Once you have made the decision to enter Canada as a student, worker or permanent resident you are faced with choices and hurdles. One of the most important decisions after you choose to re-locate is how you will proceed. Canada has a number of options available to potential immigrants and navigating the information can be overwhelming. There is no requirement to retain an Authorized Representative for any Canadian immigration applications; however, an Authorized Representative could save you time and money.
If you choose to hire an Authorized Representative to assist you with the Canadian immigration process, he or she must be one of the following:
- Lawyer or paralegal who is a member in good standing of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society;
- Notary who is a member in good standing of the Chambre des notaires du Québec; or
- Citizenship or immigration consultant who are members in good standing of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council.
Choosing who to use as an Authorized Representative is a big decision. Your first step is to ensure the person you wish to retain meets one of the above criteria. Secondly, do some research to be sure your potential Representative is knowledgeable about the area of immigration that applies to your specific case. Because there are numerous paths in Canadian immigration combined with constantly changing law and regulations, it is important that you are represented by someone who keeps their knowledge current.
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) must constantly upgrade their knowledge to remain in good standing with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). The ICCRC is a regulatory body put in place to protect consumers. Moving to a new country is a big decision, make sure you give yourself the best start and do some research first. You can verify a lawyer through the respective law society website and an RCIC through the ICCRC website.