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Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that is not covered here, please contact us to book an appointment.


I sent a message via the contact page on your website and/or I sent an email to AVIOU Law Firm; when can I reasonably expect to get a response?

We will attempt to respond to all inquiries received during our working hours that are not addressed by our FAQ page within 72 hours. Working days in England are Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 17:30, Greenwich Mean Time. Please contact our office ONLY if your inquiry does not appear on our FAQ page and we have not acknowledged receipt of your communication within two business days.


How do I communicate with AVIOU Law Firm?

We can be reached in-person or via letter, phone, or email. However, given that we require a written record of ALL our communications with you, the primary means of communication with AVIOU Law Firm will be through email.

Correspondences received from you or pertaining to you from third parties are stored in both physical file and electronic file formats in our office. When communicating, or submitting correspondences to the office it is important that you include your file number and contact information on every communication regarding your file.


I am a potential client and will be in London next month and would like to schedule an appointment to meet with Ms Opara to discuss my eligibility for Immigration to Canada. May I do so?

We prefer to meet virtually so that all of our team members overseas can participate. Should you wish to schedule an appointment, please telephone Alaoma Opara at +44.203.633.4750 between the hours of 09:00 and 17:30 (GMT), Monday to Friday. AVIOU Law Firm charges a consultation fee for an appointment. If you subsequently retain our services, then the consultation fee will be credited to your account.


Do you have a branch office in my country?

We effectively represent hundreds of individuals on all six continents from our offices using video conferencing, e-mail, fax, telephone, mail and courier.


Do you have a representative or agent in my country whom I can contact?

We do not have agents and no individual and/or organization is authorised to represent our interests. If individuals are interested in using our services, we would prefer that they contact us, directly, rather than through a third party.


What is Permanent Residence Status in Canada?

A permanent resident of Canada is the status of a person who is not a Canadian citizen but who has been granted permission to live and work in Canada indefinitely. To become a permanent resident, a foreign national must be eligible and make an application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) under one of the following categories having fulfilled the requirements:


  • Federal Skilled Worker Class.

  • Federal Skilled Trades Class.

  • Canadian Experience Class.

  • Business Class.

  • Family Class


What are the benefits of having Permanent Residence Status in Canada?

A Permanent Resident holds many of the same rights and responsibilities as a Canadian citizen, among others the right to live, study and work (subject to the restrictions of regulated professions), including for the federal or provincial government, anywhere in Canada. In addition, they may be allowed to join Canada's armed forces if the national interest would not be prejudiced.

Permanent residents may obtain social benefits, employment insurance and Canada Pension Plan payments and may avail themselves of the rights, freedoms and protections of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, other than those only granted to Canadian citizens.


Are there any restrictions once I’ve obtained Permanent Residence Status in Canada?

The main differences between citizenship and permanent resident status are that permanent residents cannot:

  • Vote in elections in Canada.

  • Run for elected office.

  • Hold Canadian passports.

  • Hold some jobs that need a high-level security clearance.


What conditions must be filled to avoid loss of Permanent Residence Status in Canada?

A permanent resident must live in Canada for two years out of every five, or risk losing that status. Time spent travelling with a Canadian spouse or child, on a business trip for a Canadian business or working for a Canadian or provincial government office abroad can be included in the calculation.

Permanent residents also risk loss for serious crimes (those that may be punished by more than 10 years in Canada or actually being imprisoned for more than 6 months in Canada). Being a security risk or associated with organized crime.

Failing to meet the residence or admissibility requirements above results in loss of one's permanent residence status; the finding of which becomes final without appeal, if the finding is made outside Canada. If the finding is made in Canada it results in the removal of the person from Canada.


How can I become a Canadian Citizen?

You must have been physically present in Canada as a permanent resident for at least 1,095 days during the five years immediately before the date of your application. You must also be physically present for at least 183 days during each of four calendar years that are fully or partially within the five years immediately before the date of application. These requirements do not apply to children under 18. Exceptions to these requirements apply for certain Crown servants and certain family members of Crown servants.

When calculating how long you have lived in Canada, you can count as one-half day any time physically spent in Canada as an authorised temporary resident or a protected person before you became a permanent resident of Canada within the last 5 years, with a maximum of 365 days, towards your physical presence. Time spent in Canada after you became achieved permanent resident status counts as one full day towards your physical presence.


I would like to retain/engage your services. How do I do so?

If you wish to retain the services of AVIOU Law Firm, please contact us at or by telephone on +44.203.633.4750 to schedule a consultation meeting. The fee for an initial consultation meeting is £250 (inclusive of VAT).


During your consultation, a detailed assessment will be conducted with respect of your matter and you will be invited to engage our services. Please ensure you sign both retainer agreements and return a copy of the agreement to us with your initial payment of our legal fees within five days.


We accept payments online via bank transfer, postal orders, travellers’ cheque, and bank drafts or cash. In efforts to combat money laundering the Law Society of Ontario has limited the cash amount that our firm may accept on your file to amounts less than $7,500 CAD equivalent. Currently we only accept electronic payments. Regrettably, we do not accept personal cheque payments as a means of payment for our professional legal fees.

All consultation fee payments must be made prior to your scheduled meeting with AVIOU Law Firm. When remitting the consultation fees please include as a reference your full name and email a copy of the confirmation of payment to


After I have retained your services how do I remit the payment to AVIOU Law Firm?


If remitting the first installment of our legal fees via any of the above-mentioned methods, the signed retainer agreement must be returned to our office via mail or courier service.


Where payment is made via a bank transfer please include as a reference on your payment your full name and file number, so that it can be easily identified and credited to your account. Please be sure to include a copy of the confirmation of payment in the same envelope as your signed retainer agreement.


If payment is made via postal order, travellers’ cheque or bank draft, the signed retainer agreement can be sent to our office, via mail or courier, in the same envelope as that in which you enclose your payment. We recommend you use a courier service such as FedEx/UPS/DHL for secure delivery.


Once payment is made confirmation acknowledging receipt of payment and retainer agreement shall be sent to you via email correspondence.



I would like to wire transfer my legal fees to your trust account. What is your banking information / SWIFT code / IBAN number?


  • Beneficiary Bank Name:

  • Bank Sort Code:

  • Account #:

  • Address:


If paying by bank/wire transfer, please be sure to advise us by e-mail at and ensure to provide us with the following information:


(i) the date the remittance was made;

(ii) the amount sent;

(iii) the financial institution through which the remittance was made; and

(iv) the name of the client,

(v) the name of the payor (i.e. the person or organization who made the remittance) if the payor was not yourself.

(vi) scan a copy of the deposit receipt and e-mail it to us at


I recently had a consultation with Ms Opara, however, I do not wish to retain the services of AVIOU Law but would like to do so in the future. May I do so?


You are more than welcome to retain our legal services at a later date. However, as Canadian Immigration laws, regulations and policies routinely change without notice, we can make no assurances to you whatsoever that you will still qualify if you defer your proposed Canadian Immigration plans to a later date. But we encourage you to contact us again to schedule a fresh consultation with Ms Opara.


What is your lead time, from retention to submission?


The speed with which we work depends entirely upon you. If you cooperate with us by submitting required documents and information within a reasonable timeframe and follow our instructions, we can work quickly. If you become uncooperative in your efforts to work with us or do not follow our instructions, properly, processing will take longer.


Aside from your legal fees and disbursements, are there any other fees that I must pay?


Please note that aside from our legal fees and disbursements, you must ALSO pay the Government of Canada's fees. The Government of Canada's fees consists of non-refundable processing fees and Right of Permanent Residence fees, which are only requested by Citizenship and Immigration Canada at the successful conclusion of the Application process.


I changed my mind and would like a refund of monies forwarded to AVIOU Law Firm to act on my behalf?


Refunds are subjected to unearned monies deposited in AVIOU Law Firm's client trust account. For more information about our refund policy, please visit our payment page.


Are you regulated by the ICCRC?


AVIOU Law Firm is not regulated by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council. The principal of AVIOU Law Firm, Ms Opara is an Immigration lawyer as opposed to an immigration consultant. A lawyer has had to have a considerable amount of extensive training to attain their credentials having completed a bachelor of law degree from a recognized university, law admission examinations and training under practising lawyer, the extent of a lawyer’s rigorous training is not required of those wishing to become an immigration consultant.


Further, should your application for Permanent Residence in Canada be refused, only an Immigration lawyer can represent you in the Federal Court of Canada. Immigration consultants are NOT permitted and are PROHIBITED from doing so.


How do I know that your law firm is authorized to represent me?


PLEASE NOTE: Lawyers do NOT have to be registered with the ICCRC. Lawyers in good standing with one of the fourteen (14) law societies across Canada (see are AUTOMATICALLY recognized by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.


Ms Opara is a member in good standing of the Law Society of Upper Canada, which is the governing body for lawyers in the Canadian Province of Ontario and which is one of the fourteen (14) law societies across Canada. To verify this fact, you are welcome to contact Member Services of the Law Society of Ontario. Their telephone number is +1 (416) 947-3300; their e-mail is: and their website is: (enter OPARA for Last Name, ALAOMA for First Name to verify).


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