The role of the immigration consultant

In Canada, immigration consultants give immigration advice, help people with
their immigration applications and can represent the clients for a fee. They are
also knowledgeable with immigration policies and procedures that can facilitate
the processing of visas and permits so someone can legally stay in Canada.
Immigration consultants deal with immigration applications for foreign nationals
who wants to move, work, study or do business in Canada permanently or
temporarily. They are instrumental in promoting correct procedures in applying
for permanent residency, assistance with family sponsorship and for guiding the
applicants with confidence in following the immigration rules and regulations.
Immigration consultants advice clients about immigration options and categories,
initially assess the clients, inform and gather the requirements necessary for the
applications. Moreover, careful considerations are given to prevent application
mistakes, unnecessary delays and saving the client’s time and money.

A good immigration consultant is committed to their duty of providing honorable
immigration services to their clients and to practice with integrity. Transparency is
also vital for the public and government agencies concerned to be aware of their
conduct. The ICCRC’s Code of Professional Ethics contains characteristics and
principles that a good immigration consultant must possess and follow for
practicing the profession. Some of the provisions deal with ethical practice,
professionalism, competence, quality of service, advising clients, confidentiality,
conflict of interest, preservation of client’s property and being an advocate. The
consultant must have an in depth knowledge of immigration procedures and
policies and continue to improve or increase that knowledge and to be always up
to date with our constantly changing immigration system.

In order to practice as an immigration consultant, one must be registered with
ICCRC, the regulatory body for immigration consultants. To register, it is required
to finish an immigration consultant program in an accredited institution, criminal
background check, knowledge of English or French, good moral conduct, pass
the licensure exam and pay the applicable fees. After becoming a member of
ICCRC, an immigration consultant will have role of representing their clients with
immigration applications and charge fees for their services.

An ICCRC member, as an authorized representative of individuals in the
immigration and refugee system, has a privileged role to play in maintaining the
integrity of Canada’s immigration system and the administration of justice.
Despite any request or demand to the contrary received from any person, an
ICCRC member must uphold the rule of law and act at all times honestly and in
good faith towards immigration officials, without intent to deceive or undermine
the integrity of the system, or assist others to do so. Applying to immigrate to
Canada can be very challenging when you don’t know the immigration rules and
regulations. It is confusing how the immigration officers process different
application categories. Many people hire immigration consultants to help them
immigrate to Canada.

An immigration consultant can explain to the applicant the application forms and
necessary documents required for clear and successful application. They deal
with immigration department and present your case in a most favorable manner
by making a thorough assessment of any potential obstacles in the application
process and finding the right way to proceed with your application.

Some reasons for hiring an immigration consultant:

  • Families do not want to take risks with such an important life decision.
  • Business immigration cases require the use of a professional consultant because of the complex financial and business experience analysis involved in investor and entrepreneur applications.
  • Even in the case of skilled workers, applications are extremely detail oriented and time consuming.
  • Given the current procedures in place that require the submission of complete documentation with the initial application, applicants run the risk of having their applications returned because of one minor missing document.
  • As a consequence, applicants face delays – and delays could very well mean that they become ineligible because the quota for the category they applied under is fulfilled during the delay.
  • The most compelling reason to use a consultant continues to be the fact that applicants are looking for peace of mind, a level of professionalism and knowledgeable advice in this important life changing decision.

The Canadian government regulated immigration consultant must be authorized
to give immigration advice, a member of ICCRC or a lawyer who is a member in
good standing of a Canadian provincial bar.

The best immigration consultants are the ones that can pay attention to each
individual case and who are genuinely interested in understanding the client’s
need to immigrate. A great consultant would be able to answer any questions
that the client asks with regards to an immigration matter. It is not easy to find the
best, but it is very important. One way is by paying close attention and looking at
their track record. Successful immigrants can also identify and tell others about
their own experiences with reliable and competent immigration consultants. The
immigration process is not something that applicants have control, yet anyone
can improve their chances by hiring a professional. A great immigration
consultant help people come to this country one at a time and have the
resources to do it. Because a great deal of consultants fit the description, it’s up
to the client to find the right one.

Mary Jone Causing Buchholtz
Immigration Program Student at Ashton College
under the tutelage of Jose Godoy Toku

Immigration consultants, lawyers, and other representatives – Choose carefully

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