Thursday, March 24, 2022

How to choose an immigration or citizenship representative

 To find a paid or unpaid immigration representative:

  • ask people you trust to recommend someone
    • Be sure to get advice from several people before you choose
  • ask questions Be careful of someone who won’t answer your questions

If you’re hiring a paid representative:

  • find out if they’re authorized
    • This means they have a license to practice and give advice
    • If you choose a paid representative who’s not authorized, we may return your application or refuse it
    • If you give a representative money or compensate them in any other way in exchange for their services, they’re considered paid and must be authorized
      • ask about the representative’s training and experience
        • Ask for references and find out how long they’ve been in business
      • discuss the services they’ll provide as well as their fee
      • make sure to get a written contract and read it carefully before you sign it
        • Make sure it lists all the services they’ll give you and clearly states the fee you discussed

      If you’re using a representative who works in Canada, you can also contact the Better Business Bureau. It can tell you if it has received complaints about a citizenship or immigration consultant, lawyer or other representative.

      Tips to protect yourself from fraud

      • Be careful of anything that sounds too good to be true
        • Using a representative will not draw special attention to your application or guarantee that we’ll approve it
      • Beware of representatives who encourage you to give false information in your application
        • It’s against the law, and you could be denied entry into Canada or deported after you arrive
      • Don’t leave original documents or photos with your representative
      • Don’t sign blank application forms
      • Don’t sign forms or documents unless you can read them
        • If you don’t understand them, ask someone to translate
      • Make sure to get copies of any documents your representative makes for you
      • Any time you pay your representative, get a signed receipt
      • Make sure your representative updates you on your application often
      • Protect your money and remember:
      • The Canada Immigration department will never call you and ask you to deposit money into a personal bank account
        • The Canada Immigration department will never ask you to transfer money through a private money transfer company
        • The Canada Immigration department processing fees are in Canadian dollars and they’re the same around the world

      Learn more about how to protect yourself from fraud.


The College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (the College) licenses and regulates Canadian immigration and citizenship consultants in the public interest.

There are 2 types of immigration and citizenship consultants we regulate:

  • Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs), and
  • Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (RISIAs).

The College’s role, its statutory authority, and its powers are set out in:

Our statutory authority applies to immigration and citizenship consultants whether they practice in Canada or abroad.

NOTE: The College regulates Canadian immigration and citizenship consultants. We do not provide immigration advice, process immigration applications, or influence any decision related to immigration.

Anyone who wants to provide Canadian immigration or citizenship advice or representation for a fee (or for any other benefit) must be one of the following:

  • A licensee in good standing with the College
  • A member of a Canadian law society, or
  • A member of the Chambre des notaires du Qu├ębec.

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