Cancel an immigration representative in Canada

Cancelling an immigration representative in Canada

Oliver, a New Zealand citizen, is unhappy with his immigration lawyer. He wants to cancel his immigration representative in Canada and continue the application himself. However, Oliver is not sure how to handle this matter. Considering that his application is active, he doesn’t want to ruin anything. Luckily Oliver and his lawyer have agreed to terminate the retainer agreement. Nonetheless, he doesn’t know how to inform the immigration authorities.

Who is an immigration representative?

Generally speaking, you may hire a paid or unpaid immigration representative. An unpaid representative could be anybody, but the most common groups are:

Of course, authorized professionals may also represent you for a fee. Subsection 91(2) of IRPA lists authorized immigration representatives as follows:

  • Lawyers who are members of at least one of the provincial law societies in Canada
  • Paralegals in Ontario only (because they are members of the Law Society of Ontario)
  • Members of the Chambre des notaires du Québec (i.e., notary publics in Quebec)
  • Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC) or rather members of the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC)

I have another article that gives you access to the licensing bodies. Of course, by contacting those regulators, you may investigate the membership status of an immigration representative. Do not hire unauthorized representatives!

Considerations before cancelling an immigration representative

When you hire a representative, you sign a retainer or service agreement. Please read it carefully before discharging them. Furthermore, consult a legal professional to understand the consequences of breaking the contract. Another issue is ensuring you can continue the application on your own. Of course, if you intend to hire someone else, ensure they are competent enough to continue the process.

I am not a lawyer, so I cannot offer advice on contracts. However, as an immigration consultant with 12 years of experience, I merely share my experience dealing with thousands of retainer agreements and observing how matters have evolved or deteriorated for other colleagues. Please take precautionary steps to avoid or at least mitigate future problems.

Switching representatives

By hiring a new representative, they will take the necessary steps to replace your previous representative. You usually sign a Use of a Representative (IMM 5476) form. They will then send the form to IRCC or link your application to their IRCC account. IRCC only accepts one representative at a time. Therefore, by introducing a new representative, you are automatically cancelling the other immigration representative.

Filling out IMM 5476 to cancel a representative

If you are not hiring a new representative, download the latest version of IMM 5476. Continue with the following steps:

  1. Use the latest version of Adobe Reader to open the form. Of course, you may download a copy from their website. If you have the latest version of Adobe Acrobat, you may also use that one.
  2. Use a desktop or laptop computer. Cell phones are hardly good options for filling out PDF files.
  3. Select “cancelling the appointment of a representative” on the first page.
  4. Enter your information under Section A. However, if you do not know your visa office or your UCI, you may skip questions 3 and 4.
  5. Do not fill out section B.
  6. Enter the information of the representative you are cancelling under section C.
  7. Print out the form.
  8. Sign and date section D. Make sure to use a blue or black pen. Moreover, sign the form manually, not digitally. IRCC has recently shown flexibility in digital signatures, but it is in your best interest not to risk it.
  9. Scan all the pages of the form into a single PDF file.

How to inform IRCC about cancelling an immigration representative

When you have the signed IMM 5476, you may link the application to your IRCC online account to cancel the appointment of your immigration representative. Visit the following link for more information.

You may submit the form via the IRCC web form if you do not have an online account. I have explained the new version of the form in another article. However, since that web form is still in beta mode, you may use the old version of the form by following these steps:

  1. Click this link to open the IRCC web form.
  2. Click Tell Us More.
  3. Select “Yes.”
  4. If you know the visa office in charge of your application, select “Yes,” but if you do not know which office is in charge or if you are in doubt, select “No.”
  5. Click “Go to Web form.”
  6. Please select the options as shown in the image and fill out the text box with something similar to what I have shown in the image. Of course, you may add more information.
  7. Enter your personal information and select “Applicant” under the Enquirer Information section.
  8. Select the consent box and then click “Next.”
  9. Select “Yes” to show you want to upload a file.
  10. Upload the duly signed Use of Rep form (IMM 5476). Of course, the file size must be under 2 MB. You may also add other documents. However, each document must be under 2 MB, and the total file sizes must be under 3.5 MB.
  11. Click “Submit.”
  12. You need to confirm your date of birth and email address.
  13. If successful, you will see a message like this.

An alternative to cancelling an immigration representative.

Sometimes your representative does not communicate well. Therefore, you are not aware of the progress of your application. In these situations, you may directly contact IRCC and ask about your application’s status or hire another person to assist you. If you choose the latter, instead of hiring that person as your representative, you may fill out and submit IMM 5475 (Authority to Release Information). You may submit the form via the IRCC web form. However, please do not link the application, as it will cancel your immigration representative.

Taking this option keeps your current representative on file. However, it will also allow another person to seek information about your case.

Let us help!

If you are contemplating cancelling your immigration representative, book a consultation session with me first. I will listen to you and offer immigration advice. This could help you avoid many complications. Of course, you need to talk to a licensed lawyer for legal advice about your contract. Please fill out our assessment form or contact form for other immigration-related matters.

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    Al Parsai

    This article has been expertly crafted by Al Parsai, a distinguished Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) hailing from vibrant Toronto, Canada. Al's academic achievements include an esteemed role as an adjunct professor at prestigious Queen's University Law School and Ashton College, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University. A respected member of CICC and CAPIC organizations, Al's insights are further enriched by his experience as the dynamic CEO of Parsai Immigration Services. Guiding thousands of applicants from over 55 countries through the immigration process since 2011, Al's articles offer a wealth of invaluable knowledge for readers.