Asking on behalf of an American friend, who's been working in Canada (BC) for the last 3+ years: does anybody have advice on how best to get started on applying for citizenship?
My friend has been working as an artist (on a work visa) in Vancouver for over 3 years now, but because the studio she's at will soon be closing she'll be in need of a new job. She'd like to stay where she is, and so would like to apply for citizenship (or permanent residency, or at least another work permit - something that will keep her there long-term). The Citizenship and Immigration Canada
website is obviously the go-to source for this, but getting started has been a little overwhelming so it'd be great to hear from someone with experience who could offer advice on questions like:
- The takeaway message we gleaned from this thread
is that she needs to get an immigration lawyer; does anybody have a recommendation for a good one in Vancouver?
- Can anybody give a ballpark figure on how much an immigration lawyer typically costs to help someone with a citizenship application?
- How long does the process generally take, and can she remain in the country while it's going on?
- She's heard that the process should be relatively simple for someone who's already been working/living there for 3 years, but is that the case? Are there things she could do to help make sure it is
I know there's no way to get concrete answers on any of this given the immense number of variables involved, but if anybody can offer anything general it would be highly appreciated - getting started is hard when you don't quite know what your best first step would be. If there's any additional information that would be of help please let me know; finally, if for any reason you'd like to remain anonymous please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!