Q&A with Immigration Consultant Ron Liberman
Sep 1st, 2012
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a traveler at heart, and believe that Canada has a lot to offer. Accordingly, in 2004, I founded Best Place Immigration Inc
. Having experienced the immigration process first-hand helps me to understand my clients’ goals, aspirations, and challenges they face. Being in the immigration business is often intellectually challenging , and no day is ever the same as another. The profession offers the opportunity to help people, and I always experience a tremendous feeling of satisfaction when a client receives their visa.
The Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, recently announced some changes in Canada’s economic immigration system. Could you explain to us what it means for people looking to immigrate to British Columbia?
Jason Kenney has made it more difficult for most people to immigrate. Some of the immigration programs are “closed for renovation”, and when they re-open, the average applicant will probably need to be younger, more fluent in English or French, or have Canadian work experience, in order to be accepted. Business people will probably need to be even richer in order to qualify under the immigrant investor program. In the meantime, British Columbia still offers applicants already employed in the province, and business people with a lower level of net worth, the opportunity to immigrate through its provincial nominee programs.
What are the 3 most common mistakes made by newcomers during the immigration process?
Applicants do not always understand what requirements they must meet for specific visa application categories.
People also often believe that they will benefit by omitting negative information from their immigration application. Material misrepresentations, and omitting family members from the immigration forms in order to sponsor them later, may cause enormous difficulties for immigrants down the road.
Assuming these points have been taken care of, it is important for aspiring immigrants to thoroughly research the employment and business prospects available to them in Canada, to start preparing for these early in the process, and to keep up with changes in the Canadian immigration requirements while they await their visas.
What are the top 3 things to look for when choosing an immigration consultant?
The immigration consultant must be rich, handsome, and youthful in appearance. No, seriously, it is more important for your immigration consultant to be experienced, intelligent, and to have a good track record!
Most important of all, make sure your immigration consultant is a registered member of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council
. Without being registered with the appropriate regulatory body, it is illegal to offer immigration advice for a fee, or prepare applications and represent clients in dealings with the government of Canada.
What are the key differences between an immigration lawyer and an immigration consultant?
Immigration consultants and immigration lawyers are allowed to do the same work for you. However, it is important to be aware that if your immigration application is unsuccessful, an appeal will be necessary. Some appeals can be handled by immigration consultants, and your consultant will be able to refer you to a lawyer if you have to go to federal court*. Some lawyers may take a hands-off approach and give your application to a paralegal for review.
*Immigration consultants are not able to plead at the federal court to review your application. Only lawyers are allowed to do so.
Ron Liberman is the Founder and President of Best Place Immigration Inc. and is based in Vancouver, BC. He is a former president of the BC Chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants, where he also served as a National Director for several years.