countries who do not know Canadian and Quebec laws and are not licensed to practice law in the Province of Quebec.
  • People who say that they “know someone” who has “pull or influence” or anyone who wants money to influence or bribe decision makers.

Those who are not lawyers or authorized consultants are not legally accountable to anyone. They are not accountable to the government, to any authority, or to you. Many cases have been documented where these individuals have lied to the government in their client’s name for a quick, easy solution that in the end may result in a refusal, a deportation or permanent exclusion from Canada.

Moneys entrusted to lawyers are deposited in a trust account and all withdrawals are made in conformity with very strict rules prescribed and supervised by the Quebec Bar.

What is an immigration lawyer?

An immigration lawyer is an individual who has studied the laws of Quebec and Canada and has graduated from a law school. He or she is licensed to practice law by the Quebec Bar which is regulated by the provincial government. He or she can help you obtain legal status from Immigration Canada or Immigration Québec or represent you before an immigration court.

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What is an immigration department?

An immigration department is a governmental agency handling immigration and citizenship matters for foreign nationals who wish to come to Canada for a temporarily or permanently period of time. The Canada Citizenship and Immigration Department handles applications for legal status, decide who can enter and stay in Canada and enforces Canadian immigration and citizenship laws.

The province of Quebec also has an Immigration Department. It is the only province in Canada with a legislation empoyering it to select immigrants who are planning on work, study or live in the province. However an immigrant who is not qualified under the rules set forth by the province, may be qualified under the Canadian rules and vice versa.

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How can an immigration lawyer help me?

An immigration lawyer can help you obtain a legal status in the following ways:

  • Access your file rapidly and effectively.
  • Analyze the facts of your case thoroughly, render a legal opinion and warn you of the expectable risks and possibilities of your case.
  • Explain all benefits for which you may be eligible?
  • Complete and file your applications properly.
  • Take action in your case based on information from legal education courses and legal information bulletins and decisions rendered by a various Courts.
  • Keep up with new laws that affect you.
  • Discuss the status of your case with you or with the immigration departments to help you obtain legal status.
  • Inform you of the strict time limitations to appeal a negative decision or to have it reviewed.
  • Challenge before a court of justice, immigration officers’ decisions taken against you in Canada or at any Canadian or Québec office abroad.
  • Attend immigration interviews with you, where possible.
  • Inform you of the fiscal and customs implications of your project to become a permanent resident.
  • Work within the system because he or she has the experience to do so.
  • Represent you in other legal matters or direct you, if necessary, to another lawyer capable of better handling the situation.

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How do I find an immigration lawyer?

  • Ask a friend or a family member if they personally know an immigration lawyer.
  • Call the referral service of the local Bar Association or the Québec Immigration Lawyers Association (AQAADI).
  • Visit the lawyer and talk to the lawyer personally.
  • Ask questions such as:
    • Is he or she trustworthy and knowledgeable?
    • What does the lawyer say can be done for you?
    • How much will it cost?
    • Are you eligible for Legal Aid?
    • Is there an initial consultation fee?  This is often the case, if you are not satisfied with your consultant or lawyer that you are dealing with, talk to another lawyer.

Immigration lawyers are surprisingly affordable. Your lawyer will tell you, at the start, how much his or her work will cost you or will give you an honest estimate and keep you informed of fees throughout the case.

Be careful

If you are not sure whether the person offering you immigration services is a lawyer, ask to see their Quebec Bar admission certificate or verify on the website of the Quebec Bar at www.barreau.qc.ca.

If you are still not sure, please call:

  • Quebec Bar Association: +1 (514) 954-3400
  • Quebec Immigration Lawyers Association (AQAADI)+1 (514) 954-3400 ext. 3248

Remember, in the Province of Quebec, it is illegal to practice law or to give legal advices without a license issued by the Quebec Bar.

Your lawyer should be honest and should not make false promises or offer guarantees with respect to how the Immigration Department will decide your case.

Policy on the usage of AQAADI logo

The logo of the AQAADI is reserved for the exclusive use of the voting members in good standing.

Only a voting member in good standing may reproduce the AQAADI logo for advertising purposes. He must ensure that this logo is consistent with the original held by the board of directors. The logo must never be altered or used only in part and it must not be framed.

The member in good standing shall ensure, where applicable, that the firm in which he practices his profession uses the AQAADI logo only if all the services provided by that firm are professional services rendered by lawyers or if other professional services are also provided by this firm, provided that the graphic symbol identifying each of the professional orders or organizations to which these persons belong is also used. However, the AQAADI logo may still be used in connection with the name of the voting member in good standing.

The use of the AQAADI logo must not suggest that it is an AQAADI advertisement.

The Board of Directors reserves the right to suspend or prohibit, at its discretion, the use of the logo of the AQAADI to any member who does not respect the policy of use of its logo or whose use could prejudice the image of AQAADI.

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For more information contact:

Quebec Immigration Lawyers Association

(AQAADI)

445, St-Laurent blvd, 5th floor
Montreal (Quebec)
H2Y 3T8
CANADA

Tel : +1 (514) 954-3400 ext. 3248
Fax : +1 (514) 954-3451
Email