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The value of registered Canadian immigration consultants

Why do the federal and provincial governments persist in discouraging the use of professional registered consultants even after the new requirements and regulations were brought down to control and oversee them?

These governments seem to have a policy of persuading potential immigrants to go through the entire process themselves.  They give them the assumption that it can be done easily and in a timely manner by following the instructions on the CIC and PNP websites without professional help.

First of all, the new requirements for related career experience and/or education that is now necessary to achieve ICCRC designation allows for only a small group of people being able to pursue a career in this field.  Apart from qualified lawyers and paralegals, potential immigration consultants face a more arduous journey towards success in this field.

Aside from the thousands of dollars in educational and other expenses, it is no small feat to achieve and maintain the status as a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant.  Furthermore, the required membership in the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) brings with it ongoing demands for educational upgrading and stringent language proficiency requirements.

The current government attitude suggests to potential immigrants that the education professional consultants have taken is equivalent to a PHD in basket-weaving.

From the CIC website:

“No immigration consultant has special access to our programs and services”.

This statement implies the uselessness of hiring a qualified consultant.  Nowhere within the CIC sites is the common-sense statement (for example):

“CIC employees prefer to deal with those that are experts in the field of immigration and fluent in an official language”.

After all, why do judges prefer to deal with lawyers, and home buyers hire licensed building inspectors?  Furthermore, it’s just common-sense that any employee that deals with the public would prefer to deal with a knowledgeable client rather than one that they have to explain all the intricacies about their product or service to.

Also from the CIC website:

“Don’t get cheated by a crooked consultant.”

This blatant statement just instils fear and suspicion.

From the Alberta PNP site:

“You do not need to hire an immigration representative to help you with your immigration application.”

That’s not encouraging to those in the profession.

In reference to the BC PNP program:

“The program is designed for you to be able to complete the process on your own.”

This is a subtle way of saying,

“any idiot can do this, you’re wasting your money if you hire someone to assist and represent you”.

From the Saskatchewan PNP program:

“…you should ask the representative for references.”

Apparently the onerous qualifications and good standing now demanded of representatives isn’t enough.  This is not an encouraging statement for new consultants and those looking to enter the field.

In many of these sites, immediately after stating that it’s unnecessary to hire a consultant, they like to proclaim how “free” it is to acquire and fill in the forms on the website.  This insinuates that the consultants charge extra for this in addition to their services.  Again, a subtle intimation of distrust.

It’s time this attitude by government ends and the promotion of registered immigration consultants begins.

William Howie
Immigration Program Student at Ashton College
under the tutelage of Jose Godoy Toku

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