Protect Your Immigration Rights Part 2

Is your immigration consultant authorized?


This is a continuation of our previous blog discussing Bill C-35, “Do You Know Your Immigration Rights?” The previous post describes who the Bill affects and how you can find an authorized consultant.


In order to protect the best interests of international students, foreign workers, and those wishing to immigrate to Canada, the federal government instituted Bill C-35 in 2011 as an amendment to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).


These changes greatly changed the landscape of immigration advising in Canada, as only licensed consultants are allowed to provide services to those seeking assistance. Here we explain those services in detail and why it’s important to seek authorized assistance.


What services count as “consulting”?


Being charged a monetary fee or any type of payment for services related to your immigration to Canada are classified as consulting under Bill C-35—this means any services before, during, or after your application process.


Take, for example, our standard services at Canada Citizenship Lawyer: we provide advice on your immigration options beforehand, assist you in submitting your application forms, and offer our support after applying. These services may only be offered by a certified representative.


Why should I find a certified immigration lawyer?


There are many immigration consultants that claim to look after your best interests, but only a lawyer can represent you in federal court in matters relating to the Citizenship Act.


Immigration lawyers also receive specialized training related to your application process. Since Citizenship and Immigration Canada(CIC) only communicates with authorized individuals, allowing Canada Citizenship Lawyer to assist you increases your chances of success and can reduce the waiting period.


The Canadian federal government takes fraudulent immigration consulting very seriously, with unauthorized consultants punishable by hefty fines and prison sentences.


Who can represent me to the CIC?


The CIC will only communicate with authorized individuals, so be careful who you designate to act on behalf of you while applying. Appointing an unauthorized person as your representative could result in extensive delays in the process.


If you have recently discovered your representative is not licensed to provide you with immigration assistance, or you are wishing to change representatives for another reason, be sure to notify the CIC immediately to avoid complications.


What else should I do to know my consultant is authorized?


To avoid further delays, find an authorized consultant as soon as possible to replace your previous representative. You can check with the Law Society of each province to make sure a firm is in good standing.


Yuri (Ravneet) Ahuja of is an Associate lawyer at King Sutton Sadlemyer and is a member in good standing with the Law Society of British Columbia, Canada. We are happy to provide further information on our authorization in providing you quality immigration assistance. For more information or to get started today, contact us for to arrange a consultation.