Like many other foreigners planning to immigrate to Canada, I employed the services of a lawyer to assist my case in my application to immigrate. I found a big law firm - ABIC Consulting located in Downtown, Vancouver and decided to use them. The associate that was handling my case was a very nice lady, very professional and definitely helpful. I went in for a free consultation to see if they are able to help me with my application, and associate was confident that ABIC could assist me. I was asked to pay $1500 upfront and was told if the case was denied, I would receive a refund. But if it is completed, I would have to pay an additonal amount of $1500. So I paid it, and was given a list of documents that I had to provide in order to complete the application.
However later I was asked for some additional documents that I did not have immediate access to and asked if there were any other means to proceed with the application. There was no immediate answer to my problem, but due to recent changes in immigration policy, there was still a chance for my application to be approved in the near future. My case was then put on hold until I could either obtain those additional documents somehow, or if the lawyer has some other alternative.
Months later, I later received an email from the associate saying that she has left the company and gave me a name for another associate that will be taking over. I called up ABIC Consulting, and found myself speaking to the Manager of the associate, Mr Terry Jing. I asked about the status of my case and how come I received no calls from ABIC to follow-up or suggest other methods to proceed with my application. Mr Jing's first response was a nonchalant reply, "I have instructed [the associate that left] to inform all her clients that she is leaving, and Ms XXX and myself will be taking over her cases". I maintained that I have received that ex-employee's personal email informing of the change, but ABIC's representative has NOT called me to follow-up on my case! I did not know what was going on!
In the end, being somewhat upset with Mr Jing's professionalism and attitude, I asked if I were to withdraw the services of ABIC, am I entitled to some refund of the money I paid in the beginning? Considering that no formal work has been done for my case, and that all that has been done is that I provided ABIC with documents that they requested and they have been filed away, I thought I would be getting something back. All I had from Mr Jing was a retort, "Please send us a formal letter requesting to discontinue all services with ABIC. But your money will not be returned since you are personally withdrawing the case. And please, don't ever call back again asking about the money! " I was taken aback with such a rude reply! If it is the company's policy that the money cannot be refunded, so be it. What's with the attitude?? In any case, I'm simply putting this out to caution all other applicants who are looking to employ the services of a law firm: Go by Referrals! Big companies do not necessarily always provide the best services, certainly not Mr Terry Jing of ABIC Consulting that is neither polite nor professional. And he is a manager...... what is the world coming to?
Richmond, British Columbia