Unfortunately, economic, social or political conditions in some countries lead many people to try to emigrate to safer countries. In that search for help, immigrants can be an easy target for scammers or unauthorized consultants. Unscrupulous people try to take advantage of these unfortunate situations and offer services without the proper knowledge or licences required to work in this field and with the simple intention of defrauding the innocent people.
Only duly registered immigration consultants or attorneys have the license, knowledge, and tools to give you reliable advice and representation. In this article we give you the first 5 tips to recognize fraudulent offers:
Tip # 1. Authorized professionals
Unlicensed immigration consultants can use titles that have different meanings but without official authorization. In Canada, only RCIC licensed immigration consultants or attorneys can legally offer you immigration advice for a fee. Please refer to this link from the Government of Canada website to verify if the immigration consultant you chose is an authorized representative:
Tip # 2. A diploma is not enough
A person who has a diploma that shows that they have completed a program in immigration law is not yet a licensed immigration consultant. To obtain the license they must have met additional requirements, including writing an exam to be registered with ICCRC.
See if the person you are going to hire is really a consultant at: https://iccrc-crcic.ca/find-a-professional/ You can search by first or last name, company name, geographical location or identification number of the consultant (RCIC #).
Tip # 3. The authorized consultant will ask you to sign a Retainer Agreement, in accordance with the Retainer Agreement Regulation de ICCRC
You should be concern if you are not asked to sign a retainer agreement or contract. This is a document prepared by an immigration consultant stating that they are providing you with immigration services for a fee. You and the Immigration Consultant must sign and date the agreement/contract. Make sure you have a copy for your records.
Tip # 4. Do not sign a Retainer Agreement with a company that does not identify the immigration consultant assigned to you
Please note that if you are asked to sign a contract with a company, agent, or other person instead of the Authorized Immigration Consultant, the Consultant’s ID must be included, and the Consultant must also be required to sign. The two people who must sign the retainer agreement must be you and the authorized immigration consultant. If you do not have the signature of an authorized consultant, do not hire them.
Tip # 5. Use of Representative (IMM5476)
The document that officially authorizes your consultant to act on your behalf is a form called the Use of Representative. Be careful if you are not asked to sign this form (IMM5476) or if the person you hired for immigration services signs it stating that they are a friend or relative when they are not.
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