In Canada, companies are increasingly recruiting workers who are qualified abroad, particularly due to the shortage of labour that affects certain provinces such as Quebec. However, the process is far from simple and companies want to ensure that their future employees will be able to work legally. This leads to high demand on law firms who specialize in this niche. Likewise, immigration law paralegals are also in high demand.
What is their role?
Paralegals who specialize in immigration law assist lawyers in their work mainly by dealing with administrative and management tasks. They can practice in companies or in law firms. Their primary mission is to prepare, draft and produce various immigration documents in the context of applications for work permits, visas, permanent residence, citizenship and other international mobility procedures.
Be aware that the practice is focused mainly on filling out forms. To do this, paralegals are in contact with clients and collaborators to obtain information essential to carrying out their assignments. They must also follow up cases with the government authorities and make sure deadlines are closely met. Finally, they make sure to stay aware of the different changes in the legislature.
To practise, a paralegal must hold a college diploma in legal techniques or a certificate in law, or have mandatory equivalent experience. It should be noted however that to be a member of the Association des parajuristes du Quebec, it is necessary to hold a college diploma in legal techniques.
Law firms most often require bilingualism (or even trilingualism), both written and oral. In addition, a very strong sense of organization, diligence and thorough meticulousness are required.
Regarding salary, it varies considerable according to the province and experience, training and the level of bilingualism. In Quebec, a paralegal earns between $18 and $39 per hour, while he can earn up to $57 in Alberta, according to the latest figures from the government of Canada.