Completing Canadian Immigration Documents

Hiring a representative comes with a cost – a hefty one at that.  The good news is that completing your own Canadian immigration documents can also result in a successful application. This post contains tips.

Price Tag of Immigration Services

The services and expertise of immigration representatives come with a substantial fee.  The rates, scope, and quality of services vary.  Thus, it is best to research what is available. 

My application in 2010 – 2011 cost approximately CA $1, 500 in staggered payments.  This was more than 10% of the required proof of funds at the time.  Of course, the use of immigration consultants or lawyers is beneficial.  But an effective and less costly application is also possible with diligent preparation.

Charleson Park, Vancouver, British Columbia

5 Tips to Properly Complete Canadian Immigration Documents

  1. Answer every question.  If the section does not apply to you or you do not have an answer to the question, write “not applicable”.  Otherwise, it might appear like you have not read or filled out the form properly.  This can result in a return or refusal.
  2. Use extra sheets of paper to provide additional information.  Make it easy for the immigration officer to find this information.  Note the form and letter or number of the question you are answering on the additional sheet.
  3. Gather documents in advance.  Review the document checklist.  Estimate the time required to gather each document then obtain these accordingly.  If an item can not be included, include a cover letter explaining why it is missing.
  4. Follow instructions carefully.  Make sure that you provide the required information, address all concerns, and read all instructions.  Ensure that there are no gaps in your timeline.  Check, double-check and triple-check until totally confident.
  5. Keep track of document validity.  Important documents such as passports, bank statements, and medical assessments expire.  Ensure that these are still valid upon submission.

Useful Resources

The following resources can be of enormous help to your DIY application:

  1. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website. The IRCC website is your primary source of official information. Application packages or forms as well as guidelines can be found in this site.
  2. Immigration Consultants and Lawyers Blogs. These blogs offer free advise and guidelines that can help with your DIY application.
  3. Canadian Immigration Forums. Learn from other people’s experiences.  Applicants share what to do and what not to do based on their experiences.  However, use your best judgement before using this information as each situation is unique.

Looking back, the $1, 500+ fee I paid to my immigration representative was well worth it.  But time, patience, and diligence in completing the Canadian immigration documents on your own can also lead to success.

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