We receive dozens of unsolicited messages everyday from people seeking help with immigration problems. Every case is different and there are certain situations where we are not the best representatives to assist. For those cases, we have contacts in other jurisdictions for referrals. As a boutique law firm, we also regularly make referrals to our colleagues who practice, for example, family law or criminal law. For the remaining contacts, we have developed three (3) methods to make sure that we are a good fit for the client and that it makes sense for us to help.
In a medical context, triage is used to assign urgency to a situation and order the patients in priority based on the immediacy of their health needs. For us, we have clients who contact us with deportation orders or applications that have been refused and the appeal period is pressing. It is important to assess the urgency of the situation at the onset to make sure we do not miss any deadlines as a result of our delay or inaction.
To date (knock on wood), we have not missed a Federal Court deadline and we have not faced the work involved to include a motion requesting an extension of time to file our Record. Hopefully we will maintain our systems so we never get to that point.
Emergency emails often come to us and land in our spam folder. This may be simply due to the fact that many clients who contact us are from far off places. Personally, I believe Vietnam may be targetted as a place for spam. Many emails from Vietnamese clients seem to go directly into my spam folder.
I have also noticed an increase in the number of spam emails over the past 6 months. Emails from CRA, TD Bank and other banks requesting log in and password information. I doubt that anyone reading this would be among those who would actually click on these emails. If you have the sense to read Slaw.ca, you likely have enough sense to filter your email!
There is a group of clients who perpetually bother me. They need information about immigration law and they have been frustrated with the IRCC/CIC Call Centre. The Officers at the Call Centre deal with many (many!) calls and the wait times are very lengthy. When these clients call us, they are often quite stressed out about their situation and they just need reliable answers. Often, the information is available online but they do not know where to get it or how to interpret the procedures.
For these situations, we try to address common questions on this page which is static and describes common scenarios. This is a popular page that goes through all the steps using the MPNP program to obtain Permanent Resident status. Of course, the MPNP program was “renewed” last month so this path is about to expire! If the cold caller requires additional help, they can make an appointment.
The systems we have in place are far from perfect. We do our best to make appropriate referrals and help anyone who contacts our firm. Our goal is to help as many people as possible and use our time wisely.