The internet is saturated with tons of immigration consultancies offering a range of different immigration solutions from recruitment services to assessments and legal advice. Some of these consultancies can be trusted, but there is a vast majority that you simply cannot trust.
So how do you tell the trusted from the scam consultants?
Trusted agencies usually have an Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) seal on their website. This means that the site either has:
Members in good standing who are actively practicing as a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC). They are an authorized representative within the meaning of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada) and the Regulations and may represent a client before Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Agents affiliated with a specific practicing consultant under whose supervision they are working.
Are immigration consultancies allowed to charge fees for their services?
Yes. It is a standard procedure for any agent or member to bill you for their time and effort. After all, they are qualified individuals who are rendering a legal and authorized service to you. It is, however, important to be aware that they are bound by a strict code which has been put in place to protect you as the immigrant.
For your information, here are the regulations regarding retainers and fees (Article 12):
12.1. Content of Retainer Generally
The ICCRC member must provide the Client with a written retainer agreement or engagement letter
12.1.1 clearly states the matter and scope of services for which the ICCRC member is retained;
12.1.2 fully discloses
(i) the fees payable, such fees to be fair and reasonable in the circumstances;
(ii) the disbursements to be charged;
(iii) the payment terms and conditions:
- a) by the hour or
- b) flat fee billing with payment by milestones or by predetermined date;
(iv) schedule of payments.
12.1.3 identifies the nature but not the amount of any other remuneration, such as but not
limited to a referral fee, being or to be received by the ICCRC member in connection with
12.1.4 discloses that the ICCRC member is a member of ICCRC; and
12.1.5 provides sufficient details as to how to contact ICCRC.
12.2. Specific Content of Retainer
The retainer agreement shall provide a written complaint procedure regarding Client fee disputes, the
failure to respond to requests for information, and the return of Client’s property. The retainer
agreement shall provide that any complaint be made in writing to the ICCRC member and that the
member will address the concerns of the Client within a specified time period.
CODE OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS 2015-001
©2016 IMMIGRATION CONSULTANTS OF CANADA REGULATORY COUNCIL
CONSEIL DE RÉGLEMENTATION DES CONSULTANTS EN IMMIGRATION DU CANADA
If you feel that you are being billed unfairly, you need to report it to the ICCRC by filing a complaint. *Please note that we are not affiliated with the Canadian Government. If you have been the victim of a scam or fraud, you should report it to the Canadian authorities or call: 1-888-502-9060.