Life as a Canadian Immigration Lawyer – Is it for you?

In-depth interview with young Canadian immigration lawyer Will Tao

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to practice Canadian immigration law? In this interview, Canadian immigration lawyer Will Tao shares his journey cutting his teeth as a young immigration lawyer in Canada. Whether you are a young lawyer trying to figure out your chosen area of practice, or an old timer looking to reinvent yourself, this Podcast may just be the catalyst you need to consider diving into the crazy world of Canadian immigration law.


In this episode of the Canadian Immigration Podcast, I spoke with Will Tao who is a young immigration lawyer practicing with the law firm of Larlee Rosenberg in Vancouver,  British Columbia.  In most cases, I bring on industry leaders who share amazing insight on various aspects of the Canadian Immigration landscape. However, in this episode I decided to bring on Will who is one of the “up and coming” immigration lawyers in Canada, and definitely someone to watch out for in the future.

120Larlee-Rosenberg-e1406670921751 2Will took some time to share with us some unbelievable insight into his experience breaking into the field of Canadian immigration law. He addressed some of the challenges a young lawyer may face as well as what it really takes to make it as a successful immigration lawyer.

Will writes an excellent blog on immigration entitled: the “Vancouver Immigration Blog” which is very quickly becoming a great resource for not only young aspiring immigration lawyers, but seasoned vets as well.

Will did a fantastic job on this interview. Keep an eye out for him in the future as he is sure to be one of the rising stars within the immigration bar in Canada.

During my interview with Will, we discuss the following areas:

  • The road to becoming an immigration lawyer
  • Why choose immigration law
  • Challenges of being a young immigration lawyer
  • The value of mentorship when starting out
  • Where Will see’s his practice going in the future

[Tweet “Have you considered practicing Canadian immigration law?“]


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Additional Resources:

Listen to Mark Holthe’s Canadian Immigration Podcast

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Read the Transcript

You can read additional notes for this episode, [spoiler]

CIP S1E26 – Will Tao – Life as a Young Immigration Lawyer

Will Tao Canadian Immigration Lawyer, practicing with the well respected law firm of Larlee Rosenberg in Vancouver, BC.

We are going to do things a little bit different this podcast.  The purpose behind this podcast is to inspire other young lawyers to consider the practice of immigration law.

In per conversations with Will, he told me about an experience he had speaking with a well-known Bay Street lawyer before he began searching for summer jobs and she pegged it at a 0% chance that he could do immigration before five years call.

Will Tao is an Associate at Larlee Rosenberg and provides legal services in all areas of Canadian immigration law.

Will specializes in complex immigration and citizenship refusals, reconsideration requests, appeals, admissibility hearings/detention reviews, and judicial reviews of administrative decisions. Will is frequently contacted by clients and their immigration representatives after their initial applications are refused or a request for further information has been received. Will has successfully assisted his clients on several challenging, high profile cases involving employers and individuals alike.

Will also has a strong international student and temporary foreign worker practice, where he advises students and temporary workers on the compliance issues and the crucial transition to permanent residence in Canada via Express Entry and Provincial Nomination Programs. Will also serves as a legal advisor and advocate to Canadian families looking to reunite via family sponsorship.

Overall, Will believes in a client-focused approach, one that allows the companies and individuals he works with to present their case to Canadian immigration authorities with the needed balance of honesty, simplicity, and creativity.

Prior to joining Larlee Rosenberg, Will studied International Relations and History at UBC (with a focus on migration history) before attending the University of Ottawa for law school. At the University of Ottawa, Will co-founded the University of Ottawa Business Law Clinic, Canada’s first bilingual, bijural pro-bono business law clinic. In his final year of law school, Will spent a semester abroad in Chongqing and achieved Dean’s Honour List in his final year.

Will is proficient in Mandarin and enjoys sharing his experiences as a second-generation Chinese-Canadian. In his spare time, Will enjoys mentoring young lawyers and students and writing and blogging about immigration related issues. His law blog, Vancouver Immigration Blog ( ), was awarded a 2015 Clawbie for “Best New Law Blog” and is widely-consulted within the Canadian immigration legal and policy community. Will is a Board Member and Mentorship Chair with the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, British Columbia and a Committee Member of the City of Vancouver’s Cultural Communities Advisory Committee.

1) Road to Being an Immigration Lawyer

Q: How did you transition into becoming an immigration lawyer?

2) Why Immigration Law?

Q: What are the benefits and challenges specific to practicing immigration law?

Q: Are you worried about pigeoning-holing yourself as a young practitioner?

3) Challenges of Being a Young Lawyer

Q: How can a young lawyer stay competitive and provide value add in the immigration market?

Q: What type of skill sets does a young lawyer practitioner need?

Q: How has being of an immigrant background impacted your practice?

4) Value of Mentorship

Q: why it is important to have a mentor when starting out?

Q: What arenas are there to access it?

Q: What advice do you have to senior practitioners looking to mentor a young immigration lawyer or retain immigration lawyers as associates?

5) Where you See Your Practice Going

Q: What areas of immigration law are you particularly passionate about and hope to grow moving forward?

Q: Do you have a few examples of notable cases you have been involved in?

Q: How can people reach you?

You can contact Will Tao via e-mail:

Will’s Bio:

Larlee Rosenberg, Barristers and Solicitors:

Will’s Blog –“Vancouver Immigration Blog”:[/spoiler]

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