We help ensure you can be together with your loved ones as soon as possible, ensuring the details of your unique relationship are understood.
We assist our clients who have been forced to flee their homeland to claim asylum to navigate the legal system find protection in Canada.
We are serious about your immigration success. Our law office practices specifically in immigration, refugee hearings and litigation. We advocate for our clients to help them remain in Canada and achieve status.
For those who are not able to achieve status through the main program streams or are inadmissible we advocate for our clients using humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) grounds.
If your application or appeal is rejected, you may be able to request the Federal Court to intervene and send the matter back to a new decision maker for redetermination.
HEARINGS AND APPEALS
We prepare for and represent our clients through the various steps needed for their immigration matters before the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) including Immigration Division (ID), Immigration Appeal Division (IAD), Refugee Protection Division (RPD) and Refugee Appeal Division (RAD).
We support our clients who are facing imminent removal from Canada through removal order appeal, pre-removal risk assessments, and emergency stay of removal motions before the Federal Court.
Rachael is a member of The Law Society of Alberta, the local Canadian Bar Association (CBA) Immigration Section Executive and volunteers with a Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers (CARL) litigation project.
Rachael has been practising immigration law as a sole practitioner for 10 years and has successfully helped hundreds of clients resolve their immigration matters, including applications, appeals for families and refugees and inadmissibility matters. She has represented clients before all levels of the Immigration and Refugee Board. She regularly appears before the Federal Court of Canada and has appeared before the Provincial Court, Court of King's Bench and Court of Appeal in Alberta. Rachael volunteers regularly providing pro-bono legal services.
In her spare time, Rachael enjoys riding a cargo bike around Edmonton with her two children. Her family are also long-time folk festival volunteers.
We have a basic three step approach to working with clients. Although every case is different, here is an overview of what to expect when you work with an experienced immigration lawyer:
The first step is for us to meet and discuss your unique case and the best way to achieve your status. At this time, an agreement may be reached regarding what legal services will be required and what is the cost. We recognize that immigration legal fees are a significant cost to most families and we will develop a plan to keep the cost reasonable for your situation.
Once we have agreed on the direction to take your case, we will prepare your submissions. In a recent study of refugee cases in Canada, there was a correlation between applicant’s success and the thoroughness of the submission. We take the view that each submission should be crafted to the situation of the particular applicant and we take pride in preparing well organized, complete and thoughtful submissions. If your case will require testimony we prepare you for the process so that you are able to present all the facts of your case clearly to the tribunal.
After submissions are made there is a period of time that will pass while your file is reviewed and you wait for a tribunal or court date. Waiting for prolonged periods of time is an unfortunate reality with the immigration and court systems, and this time can be extremely stressful for you and your loved ones. We understand this difficulty and work as your advocate to obtain responses within a reasonable time frame.
We have a limited roster of clients so that we are able to keep your case front of mind as the process unfolds. We take pride in being responsive to our client’s needs and provide after-hours contact information in case of emergency.
We would definitely recommend RJA Law to friends and family. Working with Rachael meant having peace of mind during processing time and that nothing was missed when documents were submitted due to the thorough work she did. I was very satisfied with how concerned they were for my case and in the end it was successful. A good law firm. Very professional and they will keep you updated all the time!
Can you tell me if I am eligible to come and stay in Canada?
In broad terms, there are three ways to become a permanent resident in Canada: economic programs, family class and refugees. Each of these is quite different and there are often changes to the program criteria so the Government’s web sites are the best source for up to date information.
How much does it cost?
Immigration can be an expensive undertaking and we understand legal fees are a significant cost for most families. We often work with clients within a budget and are able to develop plan together.
What can I do if my application is delayed?
Unfortunately, immigration is a significant undertaking and there are a number of time consuming steps involved. The Government of Canada publishes average processing times and we can often use these as a guideline.
There is currently a large backlog due to the pandemic and crises in Afghanistan and Ukraine. If your file is delayed speak to your Member of Parliament and make an appointment with our office to discuss any other options you may have.
Can you tell me if my case will be approved?
We will help you make an informed decision regarding the merits of your case. If you decide to move forward the decision will be made by an independent tribunal or court. If the decision is unfair, contains an error or is unreasonable, an appeal or application for judicial review may be required.
What is judicial review?
Judicial Review is when you ask the Federal Court to review an immigration decision which is unreasonable, erroneous, or unfair. There is no opportunity to present new evidence and the Federal Court may refuse to review your application or dismiss it. If your application is successful the Federal Court will remit your matter back to another decision maker to decide again. In that case the decision maker is free to make their own decision, including refusal.
I have a deportation date. Can you stop it?
A deferral of removal request can be made asking Canada Border Services Agency to delay your removal until another time in the imminent future. Their decision is not if you will be removed but when.
The request can only be approved for a limited number of reasons such as: risk to your life or of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment, a child finishing school, serious medical reasons or if an application is about to be decided. If your request is refused by the Canada Border Services Agency you may wish to apply for an emergency stay of removal from the Federal Court.
What is the difference between an immigration lawyer and an immigration consultant?
Lawyers are experts in Canada’s immigration laws and are better able to handle more complex cases. As they are governed by Provincial law societies, they can offer you a fully confidential, accountable, and professional service. In the case of appeals to the Federal Court, a lawyer is the only authorized representative. You can verify that an individual is a practicing lawyer in Alberta and member in good standing through the Law Society of Alberta website. A lawyer who regularly handles immigration matters will have the knowledge and experience to help you develop a strategy for success.