Syn Amanuel’s path to becoming a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant and director of Selamta Immigration Services is a story that not only details her own immigration journey. It also shines a light on her desire to help family, friends and clients to create their own.
Syn Amanuel’s search for a brighter future in a foreign land began in the 1990s when she left her birth county of Asmara, Eritrea as a teenager. She officially immigrated to Canada, landing in St.John, New Brunswick in 2001 as a refugee. Since that time, Syn has worked as a volunteer for settlement agencies like YMCA in St.John. She also volunteered for settlement agencies when she moved to Ontario in 2003 and Calgary in 2006 where she currently resides. After spending ten years working as a Manager’s Admin Assistant for Alberta Health Services, she decided to go back to school to earn her immigration consultant diploma in 2016.
“Throughout my career years I identified things in the immigration process that my community constantly struggled with,” said Syn Amanuel.
“This turning point in my career has allowed me to get directly involved with all immigration-related processes and help in refugee matters.”
Syn Amanuel specializes in Refugees and Asylum Cases, Family Sponsorship, Citizenship, Super & Visitor Visa. She also practices Express Entry, Study Permit, Work Permit, Humanitarian and Compassionate Cases, Appeals, Restoration of Status. However, helping refugees is a class of the immigration process that is dear to her heart. On the ImmiSearch website, Syn Amanuel passionately states that she has worked with clients of diverse ethnic backgrounds: both immigrants and native-born Canadians.
“A considerable number of my clients have been refugees, refugee claimants, and immigrants who came to Canada under all kinds of immigration categories.”
A big part of her job as a consultant and director of Selamta Immigration Services is researching and clarifying information for potential clients that seek her immigration counsel. In most cases, she says people who seek out her consultant services know what her role is in the immigration process. At the same time, there are still those occasions where people seek her service after their application is in question by Immigration officer because it was done poorly by an unauthorized consultant.
“It’s unfortunate that some people end up with an irreversible refusal on their application. Sometimes they don’t realize it until it’s too late. I have seen immigrants lose their money and even their stand with Canadian Immigration.”
Syn Amanuel feels the Media, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) should publicize how difficult and confusing the immigration process is for immigrants and create some type of public service announcement that identifies and explains the danger of unauthorized representatives. She is also appreciative that ImmiSearch is shedding light on the issue. One of the common questions prospective clients ask through ImmiSearch, her consultant website and social media concerns what skills are needed to immigrate. She said clarifying these questions is usually a daily occurrence but when one of her clients has a successful application it’s a very special moment.
“I feel privileged to be part of that process as a facilitator helping people in any way I can. It is my passion anyways but to be in a unique position to assist others with one of their most important decisions as an immigrant is priceless.”
A new addition that is being featured this year is a two-year extension on a pilot program that is allowing families of refugees or family class applicants to sponsor their undeclared family members.
“I look forward to assisting people who have undeclared family members in their application due to lack of knowledge, misinformation or other factors. We got that extension just this month after two years,” said Amanuel. “Undeclared family members are forbidden from being sponsored as a family member, forever. It is hard for those who are pushed not to declare their family members so this is a good break for them to reunite with their family.”
In recent years, COVID-19 has played a pivotal role in slowing down immigrant application processing. Pandemic travel restrictions have made it a frustrating time for immigration. When you throw in the Afghanistan crisis that frustration is even more profound.
If anything positive can come from the pandemic, virtual consultations by phone and through the internet have become more common to help people seek the correct answers to their questions about immigration.
For Syn Amanuel and Selamta Immigration Services, word of mouth has always been the best way to build trust with her clientele. In 2020, her immigration company was awarded the Platinum Award for their community service by CommunityVotes Calgary.
“Sharing information on YouTube for public awareness helps and I do try to maintain that level of integrity from my clients and peers and that has mitigated the issues of stress,” said Amanuel. “Most clients come to us because of our good reputation. My company gives reliable immigration service so trust has never been an issue.”
Amanuel also created video content in Amharic and Tigrinya, please visit her Youtube channel for more detail.
If you are interested in booking a consultation time with Syn Amanuel and you have questions about programs, documents, processing times or you want to know more about what to expect from the immigration process you can check out her ImmiSearch consultant profile here.
*Syn Amanuel or Selamta Immigration Services are not SAH and cannot sponsor refugees or arrange for sponsors.