How to Choose an Authorized Immigration Representative so You Don’t Get Scammed | MyConsultant

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How to Choose an Authorized Immigration Representative so You Don’t Get Scammed

How to Choose an Authorized Immigration Representative so You Don’t Get Scammed

Never pay someone to help you immigrate without verifying their credentials first.

Many newcomers to Canada choose to use the services of an immigration or citizenship representative. These individuals can help you read and fill out forms and answer any questions you might have. And while it is not mandatory to hire a representative, you must take the necessary steps to ensure you don’t fall prey to a scammer should you choose to go this route. 

Unfortunately, there are many who try to take advantage of newcomers to Canada. Unimpeded by morals and eager to make a quick buck off someone who might not know better, these fraudulent and unauthorized representatives are a pervasive threat. To avoid them, the best thing to do is use an authorized representative whenever you plan to immigrate or move to Canada. They’ll work with you to ensure you navigate the system successfully and they won’t take advantage of you. 

What Is an Immigration or Citizenship Representative?

An immigration and citizenship representative can help you navigate the process of becoming a resident or citizen of Canada. While they might be a paid professional (such as a lawyer, consultant, or other agent), they can also be a family member or friend who has previously undergone the process. 

A representative can help you with the following:

  • Provide advice on your citizenship or immigration options
  • Explain the application process
  • Help you assess and choose which immigration program might be best for you and your family
  • Communicate with the Government of Canada on your behalf
  • Help you fill out your applications and submit them
  • Represent you in an immigration or citizenship hearing

A representative can help you with these agencies:

Remember, you do not necessarily need to hire a representative, and using one will not cause agencies to pay special attention to your case, nor does it necessarily mean that your application will be approved. The most important factor is always that you have filled out your forms correctly and included all requested documentation. 

All of the forms and instructions that you need to apply for a visa, permit, or citizenship are available for free online. 

Different Types of Representatives

There are two main kinds of representatives: paid and unpaid. If you want to stay away from fraudulent agents and scammers, make sure that you only work with fully authorized paid representatives, such as Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants. Unpaid representatives might include your friends, neighbours, librarians, and family members who have been through the process before or who can help you with language issues. 

The only people who can legally charge you a fee for their help with your citizenship application are:


The Government of Canada will never deal with any unauthorized representatives who charge you a fee. If you are found to be working with such a representative, your application could be refused or returned without assessment. 

This is extremely important: do not risk paying for the services of an unauthorized representative. If you are unsure about whether your representative is authorized, check this link to find out

How Can You Check to See If Your Representative Is Authorized?

You should always verify whether your representative is authorized to take payment to help you. If they are not authorized, your application can be denied. If you wish to check the accreditation of a specific citizenship or immigration consultant, you can search this directory of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council. 

If you wish to check the accreditation of a specific lawyer or notary, you can contact the following law societies:

Law Societies in Each Province and Territory


How to Avoid Fraud with a Citizenship Representative

The most important thing to note is that you are always responsible for all the information in your application. Even if someone else completes it for you, it is always your responsibility alone to ensure that it is accurate and true. 

How to Choose a Paid Representative
  • Ask your friends and family to recommend a representative they have used in the past.
  • Ask any potential advisor or representative a lot of questions. You should be very wary of anyone who will not answer your questions or hesitates too much.
  • Ensure that they are authorized. Ask to see their licence and accreditation to ensure that they have the credentials to give advice and charge a fee for their services.
  • Ask them about their training and experience. They should be able to provide you with references and tell you how long they have been in business.
  • Get a written contract from them that details what they will provide and how much they charge for everything. Read this very carefully before you sign it. If you do not understand anything in the contract, ask someone to explain it to you.
  • If you are working with a representative in Canada, contact the Better Business Bureau. They will be able to tell you if they have received complaints about a citizenship or immigration consultant, lawyer, or other representative at any time in the past. 
Buyers Beware

Be especially cautious with any representative who does any of the following:

  • Advertises free services, but then asks for a fee
  • Advises you to lie in any way on your application
  • Offers you things that seem too good to be true
  • Tells you that they have “special connections” that will get your application approved faster
  • Asks you to leave original documents or photos with them
  • Tells you to sign documents or forms that you don’t understand
  • Does not allow you to make copies of your application forms
  • Will not give you an official receipt for any payments you make to them

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