Finding the appropriate immigration consultants is a very important step when considering moving abroad. It is a very helpful service if you feel overwhelmed by the huge amount of paperwork for your application. However, you need to be careful with which immigration consultant you choose as many scammers are profiting from this industry.
You must have many questions about your application process that need answering. “What are the procedures that I need to go through?”, “ Who should I go to?”, “What are the red flags to avoid?”, or “What is an RCIC registration number?”. Take a deep breath and don’t panic. We will answer all necessary questions down below.
Immigration Consultants RCIC registration number
The College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC) has a list of registered immigration consultants with their respective registration numbers. This number is specific to each consultant, and you can use it to assess their status in the college.
But what are RCICs?
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants or RCICs are representatives authorized by the CICC.
This means that they have licenses that allow them to check your visa application, submit it in your stead and give you necessary advice throughout your application process. Only registered consultants can ask you to pay fees in exchange for their services. It is also possible that the IRCC refuses your application because of a paid, unlicensed representative. Therefore, it is crucial to check if your consultant is authorized before using their services.
Is the RCIC in the College of Citizenship & Immigration Consultants?
Your consultant must be on the list of the College of Citizenship and Immigration as proof of their registration. Their credentials act as proof of their genuine services and of their knowledge of the different legal aspects of immigrating to Canada.
The college counted 7,985 RCICs, with 220 of them being overseas, at the end of last June alone. Moreover, the College gives programs and holds exams to become an RCIC.
For example, if you want to check if your immigration consultant is registered, go to the CICC website and type in their name or surname. You can also choose to scroll down the list of consultants in alphabetical order.
However, only immigration consultants with the “Active” status can offer advice or services. Be careful to not confuse this with “Active- Practice Restricted” as the CICC has temporarily restricted these licensees from operating. This may be due to a disciplinary decision or an interim order by the CICC Discipline Committee.
Is the RCIC associated with a reputable immigration company?
There are indeed several reputable and respectable immigration companies that employ RCICs to offer consultations if you seek to migrate to Canada.
There are even excellent RCICs who started their agencies to offer their services to the public at large. If you are unsure of whom to choose, look out for recommendations for a good immigration representative.
Try asking the people around you. It could be family or friends who have already migrated to Canada. They will be able to recommend you the best immigration consultants based on their own experience with those agencies. Or, they may tell you who to avoid getting scammed because of their own unfortunate experience with them.
Book a Consultation with the Immigration Consultant and ask questions
When you have been able to find good recommendations, all there is to do is to get a consultation with them and ask questions. However, what questions are you going to ask? Here are some examples that you can use to facilitate your choice:
1. “What are the services you offer?”
With this question, you can understand the services and benefits you get by dealing with them rather than their competitors. You can assess their knowledge and advice regarding your application.
2. “How much do you charge for what we have discussed?”
Budgeting ahead of time will give you time to prepare for the total fees. You should also account for additional costs that may come along the way in your budget.
3. “Can I get some clarification about this?”
If you do not understand their advice or their contract, do not be afraid to ask them. You are paying the immigration consultant to answer your questions and concerns about the process. Make the most of your consultation.
Red flags to look out for
These are important to know to not get scammed. If these red flags apply to your situation, you can report them to the CICC.
Here are some examples:
They are vague or don’t answer your questions
True consultants will try to answer your questions with as many details as necessary. Therefore, if the consultant is not doing so, you would be right to feel that something is amiss.
They encourage you to put fake information in your application
No consultant should ever tell their clients to put information that is false in the documents. It is illegal and you could suffer serious consequences, such as not being allowed to apply ever again. In the best-case scenario, they would revoke only your application. However, it will be on your record and would cause complications for future applications.
They try to sell you dreams
Scammers know your end goal and will thrive on this idea to get your money. It is easy to fall into their traps if you are not careful. Many will give you false promises of fast application processing times and a 100% guarantee that your application will be accepted.
Fraud is a potential threat to your application. The IRCC cannot take action against scammers, as they are not present on the CICC list. However, it is illegal to provide false information in your application. Unregistered representatives act as false sources of information and can lead to the immigration office refusing or delaying your application.
Booking a consultation with an immigration consultant has several benefits. However, you should be very careful when choosing your representative and always double-check their credentials.