For many decades, Canada has been the most attractive country for immigration in the world. Not surprisingly, Canada is a great place for people interested in high-paying jobs, quality education, transparent business rules, personal security and a high standard of living. That is why, due to the high demand for immigration, an important profession has arisen in Canada – a licensed immigration consultant. In this blog, we will explain why it is important to check the license of an immigration consultant and what are the risks of working with an unlicensed consultant, as well as who such “ghost consultants” are.
What licensed immigration consultant does?
The task of an immigration consultant is to help you choose the best strategy for moving, correctly complete all applications and collect all documents, and thus reduce the risk of refusal from the Department of Immigration. Regardless of where you come from or what your profession is, hiring a licensed immigration consultant in Canada is highly recommended. Without expert help, it can be difficult to keep up with the rapidly changing information from the Canadian immigration authorities on various immigration programs.
Who are ghost consultants?
In recent years, there has been a surge in the activity of “ghost consultants” in Canada and other countries, and this is obviously an incredibly big problem for the Canadian immigration system. These illegal Canadian immigration and visa consultants engage in this activity without the authority to do so, and often without the correct legal knowledge, which puts potential immigrants at risk of refusal or even criminal liability.
Ghost consultants are mainly active on social media, especially TikTok, Instagram or Facebook, and also combine these activities with their work as travel agents or employment agencies abroad. The media is rife with stories of vulnerable immigrants paying thousands of dollars to unauthorized consultants. Victims of such ghost consultants risk being refused at best due to misrepresentation or false information, and at worst losing money to scammers. In some cases, victims find that the job or college program they were promised doesn’t even exist, and the application for permanent residence has never been submitted.
Ghost consultants offer immigration services to clients without the necessary education, training, or license. They falsely pose as immigration specialists. They are not allowed to submit or apply for client immigration status.
These pseudo-consultants advise their victims to lie or forge documents to enter Canada, or the consultant does it for them without their knowledge, using a fake email. Legal responsibility for any false statements made by a ghost consultant falls on the client. These vulnerable immigrants often then turn to a licensed immigration consultant or attorney to revert the damage caused by these unauthorized immigration representatives. However, sometimes it is too late. Even the most qualified attorney cannot recover damages and preserve a person’s immigration status if the applicant has been caught in misrepresentation – whether intentional or not. And even the help of licensed consultants may not save them from visa refusal, application ban, fines, and even possible cancellation of status and even deportation from Canada. It is probably impossible to calculate how many vulnerable people have been affected by the fraudulent activities of ghost consultants.
Who is eligible to provide paid immigration services in Canada?
Under Canadian law, only Authorized Paid Representatives may charge fees for the provision of immigration advice and services. These include Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) and immigration lawyers.
Immigration consultants are required to be licensed by the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC), Canada’s regulatory body for immigration consultants. Immigration lawyers are only eligible to provide immigration services if they are members of a provincial law society.
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) are specially trained and accredited, qualified, and familiar with Canadian immigration laws and policies. Immigration consultants help people immigrate from their country to Canada for study, work, travel or business purposes. They provide immigration legal services strictly in accordance with the law.
Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada has created a special Authorized Paid Representative (APR) Portal where immigration consultants and lawyers can apply for permanent residence, work or study permits, and visitor visas on behalf of their clients.
Ghost Consultants cannot create an account on the APR Portal and therefore create applications on behalf of clients. Thus, already at the very beginning, they lie to the government of Canada that it is the applicant himself who submits his application. Most sadly, if deceived applicants later complain to the Department of Immigration that false information or an error in the application was made by their “immigration consultant”, they are in fact confessing to misleading the government and risk being refused and banned from entering Canada for 5 years.
Why do you need a licensed immigration consultant?
An immigration consultant provides professional advice and represents the client in all aspects of Canadian immigration, from individuals immigrating to Canada as employees, travellers, students or entrepreneurs, to corporations employing temporary foreign workers for their organizations in Canada.
A licensed immigration consultant will be able to evaluate the client’s personal background and advise on the best path. An expert will help prepare and submit applications with the relevant supporting documents. And most importantly, the immigration consultant establishes constant communication with government authorities throughout the entire visa application process and has the right to represent the interests of the client.
Thus, by hiring a consultant to check your eligibility and assist you throughout the process, you reduce the risk of refusal. It is no secret that many foreigners are refused visas to Canada, while others incur additional costs and face delays because they do not understand and/or do not comply with strict immigration rules. In order to obtain a visa to Canada, the entire visa application process must be carefully prepared and properly submitted.
Immigration to Canada includes some technical issues and details, which makes the whole process rather complicated and lengthy. Immigration rules are always in a state of flux. For this reason, working with an immigration consultant will be the best solution for your immigration history.
Oleg Schindler is a licensed immigration consultant with extensive experience and an excellent reputation. In addition, he is also a Canadian immigration policy analyst. Oleg is a member in good standing with the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC) and a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants (CAPIC).
Dreaming of immigrating to Canada but don’t know where to start? Book an individual consultation with Oleg today!
The consultation can be conducted via a phone call or video call. The cost of the consultation will be deducted from the total amount payable if we sign a service agreement.