Immigration Consultant and Immigration Lawyer Fees in Canada

Last updated September 13, 2023

Navigating Canada’s immigration system is no easy feat. Whether you are looking to study in Canada, sponsor a family member, gain express access for work opportunities, or become a citizen, the immigration application process can be complicated and overwhelming. In fact, with all the different programs to consider, detailed forms to fill and deadlines to meet, it’s not surprising that thousands of Canadians seek the help of immigration consultants every year to help them through the process.

A registered immigration consultant or immigration lawyer will provide advice and guide you through all kinds of immigration matters to simplify the application process. They can also help you avoid mistakes on application forms that can cause costly delays—and they act as a continuous communication link with government agencies to keep administrative processes running smoothly.

Keep in mind that finding a qualified and regulated immigration consultant is essential to avoid scams and potential privacy breaches. Do your research before committing to a consultant to ensure they have the qualifications, references, and real-world experience to take on your case. A legitimate immigration consultant will be registered through the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC), formerly the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council. A qualified immigration consultant for your Canadian immigration applications doesn’t need to live in Canada but should be registered with the CICC. An immigration lawyer, on the other hand, will be registered with the Canadian Bar Association.

As part of their services, immigration consultants and lawyers will typically offer a 15- to 60-minute initial consultation (fees vary) to determine which immigration programs you or your family members are eligible for. Once you determine the route to pursue, the consultant will help you throughout the process, including gathering necessary documents and preparing your application, then communicating with the appropriate government agencies as needed. Here’s a look at some specific immigration programs in Canada and what it will cost if you use the services of an immigration consultant or lawyer, in addition to the mandatory Government of Canada application fees.

Temporary Residence

Study Permits

In 2022, Canada welcomed a record of more than 550,000 international students from 184 countries, according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. There were also 107,145 more study permits in effect in 2022 compared to the previous year. Immigration consultants and lawyers help students secure permits to study in Canadian academic institutions and can also help them obtain student work permits and post-graduate work permits, so they will be ready to join the workforce as soon as their education is complete.

Visitor Visas

Depending on your country of origin, you may need a visa to enter Canada, even as a visitor. An immigration consultant or lawyer can help you navigate the process in getting one. According to the Government of Canada, currently residents from about 148 countries need a visa to enter Canada. With a visitor or tourist visa, most people can stay in Canada for six months, with an option to extend their stay in some cases.

Work Permits

Canada is becoming more and more reliant on temporary workers from other countries to fill gaps in the labour market. In fact, employers in Canada were approved to fill more than 220,000 positions through the Temporary Foreign Worker program in 2022. An immigration consultant or lawyer can help to secure the necessary work permit to pursue employment in Canada for applicants and their spouses.

Temporary Residence Immigration FeesApplication Fee / Person*Consultant Fee Range**Lawyer Fee Range***
Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)$7
International Experience Canada$161
Study Permits$750-$2,000$2,000-$3,750
Study Permit (including extensions)$150
Student Restoration$350
Temporary Residence Permit$200
Visitor Visas$700-$3,000$1,000-$3,750
Visitor Visa (including Super Visa, max $500 / Family)$100
Visitor Extension$100
Visitor Restoration$200
Work Permits$500-$3,000$750-$6,750
Work Permit (including extensions)$155
Group Work Permit (3 or more performing artists)$465
Open Work Permit Holder$100


Permanent Residence

When applying for permanent residency, an immigration consultant or lawyer should have a good idea about the likelihood of your application being accepted, based on the supporting evidence you share. They will also guide you on how to improve your chances of qualifying for permanent residence status in Canada. The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) allows Canadian provinces (with the exception of Nunavut and Quebec) to nominate individuals who want to immigrate to Canada and reside in a particular province. Keep in mind that as a permanent resident, you are not a Canadian citizen yet. That process comes next.

Business Immigration

Entrepreneurs wanting to immigrate to Canada may benefit from obtaining a start-up visa. This initiative from the Government of Canada gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to establish a business here provided they meet four key qualifications, as well as admissibility requirements to enter Canada.

Each of the provinces also operate their own entrepreneur programs based on certain criteria. In the Provincial Nominee Program (see above), there are business immigration categories for those starting their own ventures. Each provincial program requires applicants to create a detailed business plan, and certain provinces require a minimum number of years of prior work experience. An immigration consultant or lawyer will review your case and ensure you are eligible.

Economic Immigration and Express Entry

 Economic immigration programs are designed by the Canadian government to attract or retain professionals or skilled workers in vital industries across Canada. A high proportion of newcomers now permanently living in Canada were first admitted via these economic immigration programs. In fact, Canada is expected to accept up to 662,000 total permanent residents through economic immigration categories over the next three years.

Those admitted through economic immigration routes are selected through provincial nominee programs (see above for more details) or skilled workers programs. An electronic-based system called Express Entry can be used to speed up the application process of skilled workers for permanent residency.

Those applying through Express Entry used to be assigned a score based on factors such as age, education, language ability (English and/or French), skilled work experience etc.; those with the highest scores would be invited to apply for permanent residency. But as of June 28, 2023, the federal government has changed course by prioritizing candidates who fit certain categories, such as those who speak French and/or have recent work experience in sectors such as health care, skilled trades, STEM, agriculture, and transportation. Candidates will need at least six months of continuous experience in Canada or abroad in one of these sectors within the last three years to qualify. Up to 31 per cent of permanent residency invitations through Express Entry will go to people with recent experience in STEM roles such as a software developers and data scientists.

An immigration consultant or lawyer can advise on how best to fill in your Express Entry profile, as well as help with other aspects of the process (e.g., responding to requests for evidence.)

PR Card and Travel Document

As permanent residents of Canada you must carry and show your permanent resident (PR) card or travel document every time you travel outside of the country to be able to board a plane, boat, bus, or train. This will be mailed to you upon achieving permanent residency status. If the card is set to expire while you’re travelling, you will need to renew it before you leave.

Permanent Residence Immigration Fees****Application Fee / Person*Consultant Fee Range**Lawyer Fee Range***
Business Immigration$15,000+$15,000-$45,000
Business Applicant$2,140
Spouse of Business Applicant$1,365
Dependant Child of Business Applicant$230
Caregivers$5,000 $4,200-$12,500
Caregiver Applicant$1,085
Spouse of Caregiver Applicant$1,085
Dependant Child of Caregiver Applicant$155
Economic Immigration (incl. Express Entry)$2,500-$5,000$2,500-$6,750
Economic Applicant$1,365
Spouse of Economic Applicant$1,365
Dependant Child of Economic Applicant$230
Humanitarian and Compassionate$3,000-$7,000$5,000-$8,000
Humanitarian Applicant$1,085
Spouse of Humanitarian Applicant$1,085
Dependant Child of Humanitarian Applicant$155
Permanent Resident Card$50
Permanent Resident Travel Document$50
Permit Holders Class$850



To become a Canadian citizen, applicants must be permanent residents (see above), and have lived in Canada at least three out of the last five years—among other requirements. The processing time, including completion of the application, a citizenship test, interview, and ceremony typically take about 19 months. Once applicants have been granted citizenship, they are eligible to vote in elections and obtain a passport. An immigration consultant or lawyer can ensure your application is filled in correctly and all other requirements have been met.

Citizenship Immigration FeesApplication Fee / Person*Consultant Fee Range**Lawyer Fee Range***
Adult (18 and over)$630
Stateless Adult (born to a Canadian parent)$100
Minor (under 18)$100
Citizenship Certificate$75
Citizenship Record Search$75
Citizenship Resumption (18 and over)$530
Citizenship Resumption (under 18)$100
Citizenship Renouncement$100
Right of Citizenship$100


Family Sponsorship

Canadian citizens or permanent residents living here may be eligible to sponsor certain relatives to come to Canada. These include a spouse or common-law partner, child, parent, or grandparent. Sponsorship applications typically take about 12 months to process from start to finish. In sponsoring someone you are responsible for providing food, clothing, and other essentials for three to 10 years.

Family Sponsorship Immigration Fees****Application Fee / Person*Consultant Fee Range**Lawyer Fee Range***
Adopted Children and Relatives$2,000-$5,000$2,500-$8,250
Relative (22 and over)$1,080
Non-Dependant Relative (under 22)$665
Dependant Relative$150
Spouse of Relative$1,085
Dependant Child of Relative$155
Parents and Grandparents$2,000-$5,000$2,500-$8,250
Parent or Grandparent$1,080
Spouse of Parent or Grandparent$1,085
Dependant Child of Parent or Grandparent$155
Spouse, Partner or Children$2,000-$5,000$2,500-$8,250
Spouse or Partner$1,080
Dependant Child$155


Criminal Rehabilitation

A previous criminal conviction may prohibit you from entering Canada, even as a visitor. Depending on how much time has lapsed since your conviction, however, you may be deemed rehabilitated. Once approved for rehabilitation (and provided you don’t commit any subsequent crimes), you may proceed with temporary or permanent residency. Keep in mind that Canadian criminal rehabilitation only applies for convictions outside of Canada.

Inadmissability Immigration FeesApplication Fee / Person*Consultant Fee Range**Lawyer Fee Range***
Inadmissible Application$1,000-$3,000$3,500-$12,000
Authorization to Return to Canada$400
Criminal Inadmissability$200
Serious Criminal Inadmissability$1,000
Removal Expenses
USA. St Pierre and Miquelon$750
Other Countries$1,500
Temporary Resident Permit$200


*Mandatory application fees collected by the government of Canada.

**Estimated fee range for using an optional immigration consultant, in addition to mandatory application fees. Range sourced from three top immigration consultant firms in Canada (Doherty Fultz, Green Light Canada and Woow Canada Immigration).

***Estimated fee range for using an optional immigration lawyer, in addition to mandatory application fees. Range sourced from three top immigration law firms in Canada (InvestorVisa, Matkowsky Immigration Law and UL Lawyers).

****Fees include Right of Permanent Residence Fee when applicable.

Rosalind Stefanac

Rosalind Stefanac is a writer and editor who is passionate about sharing Canadian healthcare stories and successes. A former editor of Pharmacy Practice + Business, an award-winning national journal for pharmacists, she now writes for a variety of healthcare magazines and websites geared to consumers and healthcare providers. She has also written for business publications such as Financial Post Magazine and the Report on Business.

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