As Canada’s largest and most populous city, Toronto has been a popular choice for immigrants over the years. To this day, diaspora communities continue to grow. Immigration lawyers are used for a variety of reasons.
According to the 2016 Census published by Statistics Canada, 30%, or 356,930, of all immigrants settled in the city from 2001 to 2016.
46.1% of residents were born outside of Canada and the majority (51.5%) of Torontonians are now visible minorities, which a great deal from the Philippines, China, and India.
Despite Canada’s welcoming attitude, for immigrants who need legal help, the Canadian legal system may appear confusing and complex at first glance. It can be an overwhelming experience to require assistance, while unfamiliar with the culture or language.
Luckily, Toronto’s diversity allows individuals access to a great deal of immigration lawyers that specialize in various communities and speak many different languages.
Finding a Toronto lawyer that can understand one’s legal issues is now easier than ever.
What are Immigration Lawyers Used For?
Immigration lawyers can help clients apply for permanent residency and citizenship. Although it is not necessary to hire a lawyer, keep in mind that this is a complex process, with various steps and changing policies and procedures. An immigration lawyer is up to date with these changes and can also present the case in a clear and concise manner, expediting the process.
Immigration lawyers can also be used to sponsor family members, such as parents, children, and spouses.
Finally, they also deal with work permits, study permits, and refugee claims.
Toronto Immigration Lawyer Locations
The majority of Toronto’s immigration lawyers are located in Toronto’s Financial District, right in the downtown core.
The quadrant bordered by Queen Street East in the north, Queens Quay East in the south, University Avenue in the west, and Jarvis Street in the east, is home to the majority of immigration law firms.
Additional downtown offices can be found on Spadina Avenue and Dundas Street West, King Street and Bathurst Street, King Street West and Bathurst Street, and Dundas Street West and University Avenue.
Further west, offices can be found in the Islington and Mimico areas, while South Riverdale serves the east end.
Further north, offices can be found in Davisville, Mount Pleasant East, Lawrence Park South, and Yonge-St. Clair neighbourhoods.
A great deal of immigration lawyers can also be found in the outlying suburbs of Mississauga and Brampton as well.
What To Look For in an Immigration Lawyer
Find out how long the lawyer has been practicing immigration law. Years experience leads to better understanding of the intricacies of immigration law.
Most importantly, one must research if the lawyer has ever faced professional discipline. Lawyers are a substantial investment; choose wisely.
Costs of Immigration Lawyers in Toronto
Legal fees for lawyers vary. A quick survey of fees reveals that spousal sponsorships cost approximately $1,500 CAD, parental sponsorships are approximately $1,800 CAD, while a visitor visa is approximately $300.
Renewal of a permanent resident card is $300 CAD, citizenship application is $300, and student and work visas are $700 CAD each. Processing fees are often added to this amount.
Free Legal Advice
- For those who cannot afford an immigration lawyer, Pro Bono Ontario (PBO) offers vulnerable clients a chance to connect with volunteer lawyers.
They also work with immigrants specifically.
- Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) is a publicly funded organization offering free legal help to qualifying Ontario residents in over 300 languages. They can be reached at 1-800-668-8258.
They specialize in a variety of laws, including immigration and refugee issues.
- For those having problems with their current lawyer, Law Society of Ontario (LSO)is another option. Their Law Society Referral Service (LSRS) connects individuals who need help with a lawyer or paralegal.
Immigration Lawyers Vs. Immigration Consultants
When searching for a lawyer, it is important to differentiate between an immigration lawyer and an immigration consultant.
Although there are similarities, they are different in their educational credentials and their regulating institutions.
Immigration lawyers have much more experience and complete an undergraduate degree and law school program. They are also required to pass the bar exam. Immigration consultants only complete a 1-year certification.
Although navigating the Canadian immigration law system can be overwhelming, many Toronto lawyers speak a variety of languages and themselves come from a variety of backgrounds. Do not hesitate to shop around and find the perfect lawyer for your individual case.
Interesting article: “Five times you might need a legal expert.“