The certified Canadian immigration consultant list serves a vital function. It helps both consumers and immigration consultants. The list allows access to anyone desiring the following:
- Permanent residence (PR)
- Canadian citizenship
- Work and study permits
These are priorities for foreign nationals and those already in Canada. As the demand for immigration rises, so too does the demand for certain services. This surge in demand has engendered a market for certain professionals.
These professionals are none other than immigration consultants. Immigration consultants have long been the difference between visa approval and rejection. No consultant or lawyer can guarantee PR or citizenship. Be that as it may, immigration consultants can maximize the chances of success.
This function of an immigration consultant is in the minds of consumers. Knowing this, fraudulent or uncertified consultants operate their practices. While this may seem benign, fraud can lead to rejected applications and unfulfilled immigration dreams.
The Canadian government has been doing all it can to mitigate the risks. Yet, consultant fraud continues to be present within the Canadian immigration system. The presence of unlicensed consultants not only raises the risks. It also affects the trust of consumers.
Indeed, immigration fraud is on the rise. It may continue to be. The Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council struggles with the issue of fake immigration consultants. Indeed, the council may take action against its members. But, by definition, fraudulent or fake immigration consultants are not ICCRC members.
Their lack of membership effectively makes them immune from the penalties of the ICCRC. As a result, it would seem that consumers have little to no protection against immigration application scams.
Luckily, the IRCC and ICCRC encourage consultant verification. And, immigration consultant verification is possible with the ICCRC’s public register.
This list allows clients and consumers to check on the status of immigration consultants. As well, clients can verify the authenticity of the consultant’s certification and number.
In this article, you will see everything you need to know about the certified Canadian immigration consultant list.
The Need For A Certified Canadian Immigration Consultant List
Those who are new to visa applications are quick to trust any consultant. The lack of scrutiny sounds like good business to some. But, the absence of scrutiny or verification encourages fake consultancies to operate.
The rampancy of fake immigration consultants caught the attention of various Canadian agencies. One was Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). In 2019, the IRCC has announced a series of reforms to protect consumers.
These reforms included stricter oversight of certified immigration professionals. The announcement also emphasized the importance of investigating fraudulent practices. At the heart of all of these announcements was consumer protection.
Part of protecting consumers was providing a way to check immigration professionals. With this goal in mind, the IRCC and the ICCRC have created a solution.
This solution comes in the form of the certified Canadian immigration consultant list.
The consultant list is also the public ICCRC register. The register contains information on all ICCRC members. The public register allows consumers to verify immigration consultants. Doing so can protect clients from fraud and scams.
In short, the rise in immigration fraud engenders the need for the consultant list. The list is open to the public, giving information on RCICs and RISIAs.
How Can Clients Use The Certified Canadian Immigration Consultant List?
As mentioned earlier, the certified Canadian immigration consultant list is open to the public. The list is comprehensive in its contents. All relevant information on RCICs and RISIAs is on the register.
On the site, consumers or clients can find the public register. The public register is mentioned on numerous websites. These include those of numerous immigration consultancy firms. The IRCC also directs prospective visa applicants to the ICCRC’s public register.
Clients can simply go to the ICCRC’s website. Once there, clients will see two options:
One for registered international student immigration advisers (RISIAs). And, another for regulated Canadian immigration consultants (RCIC). The option for RCICs dominates much of the site.
Clients will find the certified Canadian immigration consultant list resourceful. The list proves its resourcefulness in three ways:
By Using The Certified Canadian Immigration Consultant List To Search For An RCIC
If a client does not know of any RCICs, he or she can use the register. The register grants access to itself through an online form.
Clients can fill up whatever part of the online form they can. Often, clients in Canada seek RCICs or RISIAs near their location. In these scenarios, clients can type their city or province. The result of the search is a list of RCICs or RISIAs near their areas.
If clients know the name of a consultant, they can use the register to search the consultant’s whereabouts. In particular, a client can see where an RCIC or RISIA practices.
By Using The Certified Canadian Immigration Consultant List To Confirm The Status Of An RCIC Or RISIA
At times, clients will come into contact with fake immigration consultants. These fake consultants will often claim to be members of the ICCRC.
Taking a fraudulent consultant on his or her word can be precarious. To prevent risks, a client can use the RCIC register to verify the consultant.
On the register, a client can type the name of a consultant. If no such name appears, the consultant is not a member of the ICCRC. Right away, the lack of membership should be a red flag for any consumer.
On the other hand, if the name appears, a client can hire a consultant.
Other than the legitimacy of a consultant, the status is also accessible. Not only should an RCIC’s name appear on the certified Canadian immigration consultant list. He or she should also be:
- Actively practicing
- In good standing with the ICCRC
- Not under investigation
- Not suspended
Alongside an RCICs name, his or her status is also present. Clients can see who is actively practicing or who is disbarred or suspended.
For Quebec’s list, immigration consultants with revoked recognitions appear on the very first page.
By Using The Certified Canadian Immigration Consultant List To Verify Affiliations
The ICCRC regulations have strict rules on affiliations.
RCICs or RISIAs should keep the Council informed of any changes. These changes can be anything, including their immigration firms.
Indeed, RCICs and RISIAs can associate themselves with more than one firm. Nonetheless, the Council needs to be informed of any changes to their affiliations. The firm of affiliation is one more piece of information a prospective client can check.
Quebec’s Certified Immigration Consultant List
Quebec’s immigration policies differ from that of Canada’s. Quebec differs in both its immigration policies and regulation.
Quebec has its own certified Canadian immigration consultant list. Inclusion in the list allows a professional to practice immigration consulting in the province.
Like Canada, Quebec founded its immigration consultant list to protect consumers. More specifically, the list also allows consumers to verify the status of immigration consultants. Quebec’s certified Canadian immigration list is not on the ICCRC site. Rather, it is on the provincial government’s site.
Inclusion in the list requires certain criteria to be met. These are Quebec’s requirements for immigration consultants:
Be In The ICCRC’s Certified Canadian Immigration Consultant List
The fundamental requirement is membership with the ICCRC.
ICCRC membership is the result of courses and exams on the Canadian immigration process. So, whatever knowledge one gains in general. This general knowledge is basic to specializing in Quebec’s immigration rules.
As well, membership implies good standing and active practice- two requirements for specializing in Quebec’s immigration rules.
Must Be Proficient In French
Indeed, there is nothing in Quebec’s regulations about speaking only French. But, French is a requirement for the necessary tests. As well, there are rules on the level of French skills.
One of the conditions for recognition is an advanced level of French language usage. French language skills can be proven with a variety of tests. Some of the most common are:
The minimum score is set at NCLC 8. In other words, the scores of the French test should match this language benchmark.
French is also a requirement for Quebec’s test on immigration rules. This test is administered by Quebec’s Ministry of Immigration.
Pass Quebec’s Exam On Immigration Rules
Quebec’s Ministry Of Immigration administers the examination on immigration rules. All immigration professionals in Quebec need to pass this exam.
Passing the examination leads to inclusion in Quebec’s immigration consultant register. The examination covers nine different topics. These topics are about immigration and Quebec’s society, in general.
The topics in the exam are:
- The Canada-Quebec Accord
- The Constitution Act of 1867 (section 95)
- An act involving Quebec’s autonomy (on immigration)
- An act involving Quebec’s selection of foreign nationals
- Quebec’s immigration procedures
- Quebec immigration
- Quebec immigration consulting practice
- Regulations for brokers and companies
- Quebec’s societal values
As mentioned earlier, a high level of proficiency in French is a must. The reason for this is that the examination is offered only in French.
Without a high level of French skills, a test-taker would not be able to do well on the examination.
Quebec’s Certified Canadian Immigration Consultant List: Limited Validity And Renewal
Passing the Ministry’s examination leads to recognition to practice. Immigration consultants can practice in Quebec after receiving this recognition.
Recognition by the Ministry has a validity period. More specifically, recognition is valid for up to two years. This means that an immigration consultant in Quebec would need to renew his or her recognition every two years.
Here are the steps to renewal:
Step 1: Fill Out The Application Form And Pay The Renewal Fee
The application form is on the Quebec local government site. Once filled, the form must be signed.
Currently, the fee costs about 1,384.00 CAD.
Step 2: Provide Documents That Prove Your Company Or Business’ Registration
By law, all businesses in Quebec need to be in the Quebec Business Register (REQ). For business renewal, one of the following may be presented:
- Company profile
- Copy of any correspondence with a REQ representative
But, immigration consultants may be employees. As employees, consultants may present:
- An employment certificate issued by the firm
- Any copy of a recent correspondence with a REQ representative
Step 3: Prove Inclusion In The ICCRC’s Certified Canadian Immigration Consultant List
Inclusion in the certified Canadian immigration consultant list is a sign of good standing.
Documents that can prove good standing and membership can be:
- Printed membership file
- Any copy of correspondence with an ICCRC representative
Step 4: Mail The Documents 60 Days Before The Date Of Expiration
Applicants for renewal must mail the request for renewal to the address below:
Registration management and benchmarking
Recognition Immigration Consultants
285, rue Notre-Dame West, 4th floor
Montreal (Quebec) H2Y 1T8
How To Stay Active On The Certified Canadian Immigration Consultant List
Whether in Canada or Quebec, immigration consultants need to have active statuses. As mentioned earlier, just being on the public RCIC register will not suffice. An RCIC or RISIA needs to be active.
Here are the ways to remain active on the certified Canadian immigration consultant list:
Maintain Good Standing With The ICCRC To Remain In The Certified Canadian Immigration Consultant List
Maintaining good standing involves following the ICCRC’s regulations and code of ethics.
Good standing is vital. After all, anything less can suspend an RCIC or RISIA. Hence, an immigration professional needs to handle cases ethically and professionally.
Inform The ICCRC Of Any Changes
The ICCRC’s immigration consultant register contains valuable information. This information needs to be up to date. Practicing without informing the Council of any changes can destroy the list’s purpose.
Hence, it is best to ensure that all current information remains consistent with the information on the register.
Changes can be in:
- Affiliation or employment
- Attendance (i.e., leave or vacation)
- Civil status (for those taking their spouse’s family name)
- Contact details
Final Word: The Importance Of The ICCRC’s Certified Canadian Immigration Consultant List
Immigration consultant fraud remains present. Thus, the need for a public register cannot be overlooked.
The certified Canadian immigration consultant list is a treasure trove of information about RCICs. Not only is it useful in preventing fraud. It is a valuable resource for clients. It can help clients seek and verify RCICs and RISIAs.
As an immigration professional, it is your responsibility to remain on the list. By maintaining good standing and updating the Council, your name will be among many on the certified Canadian immigration consultant list.