Until recently, I had never really given much thought to passport stamps. As a Canadian, privileged to enter 97 countries visa-free, I am lucky to arrive at most airports, explain to a customs officer my reason for entry, get my passport stamped, and enjoy my vacation or conference.

Upon becoming an immigration lawyer however, I started to take much more interest in passport stamps. Of course, this is the number one thing that I help my clients strive for: a bit of ink, stamped on a piece of paper, that has the capacity to change their lives tremendously. It is the gateway to a visit, a work permit, a study permit, or getting landed as a Canadian permanent resident.

As a lawyer who started my career in the world of civil litigation, arguing over matters largely motivated by money, changing my perspective to consider the stakes of immigration was incredibly meaningful.

This is all the more so because a few years ago I happened to find an important passport stamp of my own. On October 22, 1986, as a toddler, I arrived in Canada with my parents, who were seeking to start new lives abroad. I was born in South Africa, and when my father got an opportunity for work in Canada, he moved his wife and toddler to a foreign (freezing!) country, where he had no other family, and only the promise of a potentially better future.

Our lives as immigrants to Canada have been impacted tremendously by what this country can offer. Despite the weather, which isn’t really that bad, the people are wonderful, Canadian society is accepting, the country is beautiful, and the diversity of it all is unparalleled.

This is my first blog entry for my new immigration practice through Hummel Law. As someone who immigrated to Canada 35 years ago, I can appreciate all this country has done for me, and what it can do for others. I know that there are stories to be told by individuals abroad who also seek to make Canada their home. Their stories, struggles, and successes can only improve this country.

As an immigrant-immigration lawyer, I strive to amplify my clients’ voices. These are challenging times, and the Canadian immigration system is difficult to navigate. Processing delays, officers misunderstanding applications, questioning motives, and having to navigating complex legal issues often require patience, an eye for detail, and a sense of empathy, or putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.

I love practicing immigration law. The field is dynamic, and policies change with each successive government. Each case has a specific goal in mind such as permanent residence, citizenship, or the ability to simply stay and work in this country. Most importantly, I find that my clients are incredibly talented, thoughtful, thankful, and approach their immigration goals thoughtfully, often with family in mind.

The Canadian government has sought to prioritize immigration to kickstart the economy. We are lucky, at least in 2022, that there are ministers who understand the richness that increased immigration brings to this country, and that continue to introduce more programs to enable more people to make Canada their home. I hope that the passport stamps that they issue in the coming years are numerous and generous.

Through Hummel Law, I strive to give a voice to my clients, to make sure that their stories are told, and to get them lasting results. I look forward to hopefully working with you.

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