Is every applicant interviewed by the Canadian Authorities?
No. Canada Immigration has adopted a policy of "waiving" interviews for applicants receiving high points in their evaluations, whose qualifications and experience are not in doubt and who have all their documents in order. This may include waiving interviews for professionals with a good track record, easily verifiable references and solid academic qualifications from well-known institutions, and from countries where there appear to be no major concerns about document fraud. Our representations on behalf of clients have been highly successful in convincing visa officers to waive interviews for many applicants. However, if your application is "borderline," or your qualifications are in doubt, or your ability in either English or French is limited, you will most likely be interviewed at a visa post. If an interview is granted, you will be responsible for traveling to that location. Business applicants are routinely interviewed, because visa officers must determine their experience in running and managing a business, net worth, source of funds, and ability to meet conditions imposed on Entrepreneurs.
Why should I engage a lawyer to represent me?
Although individuals can file their own applications, it is not advisable to do so. A large number of immigrants engage the services of Canadian lawyers ("Barristers and Solicitors") who are well versed in immigration matters to represent them, due to the complexity of the process and the obstacles that can be encountered. Canadian immigration lawyers are trained to deal with the specific problems that may arise and maintain a high level of qualification and expertise. You must be cautious about individuals who are not lawyers and who claim to be "specialized" or otherwise represent themselves as "agents," etc. Only those duly admitted to practice law in a Canadian jurisdiction can use the title of "Barrister and Solicitor," which is a lawyer or attorney-at-law. Also, you must be wary of those who offer "money back guarantee", "no visa-no fee", or make other promises concerning the outcome of an application, or make representations to obtain visas in a very short time. Only visa officers can make a decision on your application or promise a specific result.
Why should I engage the services of Karas & Associates?
Karas & Associates has the knowledge, experience and expertise to make your immigration application easier and the process smoother, while maximizing your chances of success. We have helped hundreds of people successfully establish themselves in Canada and we have been involved in many widely reported, high profile cases in the national and international press. We assist local community organizations to deal with the problems of immigrants and we have representatives overseas to serve our clients in an efficient manner. Our international background allows us to understand the problems encountered by applicants overseas and to find solutions. We are regularly consulted by the Canadian media on Canadian immigration issues. Our clients come from all over the world. We will prepare your application in a professional and efficient manner, make submissions to the authorities on your behalf, direct you throughout the immigration process, assist you with any questions you may have, deal with the Canadian authorities and expedite the process for you, so you can continue to carry on with your life without disruption or the need to spend time and effort in trying to deal with legal problems for which you do not know the solution! Sergio R. Karas, B.A, J.D.. is a Certified Specialist in Citizenship and Immigration Law by the Law Society of Upper Canada, a distinction accorded to only a handful of immgration lawyers in the country.
Can Karas & Associates assist me in finding a job in Canada?
Although Karas & Associates does not find jobs for immigration applicants, it has strategic alliances with several career search organizations, which help qualified individuals achieve their maximum potential in the Canadian job market. They provide the tools, techniques, personal support and market research resources required to find and secure the best possible position in the shortest possible time.
Who makes decisions concerning my application for immigration to Canada?
Visa Officers in Canadian Consulates, Embassies and High Commissions abroad make all decisions concerning a candidate's application. Each application is assessed in accordance with its category. Skilled Workers are evaluated according to a "point system" considering a variety of factors; Entrepreneurs, Investors are assessed in light of their business experinece and net worth; self-employed applicants must demonstrate a potentail contribution to the artistic, cultural, or scientific life of Canada; and family class applicants receive priority over other applicants in the processing of their applications. Karas & Associates can help you maximize your chances of achieving a higher point assessment, using their expertise and knowledge of what Canadian visa officers are looking for in immigration applications.
Where will my application be filed?
Applications for Permanent Residence in Canada may be filed with the Centralized Intake Office, or with the Canadian Consulate, Embassy or High Commission abroad responsible for your geographical area, depending on the type of application, as directed by the immigration regulations and Ministerial policy. An application made abroad must be filed at the post that serves:(a) the country in which the applicant is present and has been lawfully admitted; or (b) the applicant's country of nationality or, if the applicant is stateless, their country of habitual residence other than a country in which they are residing without having been lawfully admitted.
How long will the process take?
The duration of the application process varies from case to case and it is different for each visa post. It is also subject to seasonal variations. From our experience, we have determined that Skilled Workers with Arranged Employment who present the appropriate documentation in support of their qualifications and experience may receive a preliminary positive answer within 6 to 8 months of filing of their applications in some visa posts, with a total processing time of around 12 to 18 months. Business applicants, entrepreneurs and investors can take much longer, depending on the degree of difficulty of the case, reliability of documentation, specifc visa post, etc. It must be noted that there is no hard and fast rule for processing times. Karas & Associates carefully analyses all documentation provided by clients and prepares professional presentations that save time for visa officers, providing them with an incentive to process your application faster and avoid unnecessary delays.
What happens to my application if I have a medical problem?
Persons who have medical problems may encounter difficulties in their application process, depending on the nature of the illness. The Canadian government is very concerned that individuals who suffer from chronic, contagious or other diseases that may create demands on our health care system should not be allowed into Canada. Also, Immigration legislation prohibits issuing a permanent resident visa to a person who is medically inadmissible according to law. If you have a medical problem, it is best to consult with us prior to filing your application. We recommend that people whose illnesses can cause them difficulties in their immigration applications consider their situation carefully before investing time and money in the process.
What if I have a criminal conviction?
Those who have been convicted of criminal offences may have serious difficulties in obtaining permanent residence status in Canada. The law prohibits issuing a visa to those who are criminally inadmissible. A number of factors are taken into consideration, including the nature of the offence, the sentence received, the length of time elapsed since the offence, etc. Every applicant wishing to immigrate to Canada is subject to a security background check, and must present the appropriate police clearances from their country of residence. We advise our clients to obtain the appropriate police certificates immediately, so time can be saved in the process.
What if I do not wish to go to Canada right away?
If you wish to delay your immigration to Canada after you obtain your permanent residence status, it may be possible to do so. But since the immigration process takes a minimum of 6 to 8 months, it is wise to begin your application before you have finished your work assignment or graduate studies. Visas issued by the Consulates are normally valid for up to one year since the date the medical exams were performed, and you may come to Canada at any time prior to the expiry of your visa. Also, you may choose to come to Canada and then return briefly to your activities overseas. In that case, there are some special rules that apply and you must be careful that your absence from Canada does not cause your permanent resident status to expire. We offer consultations to discuss your particular situation to maximize your chances of success and, at the same time, allow you to complete your current assignment or studies.
What processing fees are charged by the government of Canada?
The Canadian government charges a fee of CDN $550.00 per Skilled Worker applicant over 22 years old (CDN$ 1,050 for business applicants and investors) as a processing fee and CDN $150.00 for each dependant child under 22 years of age. In addition, the Canadian government charges a fee of CDN $490.00 for "Right of Permanent Residency Fee" for each applicant over 22 years of age. If the application is not successful the "Right of Permanent Residency Fee" will be refunded to the applicant. However, the processing fees are non-refundable.