Langara Students’ Union hires immigration consultant
Although there are immigration services offered through the college, the LSU offers more help
Reported by Nathan Durec
Immigration services are more accessible for international students now that a new immigration consultant has been hired by the Langara Students’ Union.
Kam Kaur, the newly hired consultant, is the first to hold the position. The LSU now offers international students assistance with study and work permits, temporary resident visas and permanent residency applications.
In an email, Kaur wrote “international students constantly have the added pressure to ensure their study permit is valid, if they have applied for work permit within the deadline, check if the [sic] need to restore status, and so on.”
As of the fall 2018 semester, 30.4 per cent of Langara’s student body was comprised of international students. This marks a significant increase from 19.4 per cent during the spring 2016 semester.
Value of on-campus immigration services
Andrea Bolinelli, an immigration consultant with Aurora Immigration in Vancouver, sees value in having immigration services at Langara.
“If you are doing a full-time program of one year or more that gives you a degree, certificate or diploma, it might give you some advantage in your immigration process,” Bolinelli said.
Bolinelli said that immigration processes can be expensive. Depending on what individuals require, it can cost anywhere between $2,000 and $5,000 in addition to government fees.
There is no cost for immigration consulting services offered through the LSU. However, students do pay any associated fees to the Canadian government.
Other immigration resources
While the LSU’s new immigration consultant is a good way for international students to have questions answered, it is not the only place on campus that provides aid. The International Education Centre has two immigration consultants and another registered international student immigration adviser.
In an email, Ajay Patel, vice president of external operations at Langara, wrote, “We also provide support, when appropriate, for students who have been refused study or work permits or have complex situation to navigate.”
Kaur wanted to make sure that international students understand that nothing is guaranteed.
“If a lawyer or immigration consultant is guaranteeing you success than [sic] you may want to rethink about retaining them,” wrote Kaur.