Defending the Vulnerable – An Immigration Lawyer’s Story!

The rewards of immigration advocacy work with immigration lawyer Shirish Chotalia

At times foreign nationals face injustices within the immigration system that simply cry out for redress. When all hope seems lost, courageous immigration lawyers, such as Shirish Chotalia, step in when no one else can. In this episode of the Canadian Immigration Podcast, Shirish shares some amazing stories and even better insight into the world of immigration advocacy….and even better yet, she has inspired me (and hopefully will inspire you as well) to consider taking on difficult immigration cases where the, at times, cruel nature of Canadian immigration law and policy rears its ugly head.


I think any immigration lawyer today would admit that the practice of immigration law has become increasingly difficult with each day that passes. Although discretion is built into the immigration act and regulations, the excercise of that discretion tends to be far more negative than positive in the context of immigration applications. I am seeing more and more clients come to my office with heart wrenching stories of having their applications denied for the slightest of error when a simple request from an officer to correct an unintended oversight could easily be made.  Errors such as these and other innocent mistakes can destroy someone’s chances of becoming a permanent resident in Canada.

screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-8-29-25-amIn this episode, I had the opportunity to interview one of the truly special lawyers out there. Someone who has devoted her life to defending the vulnerable and championing the cause of people caught in the, sometimes, application of immigration law in Canada. Shirish Chotalia is one of those lawyers that has had a truly positive impact on the tapestry of immigration and human rights in Canada.

Shirish’s resume is full of cases and accolades too numerous to list. So rather than trying to summarize, I will simply tell you to read it yourself by clicking on this link: chotalia-resume-october-2016.

I consider it a distinct pleasure to have had the opportunity to become inspired by her. In fact, the thing that stuck out the most to me was her challenge to not be afraid of getting into the area just because you lack extensive experience. Some of her greatest experienced occurred when she was inexperienced and just starting out.

In our discussion, we covered the following topics:

  1. background on Shirish and her extensive experience with immigration advocacy;
  2. how Shirish got into immigration;
  3. what immigration advocacy is all about;
  4. why it’s important to challenge immigration decisions in deserving cases;
  5. why immigration lawyers should do more pro bono immigration work.

[Tweet “Defending the Vulnerable – An immigration lawyer’s story!“]

Additional Resources:

Listen to Mark Holthe’s Canadian Immigration Podcast

Topics for our Next Podcast

If you have a suggestion for topics we could cover in the Podcast, please drop me a line. If you know of anyone that would be interested in coming on the Podcast as a guest, please send them my way. share on facebook, share on twitter, share on LinkedIn