It is for a good reason why Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has built into its site a strong warning about using Immigration Consultants or Representatives. Though there are a number of legitimate ones out there, make no mistake immigration fraud is real.
Many are just frauds who take your money and run. There is no guarantee that those consultants who are registered with Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) are all completely honest.
Beware of anyone who makes claims that sound too good to be true, and those who ask for very high fees, especially if they want payment in advance.
If you do a Google search about immigration to Canada you will get hundreds of sites that all look very official. Some will even have the appearance a Canadian government website but in reality, they are not.
Protect yourself, If the offer seems too good to be true it probably is. Here is how to prove your RCIC is a fraud:
The average amount that a registered RCIC charges between 2000-4000 Canadian Dollars. An honest RCIC will not guarantee the success of your application, because they will not be the ones to issue the visa. They can only guide you in getting the right documents and in the correct format in the best possible manner that will ensure easy passage. They know how to package your application.
You can also find further information by joining immigration forums. There you will find people who successfully used a particular consultant and they will be able to recommend them to you. If a consultant charges in the range of $10, 000 CAD and upwards, then that consultant is probably a fraud. In a case like this, $10,000 CAD seems to be the primary objective of that consultant and he will pass the bulk of the blame on the applicant if it fails. Be wise, immigration fraud is real.
If someone charges $10,000 for an Express Entry application when the average runs between $3,500 and $5,000, you should also think twice about their business model.
As in any other area, be it finding a doctor, mechanic, plumber or hairstylist, the best way to go about it is to ask for recommendations. Are they happy with the result, the process, how much they paid?
After you get the names, search for them online. Once you have established that they have an online history. Remember Google is your friend nothing ever written online truly disappears, thoroughly check their website. Most consultants will have one either their own or in an association, even for the purpose of just being searchable online. Some consultants mostly senior ones, work by referrals only, having accumulated enough business during their years in practice.
Once you have read the advertisement or browsed a consultant’s website and their RCIC number, you have to ask yourself these important questions:
Compare the different online searches: there have been instances when scammers have copied reputable companies, putting entire fake versions of these websites online. In this case, a legitimate business website for the consultant might have a “beware of fraud” warning. This is a clear sign that you are in the right digital space. Sometimes consultants have their business address and e-mail posted online in other databases; do your research and write to these email addresses asking if the website bearing their name is legitimate or not.
If there is no answer and you really want to deal with this person in particular because of a referral, there is a “contact” feature on the ICCRC website. It shows each consultant’s name that allows a prospective client to write a brief message to the consultant through the ICCRC server.
You are not obliged to hire a consultant or immigration lawyer, to apply for a visa or for Canadian citizenship, but if you do, choose carefully.
RCIC’s do not have special connections with Canadian government officials and cannot guarantee you a visa. Nobody can guarantee you a visa.
If the RCIC promise to assist you with finding jobs while they have no recruitment license or list of licensed recruiters posted on their website, consider that a red flag. It is potentially immigration fraud. Remember: most provinces in Canada require a recruiter to be licensed.
In addition to that, it is illegal to charge a foreign worker a fee to find a job the recruitment fee is always paid by the employer.
You may have seen advertisements that promise work permits and guarantee high-paying jobs in Canada. Some offer scholarships to study at Canadian universities or colleges. Potential newcomers to Canada should be aware that many offers like these are fraudulent. In fact, using the services of people who make such promises may result in your application to Canada being rejected.
Canada’s immigration system is based on fairness. Every application receives equal consideration. No one has special connections, and no one can promise your application will be given special treatment or guarantee that it will be approved.
Most of these fraudulent consultants use the promise of finding you a job to lure unsuspecting clients into their web of scams. Don’t fall into this trap, take your time and collect as much information as you can about your consultant.
Be very careful if the company is based outside of Canada. There are many immigration companies registered in various countries, allowing them to carry out legitimate business in that specific country. More often than not, these companies most likely do not employ A RCIC or professionals in Canadian immigration. Basically, these companies are salespeople, not the people who can actually help with your application.
However, some applicants get stuck on the comforting idea that they would be able to physically go into an office and meet a human being there. Please keep in mind that the majority of Canadian immigration consultants practice from Canada; some consultants have offices in the UEA, India, China, the Philippines, or other countries, but only a fraction of consultants have offices outside Canada. So, why not to do a thorough research and contact a legitimate consultant directly, avoiding this middleman?
If the RCIC’s website displays multiple logos even those of the local business registry and Canadian Better Business Bureau but no consultant name(s). Although the ICCRC advertisement rules state that names of the consultants must be clearly posted on the website. This may be a sign that the company is just doing extensive marketing and subcontracting legitimate consultants to process applications. Putting considerable sales pressure both on them and on you. To earn a living wage at the rates these subcontractors pay, a consultant would not be able to spend sufficient time to thoroughly prepare your application; is that really what you want?
The assistance of a licensed immigration professional is very important.
The question now is how to find the real deal instead of one of the scam artists who prey on people who want to immigrate to Canada.