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Know your service providers

If you’ve just started your research for a move to Canada, you will have seen many adverts, both on the net and in print, for a myriad of service providers who can assist you with your move – but are you really clear about who does what and which service is the right one for you and your budget?

There are so many choices – no wonder you’re confused. Should you employ an immigration consultant, immigration lawyer, realtor, settlement or relocation specialist?

Recently Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) regulated “immigration consultants” – these are paid representatives who, along with lawyers and notaries, provide advice and assistance on immigration and refugee matters and will represent you with CIC and in proceedings before the Immigration and Refugee Board and the Canada Border Services Agency.

So, if you choose to hire a paid representative to assist you with your visa application or legal/immigration issues, you can now verify that your representative is in good standing with the designated organisations.

For services that are unrelated to your visa application, you are not required to hire a ‘regulated immigration consultant’.

There are many excellent settlement service providers who can help you with everything you need, other than your visa application process. For example – job search, choosing suitable schools for your children, and providing customised research to answer all your questions, before, during and after your move.

Many realtors (estate agents), although their primary goal is to sell you a house, offer limited and often free settlement services.

Similarly, some moving companies offer useful tools, such as a free moving checklist and general advice about your international move.

Before you purchase services related to your move, ask yourself exactly what you need and when you’ll need these service, then plan ahead by budgeting for these expenses.

  • Do I need an immigration lawyer to help me with my visa application?
  • Do I need a settlement services provider to help me research the Canadian job market?
  • Do I need a moving company to move my household contents and pets?
  • Do I need a realtor to help me purchase a home?

Choose the right people to help you with the many different aspects of your move. Be clear about what you want and exactly what you are purchasing – this will help you to avoid surprises, disappointments, or costly mistakes down the road.

Visit the CanadaWise website: www.canadawise.com

PG Author: Thelma O'Connor

Thelma O' Connor, B.A., CERC Relocation Specialist, emigrated to Canada from London in 1995 and now runs Canada Wise http://www.canadawise.com/

Canada Wise provides relocation support, and cross-cultural training/coaching for newcomers to Canada.

Contact Thelma via her web site or by phone: +1 (403) 226-4999.
Follow Canada Wise on Twitter – @CanadaWise

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