How to avoid immigration Scam | 7 checkpoints for Canada Immigration

To get help regarding immigration application, many people tend to hire consultants or representatives. However, not many know the rules and their rights such as how to protect them from fraud or misleading information, how to file complain against immigration consultant or its staff. Not surprisingly, all of these details are available on Canada Immigration website.

In this blog, I have tried to summarize information and have shared valuable links to guide you what steps applicants can take in some unwanted cases.

Check point-1

Who can act as Immigration Consultant / Lawyer

Any person or company, who represents your case on your behalf and have similar access to your confidential information sahred with CIC, is termed as Representative (or Consultant). However, not anyone you hired to look after your case may be an authorized representative. Representatives are categrized in two types based on the condition whether fee is charged for services or not i.e Paid Representatives and Unpaid representatives.

Authorized representative for Canada

Paid representatives 

Paid representatives are also called authorized representatives and generally includes (1) Lawyers and Paralegals, (2) notaries, (3) immigration consultants.

1. Lawyers and paralegals acting as representative should be member of Canadian Provincial Law Society and in good standing.

2. Notaries should be member of good standing of Chambre des notaires du Québec,

3. Immigration consultants should be member of Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC)

4. Hiring an unauthorized paid consultant or representative may reject your application for immigration. Therefore, applicants should verify authenticity of consultants through visiting above links.

Unpaid representatives

Includes friends, family members or third person who provide same consultation as paid representative but does not charge any fee. No authorization from above three societies is required for an unpaid representative.

Check point- 2

How to choose a representative

  1. Check whether your representative or consultant is authorized or not. If you pay for services, representative must be authorized for your application to proceed

  2. Inquire about his training, past experience, clients, history, credentials, registration with any of the societies mentioned above, references

  3. Discuss type of services to be expected and fee that they will charge for each step or process

  4. Ask for written contract or agreement categorically mentioning scope of work and fee

Checkpoint – 3

Appoint, Change or Cancel representative

Use of Representative

Know who authorized representative is from ICCRC website

Applicants need to fill Use a Representative Form to appoint, change or cancel representative services. The said from must be filled and sent through web form to CIC.


Checkpoint – 4

Option to use a representative

Candidates or applicants are not required to apply through representative for Canada Immigration. It is an option only. Each and every information is available on the CIC website, therefore, use of consultant is discretionary only.

Checkpoint – 5

Complaints against Consultant

Canada Immigration laws with respect to representative is strict and requires strong adherence to code of conduct by immigration consultants. Each year several cases are being dealt with that constitute complaints against consultants.

For each type of paid representative, applicants need to file a complaint to the respective regulatory body such as;


For Immigration consultant complaints should be lodged with the ICCRC. For lawyer or notary, applicants should contact Canadian Provincial Law Society Or Chambre des notaires du Québec

Checkpoint – 6

Beware of Fraud

For suspicion of Fraud or misleading information, applicant should contact through web form or notify to Canada Border Services agency

Follow the link to know how to protect from Fraud and to report Fraud.

Checkpoint – 7

General Guidelines to suspect fraud

Beware when

  • some one is pushing for urgent payment
  • not ready to document contract
  • making claims that are not supported by known facts
  • not providing response on timely basis
  • calls too frequent to hire their services
  • does not have permanent office or website

Immigration Blog