When it comes to immigration, finding trustworthy help can feel like a scary task. However, concerns about fraud or bad advice don’t need to stop you from achieving your dream!
Whether you’re someone hoping to come to Canada or an employer looking to hire foreign workers, working with a qualified professional can make the process faster and easier for you.
Read on to find out how the new College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants can help you find the best advice from licensed consultants.
The College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants
The College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC) was launched November 23, 2021. In the past, consultants were registered by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC).
The Government of Canada worked with the College as they transitioned from the ICCRC to the CICC. The change is part of an ongoing effort to protect potential immigrants and refugees from fraud. While the two organizations are similar, the new CICC has more power to investigate and discipline consultants if needed.
The CICC’s main role is to:
License and regulate Canadian immigration and citizenship consultants;
Ensure that consultants have the qualifications and continuing education that they need;
Ensure that consultants follow the CICC’s Code of Professional Conduct.
This means that immigration and citizenship consultants need to be qualified for the job and work ethically to remain registered.
Immigration consultants are only allowed to work in Canada if they meet one of the following criteria:
They are part of a the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants,
OR, a member of a law society of a province or territory (for lawyers or, in Ontario, paralegals) or the Chambre des notaires du Québec.
(For more information on choosing between an immigration lawyer and a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, see our earlier post, here.)
How Does an RCIC Help?
According to the CICC’s website, RCICs can provide the following services:
Explaining immigration and citizenship options
Choosing the best program for you
Filling out and submitting your immigration or citizenship application
Communicating with the Government of Canada on your behalf
Representing you in an immigration or citizenship application or hearing (an RCIC must have an RCIC-IRB class of licence to represent you before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada).
Check Whether Your Immigration Consultant is Registered
Anyone can check whether a consultant is registered with the CICC through their website.
Find an Immigration Consultant: https://www.college-ic.ca/protecting-the-public/find-an-immigration-consultant
You can also check whether a consultant has had their license revoked, suspended, or restricted, and whether they are involved in a current proceeding.
You should never work with an unlicensed consultant. In fact, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada will not accept applications submitted by an unregistered consultant. Getting bad advice from an unqualified person could cause your application to be rejected or even cause you to be barred from entering Canada.
You should also make sure that the person you are working with is not pretending to be someone else. A few things to look for are:
The contact information you are given matches the information on the consultant’s public website, social media, etc.
The person you are working with is willing to speak with you on video calls, and does not avoid showing you who they are.
The consultant is happy to answer any questions you may have about working with them.
The consultant gives you a written contract listing the services they will provide with prices.
If you are paying someone to help you with your application, they must be authorized by the Government of Canada. Help can be defined as but is not limited to offering advice, giving you forms, or helping you fill out forms. For more detailed information about authorized representatives in Canada check out the Government of Canada’s Website
Meet with Immigrate’s RCICs
Immigrating opens up a world of possibilities. It can be one of the most life-changing decisions you make. That’s why it’s key to get the best help and advice possible.
If you choose to work with a consultant to complete your applications, it is most important to find a professional you can trust. You should feel comfortable working with your consultant and asking questions. You should also be confident that they have the qualifications and experience you need.
Our team of experienced Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants are ready to help you achieve your goals. Book a meeting today!
Please note that Government of Canada regulations and processes change often. See the Government’s IRCC website for the most up-to-date information.