• Expertise. Experience. Tenacity.


A 2024 LEXPERT ranked Canadian Immigration Law Firm, Blanshay Law LLP focuses on all Immigration, Refugee & Citizenship applications, with 30-years of hands-on experience, and a deep understanding of the Canadian immigration system. BL has extensive experience in immigration litigation before the Federal Court of Canada & all Divisions of the Immigration and Refugee Board, including Admissibility / Enforcement matters. Equity, Respect & Courtesy have remained the foundation of the Firm’s philosophy.

  • Litigation Law

    Blanshay Law’s experience & expertise in appellate & administrative law litigation remains a cornerstone of the Firm. BL routinely litigates refusals of immigration, refugee and citizenship applications to the Federal Court of Canada, as well as the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) and Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB).


    BL has tremendous success in representing clients facing refusals in all immigration and refugee categories, as well as handling complex enforcement matters including criminality, misrepresentation, medical admissibility, allegations of engagement in war crimes, crimes against humanity & human smuggling.


    BL Lawyers appear regularly before the Federal Court on Stay Motions to stop forcible deportations.


    We maintain an excellent reputation before the Courts and Tribunal, applying years of practical & beneficial experience to each file. Arguments, both written and oral, are built from the ground up, with the sole focus of success for each client.

  • Permanent Residency

    Whether reuniting families or finding the most suitable solutions to work and study in Canada, we have the experience and knowledge to assist:


      Family-Class Sponsorship

      Express Entry (EE) – Federal Skilled Workers (FSW) / Canadian

      Experience Class (CEC) / Federal Skilled Trades Program

    •  Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Applications to support Temporary to Permanent Residence

      Permanent Residence Cards Renewal with Humanitarian and Compassionate Considerations

      Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) Cases

      Refugee Claims

      Refugee Appeals

      Pre-Removal Risk Assessments

      Danger Opinions

      Provincial Nomination Programs

      Immigrant Investors

      Citizenship Applications

  • Temporary Residency

    Whether reuniting families or finding the most suitable solutions to work and study in Canada, we have the experience and knowledge to assist:


    •  Temporary Resident Visas (TRV / Visitor Visas)

    •  Work Permits

    •  Study Permits

    •  North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Permits

    •  Temporary Resident Permits (TRP)

    •  Criminal Rehabilitation Permits

  • Refugee Law

    With over thirty years of experience representing asylum seekers, we understand that many individuals seeking protection may be extremely vulnerable and often carry the weight of their traumatic experience. All of our work is informed by this understanding, especially given that members of our legal team have firsthand, lived experience as members of historically marginalized groups.


    We stress the importance of preparation. The majority of our work with our clients occurs in advance of them appearing for a Refugee Hearing before any of the four Divisions of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB), including the Refugee Protection Division (RPD). In light of COVID-19, we prepare our clients for virtual appearances, as we are keenly aware of the unique challenges of this new format. We ensure that each proceeding is conducted in accordance with the principles of justice and appreciation of our clients’ unique needs.


    We are well-equipped to address and resolve the complexities of asylum seekers’ backgrounds and experiences, including Enforcement / Admissibility issues, ranging from ineligibility, exclusion, applications to vacate refugee status, and Ministerial Interventions, (Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)), within the refugee hearing context.


    Our goal is to ensure that our clients’ stories are clearly conveyed and that whatever personal challenges they are facing are alleviated by the knowledge that they are represented by zealous and compassionate Advocates.


Our Team

Robert Israel Blanshay
Founding Senior Lawyer


Annie Rupchand
Barrister & Solicitor, Senior Associate Lawyer


Felix Chakirov
Barrister & Solicitor, Senior Associate Lawyer


Alaa Abu-Hijleh
Barrister & Solicitor, Junior Associate Lawyer


Taaha Malik
Barrister & Solicitor, Junior Associate Lawyer


Jai Kumar Jain
Associate Immigration Consultant, RCIC


Laura Sestito Burgess
Senior Legal Assistant & Operations Manager



228 Gerrard Street East,
Toronto, ON, Canada,
M5A 2E8

Laura Sesito Burgess
E: laura@apply2canada.com


Robert Israel Blanshay
E: robert@apply2canada.com

Email correspondence is for information purposes only. Do not disclose confidential information. Website content is offered for information purposes only and ought not be taken as legal advice. We will not provide legal advice until you are a client of our firm. You will not be considered a client until our firm has agreed to represent you in accordance with the terms and conditions of our retainer agreement.

Robert Israel Blanshay

Robert started Blanshay Law (BL) in August 1998 on his own and built the firm into the success it is today. Robert graduated from McGill University & Robson Hall Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba. In 2006, Robert was Certified as a Specialist in Immigration, Citizenship & Refugee Law by The Law Society of Ontario (LSO). Robert has been a recognized LEXPERT Immigration Lawyer for years. He acted as the Chair of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), Ontario Immigration
Section Branch (OBA). Robert acted as CBA Litigation Coordinator, Secretary/Communications Officer, Vice Chair & Vice Chair, Refugee & Litigation Affairs. Robert’s practice focuses on all immigration categories, with a focus on litigation before the Federal Court of Canada (Over 500 reported cases) & all Divisions of the Immigration & Refugee Board. Robert has particular expertise with Admissibility Issues such as criminal, medical and misrepresentation allegations. Robert has taught
several immigration law Courses, notably at the York University Professional Development Course on Immigration. Robert routinely appears in the Media on emerging immigration & refugee issues. Robert has been active in the 2SLGBTQI+ Community, representing thousands of asylum claims & Same-Sex Spousal Sponsorships.

Annie Rupchand – Barrister & Solicitor, Senior Associate Lawyer

Annie is an Associate Lawyer with the Firm, having completed her Articles with BL, and was called to the Ontario Bar in 2020. Annie completed her B.A. (Honours) in International Development Studies, York University in 2009 along with a Bachelor’s Degree in the Sciences of Human Psychology in 2011. In 2012, she moved to Buckingham, England where she completed her Juris Doctorate (J.D.) at the University of Buckingham. After spending a few years exploring Europe, Annie returned to Canada. Her practice is diverse, deftly handling immigration applications in the Economic, Business, and Corporate Immigration domain, as well as Family-Class (FC) and the refugee category. Annie’s diverse background translates into her approaching clients with an open mind, providing her with an innate ability to connect seamlessly with a diverse spectrum of clients. In her spare time, Annie likes to play tennis in the Summer and snowboard in the Winter.

Felix Chakirov – Barrister & Solicitor, Senior Associate Lawyer

Felix graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2017. Felix’s practice focuses on both the immigration category as well as the refugee category. Felix works with clients in the Economic, Business Immigration stream. In addition, he has amassed a broad level of expertise, which includes litigating before all Divisions of the Immigration & Refugee Board (IRB), including refugee hearings, refugee appeals, and stays of deportation. Felix has successfully represented clients before the Federal Court of Canada. Felix holds a Master’s Degree in history from the University of Toronto, where he received the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant and the Ontario Graduate Scholarship. Felix’s legal practice is fueled by indelible respect for human rights towards immigrants and refugees in Canada. He acts zealously on behalf of our clients and has significant experience bringing urgent motions before the Federal Court of Canada to prevent forcible deportation

Alaa Abu-Hijleh – Junior Associate Lawyer 

Alaa holds a Master’s of Law (LLM) from Osgoode Hall Law School where she successfully presented her thesis entitled: ‘Mandatory Military Enlistments: A case of Inadequate Protections Under Refugee Law’. Alaa was called to the Bar of Ontario in June 2020.

Prior to joining BLANSHAY LAW, Alaa gained experience working on Immigration and Refugee cases on a pro bono basis at an Immigration and Refugee firm in Toronto. She subsequently completed her Articles at the same firm, which further elevated her experience.

Alaa volunteers much of her time helping new immigrants and refugees through the “New Comers Centre of Peel “organization and other Government funded initiatives.

Alaa is very compassionate towards her clients and very much empathizes with and understands their experiences. This enables her to procure all relevant particulars on any given file which serves to strengthen the client’s application and experience. This also allows her to connect with her clients on a deep level and build a relationship grounded on genuine trust.

In her spare time, Alaa likes to travel and enjoys watching documentaries.

Taaha Malik – Junior Associate Lawyer 

Taaha is a Junior Associate with Blanshay Law. She completed her Articles at Garson LLP and was called to the Ontario Bar in June 2019.

Taaha completed her B.A. (Honours) from the University of Toronto. In 2014 she moved to New York, U.S.A where she completed her Juris Doctorate (J.D.) at New York Law School.

Taaha is passionate about immigration law and advocates zealously for her clients. Her practice encompasses a diverse range of cases, including those in Economic, Business, Family Class, and Refugee categories. Taaha possesses a broad spectrum of expertise, with experience in litigation across all Divisions of the Immigration & Refugee Board (IRB).

Taaha is deeply committed to social responsibility. She maintains active affiliations with organizations, dedicating her time to pro bono work in Refugee Law for marginalized communities.

Fluent in multiple languages, Taaha seamlessly communicates in English, Urdu, Punjabi, and Hindi. This linguistic versatility enhances her ability to connect with a diverse clientele and contribute to the inclusive nature of the legal profession.

Jai Kumar Jain  –  Associate Immigration Consultant, RCIC

Jai Kumar Jain is an Associate Immigration Consultant. He completed the Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) program in 2021 Before becoming a consultant Jai worked as a Hindi and Punjabi interpreter, this experience has allowed him to develop great relationships with new immigrants. Jai has extensive experience with temporary permits, Labour Market Impact Assessment applications, protected persons permanent residents applications, Express Entry and worked as a guidance Counselor in the community.

Laura Sestito Burgess – Senior Legal Assistant & Operations Manager

Laura Sestito acts as the Firm’s Senior Legal Assistant. She brings hands-on experience and an  extensive knowledge of administration and office support. Laura is a seasoned team leader with  excellent communication skills and an outstanding ability to multitask. She spent seven years  working in the United Kingdom (U.K.) for senior executives and overseeing marketing, business  development, and sales teams. Laura was the Account Manager for numerous training and  education programmes developed for Legal and Investment Firms in the U.K. and United Arab  Emirates (U.A.E.). Laura bravely opened, owned and operated a successful, independent  business in Toronto for over five years. The opportunity enabled a deepened understanding of  client relations, communication, and a day -to- day understanding required for managing a  successful enterprise. At BLANSHAY LAW, Laura strives to assist and support clients with all  aspects of their immigration matters in a friendly, approachable and positive manner.