I met my common-law spouse just before she was immigrating to Canada with her family. We did the long distance thing for a while and then I found out about the International Experience Canada program and so I was able to come over and we were able to be together for a couple of years. We’re a young couple, just starting out and we didn’t want to get married just for immigration reasons. We were living in the Windsor area at the time and we wanted to get some information on how I could stay here with the woman I loved. The first question of every consultant and lawyer we talked with was “why not get married?”, so we knew that they weren’t a good fit for us. I didn’t know that I couldn’t renew my IEC work permit for longer than two years and so we were both devastated when my extension was refused and I only had a couple of weeks to leave the country.
Both Louise and I wish we had come to see Jennifer before I left back in 2014 as we wouldn’t have been apart for so long. At the urging of Louise’s family, we looked up immigration lawyers and Jennifer was the top name on Google. We read the testimonials and saw some were from people who sounded like us, who had tried to sort this process out on their own. She was close to Louise’s parents and so when I came over from Scotland for a visit, we came for a consultation.
After our consultation, we felt 110% better. Finally, we felt like someone understood us. She made everything so clear and all of a sudden, there was hope. We didn’t even know that there was a common-law option. Jennifer was the first person to agree that we shouldn’t get married just because it would make immigration easier. Even if you don’t use their services, go for a consultation to make sure you know all the options available to you. Jennifer didn’t give us a ‘hard sell’ during the consultation. She gave us our options and a lot of information that, should we wish to do it on our own, we were informed.
Whenever we walked into the office we felt welcome. In fact it didn’t seem like walking into a lawyer’s office – there is a real family dynamic there. From the first time we came in to the last we were treated with respect and almost like part of the family. They never looked down on us and answered any of our questions knowledgeably and consistently across the team.
What both Louise and I found valuable about hiring Jennifer and her team is that we were taken care of. All we had to do was collect the things they asked us for and let them worry about the rest. Yes, it’s a lot of money and we took some flak from friends and family about not doing this on our own. But what we tell people when we recommend Jennifer is that if you don’t EVER want to do this again, go there.
We filed an In-Canada Spousal application and I never thought that I could come and be in Louise’s company and get a work permit within a few months of filing our application. Everyone we dealt with in the office was amazing in their own right. They’re good people there. The phone call when they called to tell me that I had a date to land as a permanent resident was the happiest day ever. That was the day I finally understood that I didn’t have to leave. I could stay here in my new home.
Now that I’m a permanent resident, feels like we can finally begin the rest of our lives – travel, buy a house … live. Thank you, Jennifer and team, for getting us to the life we now have together. – John & Louise