Anyone that wishes to immigrate to Canada will need to use the services of a Canada PR consultant. An immigrant consultant or lawyer is vital in choosing the right immigration pathway and assisting you with your application.
There are many options out there if you are seeking an immigration consultant. Surrey alone has numerous immigration consultants and agencies to choose from. However, some of these may be fake consultants posing as legitimate ones.
This guide will help you distinguish between a real immigration lawyer and a fake one. Let’s start by learning about the drawbacks of using a phony immigration consultant.
Why You Should Avoid Using a Fake Immigration Consultant
Placing your trust in a fake immigration consultant can have grave consequences. These “professionals” won’t be up to date with the latest immigration programs and are likely to botch your application. This could result in your Canadian immigration application being rejected. If your application is rejected, you may need to wait for several months before you are eligible to apply again.
In some cases, a bad application may even get you barred from applying for Canadian immigration.
Spotting a Fake Immigration Consultant
Fake immigration consultants use many tactics to pose as legitimate immigration consultants or lawyers. You should keep a lookout for certain red flags when choosing one of these professionals. This includes:
Registered immigration consultants and lawyers in Canada must meet certain qualifications if they wish to refer to themselves as such. Consultants that do not meet these requirements aren’t legally permitted to use such titles.
Instead, they may use terms such as “migration agent,” “migration consultant,” “immigration agent,” “immigration specialist,” or “immigration advisor.” Some even refer to themselves as “immigration professionals.”
These terms are meant to sound convincing, but you should avoid falling for them. A legitimate immigration consultant or lawyer will be a part of the Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) group or will use the title “Canadian Immigration Lawyer“. You should also note that Canadian paralegals are allowed to represent you at Immigration, Refugees, and Citizen Canada (IRCC) hearings, but they aren’t allowed to represent you on your immigration application.
Membership with ICCRC or Canadian Bar Association
As mentioned above, a legitimate immigration consultant will be registered with the CRCIC or the Canadian Bar Association. Before using services from any immigration consultant or lawyer, it is vital to check that they are indeed registered with the appropriate organization.
You can check if your immigration consultant is legitimate by visiting the CRCIC searching for them in their list of registered consultants.
Similarly, you can verify if your immigration lawyer is a legitimate lawyer by checking for their registration with the British Columbia Law Society.
Difficulty Reaching the Consultant or Lawyer After Paying
Many fake immigration consultants and lawyers typically run their operations for a short amount of time. This is because they understand their fraudulence will be uncovered soon. For this reason, it’s not uncommon for these “professionals” to cut off contact with their clients after receiving their payment.
If you are a prospective immigrant that finds themselves in such a situation, you will find it difficult to contact your lawyer or to follow up with them. These fake consultants and lawyers often omit key contact details such as phone numbers or email addresses when they are hired.
So if you intend to hire a legitimate lawyer or consultant, you should make sure they have provided you with their correct contact information or multiple ways to reach them.
Accepting Pay Only if Your Application Is Approved
Legitimate immigration consultants and lawyers will charge a fee for their services. However, you may come across certain professionals who state that they will charge you only if your application is approved. This can seem like an attractive offer as it would give the consultant an incentive to optimize your application. However, this “contingency billing” practice is a huge red flag and indicates that the consultant or lawyer is fake.
In fact, the ICCRC’s code of ethics explicitly forbids such practices. You should watch out for such practices when discussing fees with someone posing as an immigration consultant or lawyer.
Vague Contract With Unclear Terms
Fake immigration consultants and lawyers often try confusing clients using complicated jargon or vague terms. It would help if you looked through the professional’s contract or terms of service carefully before signing up for their services.
As a good rule of thumb, you ensure that they clearly outline their fees and when they must be paid. They should also include information about the full list of services they provide, as well as how to proceed if you have a dispute with your chosen representative.
You will also be asked to sign the contract at the end if it is legitimate. This is a key part of the consultant or lawyer hiring process, so you should be wary of any professional that does not ask you to sign.
Why Choose Elaar Immigration Consulting?
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to spot a fake immigration lawyer or immigration consultant. Vancouver is home to many immigration consultants and agencies, so you should vet each one thoroughly before signing on for their services.
If you require legitimate and trustworthy immigration consultant’s services, please contact Elaar Immigration Consulting. Our team is led by Keshav Sharma, a regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant with extensive immigration and business management experience. Start your immigration journey the right way with Elaar Immigration Consulting.