About

À propos de l'ACAI

History

CILA was conceived in 2020 by a group of leading immigration lawyers to provide a national organization focused exclusively on immigration law. Our Founding Members recognized the need to create an organization capable of effectively representing the immigration bar, fostering an independent community of immigration lawyers, law students and academics, providing professional resources, mentorship and affordability for our Members, while engaging with stakeholders and promoting the rule of law, access to justice and positive change in the Canadian immigration system.

Governance

CILA was incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation on January 1, 2021. Our Founding Members established a Steering Committee to consult with immigration lawyers and stakeholders across Canada and determine the level of support and initial priorities for our organization.

Almost 500 Canadian immigration lawyers joined CILA in 2022-23. Our first election was administered by an independent Elections Committee pursuant to CILA’s Election Policy and our inaugural Board of Directors elected in January 2023. CILA’s officers are appointed by the Board of Directors. Our current Board of Directors is found here.

CILA Members are encouraged to get involved in our committee work and to express interest in serving on our Board of Directors. Our Board of Directors is inclusive and representative of our Members, from young lawyers to senior members of the Canadian immigration bar.

CILA’s Role

Our mission revolves around four key pillars:

Communications

CILA aims to be the voice of Canadian immigration lawyers, offering well-informed reactions and commentary on immigration-related news, initiatives, and changes. Through these efforts, we seek to educate and inform our members, stakeholder organizations, and the public about immigration law. Our goal is to support the delivery of fair, inclusive, and diverse immigration to Canada.

Plaidoyers

Advocacy is deeply ingrained in CILA’s DNA. Our advocacy work centers on promoting fairness and inclusiveness in immigration law through active engagement in public discourse. We also collaborate with government officials, members of parliament, and cabinet members and lead or support test litigation. Additionally, CILA advocates for access to counsel, firmly believing that lawyers are the most qualified professionals to represent clients in immigration matters at all stages of their immigration journey. We advocate for lawyers’ roles within the Canadian immigration system.

Community

Immigration lawyers encounter similar challenges throughout their careers, and the CILA community is here to provide support, share tips, offer advice, and foster friendships. With nearly 500 members, the CILA community thrives through various activities, events, forums, and programs, both virtually and in person.

Resources

CILA is committed to delivering exceptional value through its member resources. We offer numerous Continuing Legal Education (CLE) sessions each year, catering to lawyers at experience levels. Our CLEs include hands-on workshops for skill development in new practice areas and advanced sessions to keep members informed about complex topics. Moreover, CILA share’s valuable documents related to immigration practice with members through the CILA Library. We continually expand our resource offerings to benefit our members.

Values

Community

We work collaboratively to elevate the practice of immigration law and facilitate the delivery of fair, inclusive, and diverse immigration to Canada.

Independent

CILA maintains a strictly apolitical stance, focusing its comments on policy and law rather than engaging in political matters.

Positive

CILA is an agent of positive action and change within the Canadian immigration bar, for immigrants to Canada, and for Canadian policymakers.

Nimble

CILA possesses the agility to respond swiftly to immigration-related developments, offering well-informed reactions and commentary.

Effective

CILA is results-driven, achieving outcomes through its proactive actions and initiatives.

Become a member now!

Join a growing community of Canadian immigration lawyers, academics and law students.

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