A Canadian Judge Holding Golden Scales

Canada Immigration: Authorized Representatives vs. Illegal Representatives

The Government of Canada values your contribution and cares about everyone who wants to come to Canada. Illegal/unauthorized immigration agents/consultants are linked to various cases of immigration fraud. They use deceptive tactics to win the clients’ trust and trap them in their malicious practice. At the end of the day it is the client who is at risk of losing the most. Canadian government has established laws to protect the clients from the illegal agents. This post is aimed to increase awareness and help the clients to exercise caution when choosing immigration related help.

It is a huge step when you decide to explore options to come to Canada, either temporarily or permanently. The process could be lengthy and challenging which makes you seek professional advice on immigration services and Canadian Immigration law. It gets challenging when you see the market is full of people offering paid immigration advice. However, a huge proportion of them are not competent and licensed.

What are the red flags?

The biggest challenge is “who do I trust?” and then you start hearing promises like:

  • 100% success rate or 1000% guarantee you will get Canadian visa,
  • We have connections in the embassy and will get your Canadian visa processed faster,
  • Pay me the money (usually very large sum) after you get visa. This may sound good to many of the clients but the fact is that they spike the prices unfairly for the successful clients and they don’t hesitate adding fraudulent documents that may result in 5 years ban for misrepresentation,
  • Some of them claim to be licensed by the Government of India despite the fact that the Government of India does not have any formal licensing process or body

Who is an Authorized Representative?

Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (s.91) and Canadian Citizenship Act (s.21) makes it illegal to directly or indirectly represent or advise a person on Canadian immigration matters unless they are authorized by Canadian law regardless of the country of residence. For example, if someone is sitting in India, China or the Philippines, they still need to be authorized by the Canadian immigration law. This includes study visa, work visa, express entry, PR application, tourist visa etc.

Canada regulates the immigration professionals who can practice Canadian immigration law. There are several criteria that one needs to satisfy before becoming an authorized Canadian immigration professional. This includes a very high English language proficiency, successful completion of a recognized Canadian immigration law program and qualifying an entry to practice exam to demonstrate the knowledge of Canadian immigration law.

Why do you care?

We want a qualified doctor when we are sick, we want a qualified technician or engineer when we need technical help, we want qualified teachers to teach our kids.

In similar matter, we also need qualified immigration professional to assist in the Canadian immigration process. People who have studied the Canadian immigration law and passed the entry to practice criteria set out by the government of Canada are more competent and qualified to assist you in your Canadian immigration needs than someone who is not.

There are several examples when incompetence of illegal immigration agents resulted in refusals in application due to very small errors and even A 5 YEAR BAN due to misrepresentation due their failure to understand the Canadian immigration laws and processes.

How do I find if someone is illegal agent/consultant?

There are ways to help you differentiating authorized consultants from the illegal agents/consultants.

  • If they are making promises like a guaranteed visa, internal connections, payment after visa. An authorized representative will never make these false promises as making these promises is against the Canadian regulations.
  • Ask them their College (CICC), formerly ICCRC membership number and verify on the CICC website, we can help you with this if you are having difficulties.
  • Ask them to fill the Use of a Representative form (IMM5476) and ask for a copy to include with you application and a copy for your records.
  • Authorized representatives can use their IRCC representative portals for online applications on the other hand an illegal agent usually create a fake email address and apply pretending to be you which again could be a ground for misrepresentation.
  • If you still have doubts, you can reach out to us and we can guide in how to verify the details

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