Author: Al Parsai, LL.M, RCIC-IRB
Last Updated On: April 10, 2024

Offering immigration services: real or a scam?

You are in the process of immigrating to Canada. However, you wonder if the immigration service provider approaching you is real or a scam. This article helps you find the answer to this crucial question. Do not hire a person or a firm unless you read this article!

What is an immigration service?

An immigration service could cover any of the following:

However, our focus is on those entities that offer services for a fee or another form of compensation. Therefore, this article does not cover free services. Nonetheless, even if a service provider asks for favours instead of money, they must have a proper licence.

Who may offer immigration services in Canada?

The immigration and citizenship laws accept the following entities as authorized service providers. We also call these entities authorized paid representatives:

LSO paralegals may offer all different immigration services under the law. However, LSO has imposed many limitations on their practice. Consult with LSO for more information.

How to check the legitimacy of an immigration service provider?

The first step in verifying a service provider is to ensure they are an authorized paid representative. Of course, the first step is to ask them for their licence and credentials. Afterwards, double-check their claims with the appropriate entity. Here is a list of entities that you may contact.

These are the only reliable organizations you may contact. Do not contact other immigration firms. Moreover, please stay away from a firm that hesitates in sharing their licence information with you.

Other steps to take

Having a licence is the first step in providing immigration services. Nevertheless, it would be best if you considered other factors:

  • Reviews about the firm: Unfortunately, online reviews are not necessarily realistic. Therefore, take them with a grain of salt. However, if a firm primarily receives negative reviews, you may need to stay away from them.
  • Presence on the internet: Of course, presence on the internet does not equate to sound quality. However, what if a firm has little or no presence? It is reasonable to expect a firm to have an up-to-date website and social media activities. Consequently, look for the firm on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and other places. Of course, the absence from one or more media does not mean they are scammers.
  • Experience and knowledge: A licence on its own does not generate expertise. For example, a lawyer may be great in judicial review cases but terrible in TRV applications. Consequently, ask the firm and their clients about their areas of practice. Some of these firms publish articles or books to showcase what they know.
  • Building rapport: Contact the firm and see if you feel comfortable with them. Therefore, you may stay away from them if you cannot trust them. If you do not trust a firm does not make them a scam. However, hire a team only if you feel comfortable with them.

The previous bullet points are just some suggestions. Of course, the ultimate decision-maker is you. Make up your mind patiently and wisely.

What about immigration courts?

If you are facing an immigration hearing, consider hiring a professional. However, make sure they have a proper licence.

Of course, the requirements constantly change. Therefore, consult the court websites as well. Both IRB and the Federal Court have their websites. However, it may be challenging to locate the guidelines for finding a practitioner.

Does Parsai Immigration Services have proper licences?

Al Parsai is a member of CICC. He has practiced as a licensed practitioner since Jan 17, 2011. Moreover, Al manages our main office in downtown Toronto. While CICC does not offer licences to corporations, they recognize the practitioners who manage those organizations.

If you are willing to hire us, fill out our assessment form. Alternatively, you may book a consultation session with Al Parsai. Regardless, you may fill out the following form to contact us.

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    Would you please fill out our free assessment form if you wish to visit or move to Canada? We will review it for free, but we will contact you only if we find an opportunity for you. Alternatively, you may book a consultation session. Consultation sessions are not free, but you will receive formal immigration advice from a licensed practitioner.

    Al Parsai, LLM, MA, DTM, RCIC
    Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
    Adjunct Professor – Queen’s University – Faculty of Law
    Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
    Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

    Fill our Free Canada Immigration Assessment Form in your language!

    This article provides information of a general nature only. Considering the fluid nature of the immigration world, it may no longer be current. Of course, the item does not give legal advice. Therefore, do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. Consequently, no one could hold us accountable for the content of these articles. Of course, if you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. Alternatively, if you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment.

    The characters and places in the articles:
    All the characters and locations in the articles are fictional, unless otherwise clearly stated. Therefore, any resemblance in names, dates, and places is coincidental.

    Important Notes:
    For our official addresses, trust this website only. We currently do not have offices outside Canada. Therefore, anyone who claims to be our agent is committing fraud. Also, note that we do not issue any work permits or study permits or similar documents. The government of Canada has the sole authority to issue such material.

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    Al Parsai, LL.M, RCIC-IRB

    Al Parsai is 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 (Osgood Hall Law School). A respected member of CICC, 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.