“Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has a website which includes instructions on how to complete the paperwork, but it can be incredibly detailed and confusing,” says Leann. “Their guidelines are very difficult to understand. This in no way means that applicants are incapable or incompetent, but it does mean if anything is missing or overlooked, that omission could potentially affect their entire application – and could result in a refusal.”
Leann continues, “I have been doing this for a very long time – more than 12 years. My team and I know what to look for, what the latest IRCC changes are, what is often overlooked, etc. Yes, a person can do immigration applications on their own but if it is not done correctly, it affects you with lost time and quite possibly lost status. Not being approved can be quite detrimental.”
Many of Foothills Immigration’s clients are already in Canada or are coming to Canada to work or achieve residency or citizenship. Leann cites an example that shows both their services and what can happen without expert help. Foothills Immigration completed a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for a client and four workers were approved. One of the workers chose to complete the work permit application portion on her own. Although the worker submitted the paperwork in February, extra-long processing times meant she didn’t get a reply until July – and she was denied.
“That denial meant she had to stop working immediately because she no longer had valid status,” says Leann. “Thankfully the LMIA was still valid. The client engaged our services and we were able to submit another application. However, current process times were extensive at 166 days. That was potentially 166 days without being able to work or gain an income. Fortunately, this person was able to make her application directly at the Port of Entry and gain her working status again without bearing the tremendous wait of IRCC.”
Not every person that is denied has an opportunity to recover.
“Once IRCC makes a decision, if it doesn’t go in your favour, many times you must start from scratch.” says Leann. “Take a step back and think, in the event that I can’t work for six months can I financially survive? Most people would say no. It is a big risk and it puts you in an incredibly vulnerable position. Our services are here to help people get successfully accepted. I’ve done this day in and day out for 12 years; I’m very vested in Canadian immigration law and this is what we, as a team, love to do.”
Clients interested in working with Foothills Immigration receive an in-depth consultation when the individual can ask questions and receive honest, straightforward advice. If the team can assist further by taking the individual on as a client, then the onboarding steps are described. The individual is empowered to make their choices with experienced guidance every step of the way.
As Leann reflects on Foothills Immigration’s time in the region, she thanks the many clients and the communities of Banff and Canmore for their support. She feels humbled by the referrals, the 60+ 5 Star Google reviews, and kind words and looks forward to continuing the focus on successful client outcomes.