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Catherine McGhie      778.817.1052

Why you need a lawyer, not a consultant

Catherine McGhie

Catherine McGhie attended law school at the University of British Columbia and graduated with an LL.B. in 2002. She completed her articles at a national law firm in Vancouver and was called to the bar of British Columbia in 2004. After a move to Ottawa, she was called to the bar of Ontario in 2005 and practised in the area of Wills and Estates law. She joined Stevenson, Luchies & Legh in 2019 and practises primarily in the area of immigration law at the Victoria office. She is a member of the Law Society of British Columbia and the Canadian Bar Association. Whilst taking a sabbatical from the practice of law to concentrate on raising her children, Catherine volunteered with many children’s societies, including the locally run Story Studio Writing Society which engages children in creative writing. She also spent 6 months in France with her family where she immersed herself in the culture and language of France. She continued her studies on her return to Canada and received her diploma in French from the University of Victoria in April 2019. In her spare time, Catherine enjoys hiking, swimming and skiing, and is an avid spectator of her daughter’s dance shows and her sons’ baseball games. Just don’t ask her to explain the infield fly rule. Learn More

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Applying for permanent residency?

Learn the facts before applying,
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Vancouver Immigration Lawyer
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Immigration Lawyer

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Catherine McGhie

103, 2849 Peatt Road



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Permanent Resident Status

Know the answers and avoid costly mistakes or delays.

Are you a foreign national seeking permanent resident status in Canada?  Maybe you already have permanent resident status and are hoping to become a Canadian citizen.  The rules and procedures governing the Canadian immigration system are complex.  If you hope to navigate the immigration system successfully, you need an experienced immigration lawyer on your side.

Hiring one of our skilled immigration lawyers will give you the advantage you need to become a permanent resident or citizen of Canada.

What is permanent resident status?

Permanent resident status is granted to those whose immigration has been approved but who have not yet become Canadian citizens.  It is often a step in the process towards becoming a Canadian citizen.  Permanent residents can live and work in Canada permanently, if they choose to do so.  However, they remain citizens of their countries of origin.

As permanent residents are not citizens of Canada, they are not eligible to vote in elections, run for elected office or hold Canadian passports.  Some jobs that require a high level of security clearance may not be available to permanent residents.

Why do I need a permanent resident card (PR Card)?

While you might be able to get by without a valid PR Card, it will be necessary to have one if you ever need to prove your status.  Permanent residents traveling outside of Canada most commonly require PR Cards.

In order to qualify for a PR Card, you must:

  • Live in Canada.
  • Not have been asked to leave the country by a Canadian official.
  • Not be a registered Indian under the Indian Act.
  • Not be a Canadian citizen.

Rights and responsibilities of a permanent resident.

As a permanent resident, you have the right to live, work or study anywhere in Canada.  You will receive government health care coverage and be protected by Canadian laws and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

You are responsible for paying taxes and following the laws of Canada, the provinces and local municipalities.  Although you are free to travel outside of Canada, you are required to live in Canada for at least two years within a five-year period or you risk losing your status.

Can my permanent resident status be lost or revoked?

It is possible to lose permanent resident status if you are convicted of a serious crime or if you fail to comply with the residency requirements (living in Canada for two years within a five-year period).

If you have lost your permanent resident status or been invited to leave Canada, our experienced immigration lawyers may be able to help you with an appeal.  The sooner you call, the greater your chances of success.

A permanent resident is eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship.

As a permanent resident, one of the most significant rights you possess is the ability to apply for Canadian citizenship.  The application process is complex.  One mistake can have significant consequences in terms of time and money and may even cost you the opportunity to become a citizen.  Our experienced immigration lawyers will ensure that you obtain the best possible results as soon as possible.

I’m a refugee. Can I become a permanent resident?

Refugees from overseas may be eligible to apply for permanent residency through the Government-Assisted Refugee Program or the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program. Typically, refugees must first file a claim with the Immigration and Refugee Board. Once your claim has been accepted, you are able to apply for permanent resident status.  An immigration lawyer can help through the process as efficiently as possible. 

You need an immigration lawyer, not a consultant. Here’s why.

You may have heard that an immigration consultant can help you file your application for a reduced fee.  Immigration consultants often charge less for their services than experienced immigration lawyers because they have less to offer.  Hiring an immigration consultant can be perilous.  In Canada, immigration consultants:

  • Do not have to undergo legal training.
  • Do not necessarily understand the complexities of Canadian immigration laws.
  • May or may not be certified by the organization that governs immigration consultants in Canada.
  • Have claimed to be immigration experts even if they have no experience with more complicated immigration files or applications.
  • Have defrauded prospective immigrants by charging exorbitant fees and simply telling the clients that their applications were refused when, in fact, the applications were never filed.

Don’t risk your immigration goals by hiring someone who may not have the knowledge and experience to get the job done. Get the peace of mind you deserve! Our immigration lawyers will help you to prepare your best possible application, maximizing your chances of success.

Hiring a good immigration lawyer is your best move toward obtaining permanent resident status.

While a good immigration lawyer will not be cheap, hiring an experienced professional is the surest way to obtain the permanent resident status that you seek.

Successfully becoming a permanent resident or citizen of Canada is a life-changing event. Don’t take chances with your future by trying to muddle your way through complicated regulations and government forms on your own. Call one of our immigration lawyers today.

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