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!
- The definition of immigration services
- Who may offer these services?
- Check out the legitimacy of a firm
- Other useful steps
- Immigration courts
- What about Parsai Immigration Services?
An immigration service could cover any of the following:
- Offering advice on any of the following matters. Of course, advice also means filling out the forms or reviewing documents.
- Representing clients to the immigration authorities (i.e., IRCC and CBSA)
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.
The immigration and citizenship laws accept the following entities as authorized service providers. We also call these entities authorized paid representatives:
- Immigration lawyers who are members in good standing of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society
- RCICs: Members in good standing of CICC (College of Immigration Consultants of Canada), formerly ICCRC
- Paralegals who are members of the Law Society of Ontario (LSO)
- Notary publics who are members of Chambre des notaires du Québec
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.
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.
- Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants – CICC
- Quebec consultants
- Quebec notary publics
- Provincial bar associations (for provincial lawyers)
- Territorial law societies (for territorial lawyers)
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.
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.
If you are facing an immigration hearing, consider hiring a professional. However, make sure they have a proper licence.
- For Federal Court hearings, you may only hire a lawyer. Do not hire immigration consultants or paralegals.
- For IRB hearings, you may hire an immigration consultant or a lawyer. However, they must be in good standing. Also, starting from July 2021, only specific immigration consultants may offer IRB services.
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.
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. Also, David Akinmoluwa, who practices under Parsai Immigration Services, is a member of CICC. David operates in Edmonton, Alberta.
If you are willing to hire us, fill out our assessment form. Alternatively, you may book a consultation session with Al Parsai. To hire David, contact him directly. 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.
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.