Choosing the right representative to immigrate to Canada

Choosing the right immigration representative

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Representatives can play a vital role in the immigration and refugee matters. These representatives are grouped in two.

1. Compensated Representatives

Representatives who wish to conduct business in connection with a proceeding or application under IRPA must be members in good standing of a Canadian provincial/territorial law society, the Chambre des notaires du Québec or the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) in order to charge a fee or be otherwise compensated for immigration and refugee advice and representation. Such individuals are called authorized representatives.*

Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC):

Independent, non-profit organization and regulating itself. ICCRC regulates its members who are in good standing. Also ICCRC is responsible for their members’ activities.

Lawyers and Quebec notaries:

Lawyers and Quebec notaries are not required to become members of ICCRC, as they are regulated by their own law societies.

A law society’s mandate is to govern the legal profession and safeguard the public interest. It aims to ensure that clients are served by lawyers who meet high standards of learning, competence and professional conduct, and to uphold the independence, integrity and honour of the legal profession for the purpose of advancing the cause of justice and the rule of law.*


The studens studying law is acting under the direct supervision of a member in good standing of a provincial/territorial law society or the Chambre des notaires du Quebec who is authorized to represent or advise immigration applicants. In other words, students-at-law may represent and/or advise, for consideration, a person who is the subject of a proceeding or an application under IRPA, provided that they are under the supervision of a Canadian provincial/territorial law society or the Chambre des notaires du Quebec.


Bill C-35 amends IRPA to recognize paralegals as authorized representatives if they are a member in good standing of a Canadian provincial/territorial law society.

At the time of writing, only the Province of Ontario’s law society, the Law Society of Upper Canada, admits paralegals as members in good standing.*

2. Uncompensated Representatives

Family, friends, and religious and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who do not charge a fee do not need have to be members of a regulatory body to act as an immigration representative.

International Agencies such as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other religious non-governmental organizations can advice and represent applicants without charging a fee.

Certain international organizations, such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM), provide a variety of services to clients. If the organization is providing services in accordance with an agreement or arrangement with the Government of Canada (see section 5.4 under “Entities under agreement with the Government of Canada”), or if no consideration is being provided for the provision of immigration advice or representation, then they are not in contravention of A91(1).*

You can gather more information about the representatives that can provide advice/consulting legally and authorized.

Cem Devrim Turetken
Immigration Program Student at Ashton College
under the tutelage of Jose Godoy Toku

Please check out the links below.

Instructions – Use of a Representative

* Use of a Representative

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