There is no requirement that visa-applicants retain counsel. In fact, for those whose educational and employment histories are clear, counsel would only be needed if
Unfortunately, however, it is impossible to know whether any of these contingencies will occur and, if they do, remedying them is more difficult than avoiding them in the first place.
- they have better ways to allocate their time than dealing with imperious immigration functionaries,
- if processing stalls or
- if anything goes wrong.
The reasons, therefore, for retaining competent counsel are:
- to receive proper counseling so that only those likely to be approved submit an application and pay non-refundable Immigration fees;
- to convince the visa-officer to approve the application without an interview, thereby expediting visa-issuance by at least one year;
- to package you in order to achieve the best result by highlighting the strengths while endeavouring to overcome any negative factors;
- to prepare a complete submission so that processing starts immediately, rather than having it delayed until the minimum documentation is sent;
- to co-ordinate matters between the visa-post and client;
- to prepare the client for interview;
- to address any problems which arise;
- to move the file forward if it has been stalled and
- if the visa is refused, to seek redress either administratively through the visa-post or Ottawa or from the Federal Court of Canada.
Having legal counsel will not guarantee visa-issuance for an unqualified applicant. However, qualified applicants who fail to “put their best foot forward” may be refused, whereas, had competent counsel submitted the case, the refusal might have been averted. Therefore, how we “package” you may make all the difference in a marginal case or where the employment history or educational background does not clearly correspond to what Immigration requires.
Although hiring competent counsel will not cause an applicant to “jump the queue”, applicants who fail to submit all required documents promptly will cause the process to be prolonged. Thus, owing to our experience, we may be able to cause a visa to be issued earlier simply because we know what to do, how to do it and when to do it.
In addition, if the visa-post refuses to respond – a frequent occurrence at all too many Canadian visa-posts – counsel (but not applicants) have the means to prompt action by seeking assistance from Ottawa. This venue has often proven to be the most effective means for prompting action.
Moreover, because Mr. Leahy is a member of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), we receive daily up-dates on issues and changes. In addition, if a problem stumps us, Mr. Leahy may seek the advice and insight of other lawyers through the CBA listserve. Thus, when you allow us to assist you, you gain access to almost all of Canada’s most experienced immigration lawyers.
Furthermore, having handled immigration matters since 1989, Mr. Leahy has learned how to prepare a case so that, should a visa be refused, he will likely be able to have the refusal overturned. Thus, we may be able to avert a refusal or, if we cannot, lay the groundwork during processing so that, should litigation ensue, you will be successful. As the renowned U.S. trial lawyer, F. Lee Bailey, observed: “A trial is not won in the courtroom . . . it is won in the preparation”. We know how to prepare a file properly whatever the contingency.
Finally, in addition to Canada, we also can handle, or refer to our affiliated offices, immigration to Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand and the United States. Thus, we can advise you on alternative destinations should your first choice prove not to be a viable option.
In summation, we can assist you in putting together a complete submission, emphasizing your strengths while seeking to overcome any deficiencies, improve the likelihood of smooth processing or, when delays ensue, prompt action and, if problems arise, address them effectively by deploying proven methods or accessing senior or home-office personnel. After all, our continued success depends on our clients’ success. Thus, because assisting you inures to our benefit, too, you can be assured that we will do our best to achieve the optimum result for you.
||Rt. Hon. Paul Martin Jr.,
Prime Minister of Canada
||Timothy E. Leahy
Forefront Migration, Ltd. is headed by Timothy E. Leahy, who, by virtue of having passed the bar examinations in Ontario and Michigan, has been admitted to practice law before the federal courts of Canada and the United States. Since 1989, he and has been practicing immigration law exclusively and incorporated this immigration consultancy in August 1994. Mr. Leahy, a member of the Canadian Bar Association, Immigration Section, was elected to the Executive Committee of the Ontario Immigration Law Section. He has been member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and a speaker at immigration seminars for lawyers in Canada and the United States and in China, Dubai, Doha and India for prospective immigrants. In addition, Canadian television networks and radio stations have interviewed him and Canadian newspapers have quoted him on immigration matters.
Mr. Leahy is one of the few immigration law practitioners who has carried on a mixed practice of overseas processing, inland defence, immigration appeal and litigation before the Federal Court of Canada, where he has gained some notable victories – and lost a few along the way, as well. The Federal Court, for example, appointed him lead counsel in 2002 in a successful collective action, involving lawyers from three provinces, obliging Immigration Canada to assess their clients before its self-imposed deadline for applying new, more restrictive selection-criteria on immigrant-visa applicants whose application pre-dated the new regulations.
As a result of this victory, 7,000 more Federal Court application were filed resulting in the Minister agreeing to eliminate retrospective application of the new selection-criteria on over 100,000 pre-2002 applicants and his lowering the pass-mark. As a result, Mr. Leahy is well-versed in most aspects of immigration procedure, ranging from family-class cases through the skilled-worker to the business categories, and on how to pursue a case so that if, in the end, it is necessary to litigate, his client is likely to prevail. His strong advocacy of his clients’ interest has caused Immigration officials to take notice.
Mr. Leahy entered the private practice of immigration law after resigning his commission as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer (Political). Prior to becoming a diplomat, Mr. Leahy, who is a Chartered Life Underwriter and Licensed Insurance Counselor, and previously held U.S. securities licences, designed group programs and set up pensions for small businesses while doing estate-planning for the owners.
In addition to his business experience, Mr. Leahy has an extensive academic background. During his junior year as an undergraduate, Mr. Leahy studied in Bogota, Colombia, where his classes were in Spanish, and in Vienna, Austria, where he also sold student trans-Atlantic charter airplane tickets, amassing the second highest record of sales in Europe. Graduating a semester early and magna cum laude (with high honours), placing him in the top ten percent of his class, Mr. Leahy was named a ‘Michigan Scholar’ and inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the United States’ most prestigious academic honourary. He earned a Master's degree at the University of Michigan and fulfilled all the requirements for a Ph.D. except for the most daunting, the dissertation. In 1983, Mr. Leahy entered Detroit’s Wayne State University Law School and again was graduated a semester early but this time only cum laude (with honours), placing him in the top quarter of his class. He simultaneously attended law classes at the University of Windsor, across the river from Detroit, and fulfilled the academic requirements for being called to the Bar in Ontario by attending class at Osgoode Hall in Toronto while continuing to work in the State Department’s Office of Protocol in Washington, D.C.