Photo: Bonnie Tyler, immigration case manager at Doherty Fultz Immigration in Toronto, Ontario
Immigration case managers play an important role in securing visas and helping people navigate the process of studying abroad or settling in Canada.
They support licensed immigration consultants and lawyers by taking care of a wide range of administrative tasks, from interviewing clients and preparing documents to managing deadlines and communicating with government authorities.
Are you considering a career as an immigration case manager? Wondering what it's really like to work in this field?
To find out, we interviewed Bonnie Tyler, a Toronto-based immigration case manager with more than 10 years of experience in the industry.
Keep reading to get her thoughts on what being an immigration case manager is all about, and what skills and traits are key to success.
Q. Bonnie, how did you get into the immigration field?
Bonnie Tyler: I fell into it purely by chance in 2009. A position became available with an immigration firm and I was offered the job and started at the reception desk.
Eventually I became a junior legal assistant and then case manager. I was promoted from case manager to general manager in 2020. I work at Doherty Fultz Immigration in Toronto, Ontario.
Q. What made you stick with it?
Bonnie Tyler: I was inspired to continue because of how interesting the work is. No two days are the same.
Helping people is a huge part of it. I love the process of seeing someone's application through from beginning to end - and of course, getting it approved is the icing on the cake.
Q. Can you describe your main responsibilities? What are some typical tasks you do on a regular basis?
Bonnie Tyler: My client-centred responsibilities include corresponding with clients over video link, phone, and email, requesting documents, ordering translations, conducting research for submission letters, and putting applications together under the supervision of the managing partner (who is a licensed immigration consultant).
Those applications can be sponsorships, economic permanent residencies, work permits, study permits, or visitor visas.
My administrative responsibilities include managing the team and ensuring that they are meeting the individual needs of their clients. I also take care of all the billing and invoicing and oversee all aspects of running the company.
I am constantly striving to find better ways to make sure our clients get everything they need.
Q. What do you find most fulfilling about working as an immigration case manager?
Bonnie Tyler: That's a great question. Part of it is helping to solve the mystery of a client's problem, and part is being able to participate in seeing the process through from beginning to end.
Being able to contribute to someone's future and help them get a positive decision at the end means so much.
Q. What's the most challenging aspect of your work?
Bonnie Tyler: The most challenging part is when people get denied. It's not nice when you have tried so hard to do the best you can. Sometimes IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada) just doesn't see it the client's way.
Q. What special skills or traits are needed to succeed as an immigration case manager?
Bonnie Tyler: Attention to detail and a positive attitude are the most important.
You need to be able to do multiple things at the same time, but still do them all well. It is essential to know how to prioritize tasks.
You must always be thorough in everything you do, whether that's performing research, completing a form, drafting a submission letter, or just emailing a client back.
Attention to detail is everything, and it sets you apart as a successful immigration case manager.
Q. Any advice for aspiring immigration case managers? What should they know upfront about starting a career in the field?
Bonnie Tyler: You have to want to be good at it. It sounds simple, but if you don't want to be the best case manager your colleagues could ever wish for, then this job isn't for you.
You need to be able to take the rough with the smooth, and always put the clients first.
Keep ahead of the latest immigration news and updated regulations. Know your stuff so you are always prepared.
INTERESTED IN BECOMING AN IMMIGRATION CASE MANAGER?
You don't need a university degree or license to become an immigration case manager. A college diploma is enough to get you started.
Have a look at the unique Immigration Case Manager program at Herzing College Toronto.
It takes just 9 months to complete and includes a 5-week internship at a law firm or immigration consulting business.
Students receive thorough training in Canadian immigration law, ethics, communications, submission writing, documents, and legal office procedures.
Need more details? An Admissions Advisor can answer all your questions and help you determine if the program is right for you.
Click below to explore the training and chat live with an Advisor. We're here to help!