Executive Profile: Introducing Zaynah Marani

  • January 03, 2023
  • Angela Ogang, Newsletter Editor, OBA Citizenship & Immigration Law Section

1. What are your primary areas of immigration practice? photo of Zaynah Marani

Business Immigration, particularly ICTs, Labour Market Impact Assessments and Free Trade Agreements.

2. What motivated you to join the OBA Citizenship & Immigration Law Section Executive? 

I like being able to bounce ideas off other practitioners in the field who have different experience and different points of view. Each firm has their own processes and innovations, which is really helpful in order to improve everyone’s internal flow.  Being on the exec is also especially helpful when it comes to trying to manage the continuous changes in the immigration system. During COVID, for example, it provided us with a platform to hash out the new rules which were being released daily so that we could circulate updates from a practical perspective to our colleagues.  

3. What do you enjoy most about practicing immigration law?  

First and foremost, I love developing relationships with my clients from around the globe. It fascinates me to learn how companies work in different parts of the world, what the cultural differences are, how to communicate effectively with people from different countries, etc.  

4. What do you find to be the biggest challenges for immigration lawyers?  

The absolute biggest challenge for me is keeping up to date with the new rules and the new portals.  I also find it challenging to face technical issues on the immigration website and then explaining them to clients.  For example, a couple of weeks ago we were trying to submit an Express Entry (“EE”) application and there was a glitch with the submission process.  Despite reaching out to the EE technicians, the Dedicated Service Channel (DSC) and other contacts, the issue was not resolved prior to the deadline for submission. We then had to have a call with HR, managers and the employee to explain the situation, whilst trying to explain that matter was beyond our control and we were doing the best we could to resolve the situation.  Unfortunately, the matter was never resolved and we had to resubmit the Expression of Interest in hopes of obtaining another invitation, which thankfully we did. Situations like this are difficult to explain to clients as they are not aware of how finicky the system is.  It also frustrates them to go back to the start of their application when they were just about finished.  On our end, it is quite a bit of extra work and it is hard to justify additional billing.

5. Do you have any practical tips for those who are interested in practicing in your field? 

Find a support system and a mentor to go to with questions and to bounce ideas off of.

6. Please tell us about one thing that people would be surprised to learn about you. 

I once went scuba diving with sharks in Galapagos!

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