Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is on the case of warning the public against unscrupulous immigration consultants. Their website features a section that warns intending immigrants to Canada about fraudsters. They have launched an aggressive campaign warning against consultants promising 100% guarantees, fast tracking of cases, inside connections with the government etc.
We stand behind this initiative. For those who follow our blog, you know we have written extensively about unethical Immigration Consultants. Further the regulatory body, the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC) has been disbanded. They were largely ineffective at preventing fraud, even among their registered members in some cases.
It is clear that we have a problem on our hands. But regardless of what the government does, there is no better defence against being taken for a ride then doing your own homework; asking the right questions before signing a contract for immigration services and paying a deposit. We have writtien about what questions to ask a lawyer before hiring him or her. The same applies to a consultant.
You can prevent fraud. You can hire the right immigration representative for you. But the alternative is not to do it on your own. That approach, despite what the government will tell you, comes with its own set of risks including committing technical errors with your application that could result in long delays or refusals. A good representative will ensure that your application is handled properly.
There are so many aspects to preparing and filing an immigration application beyond what is disclosed on the government’s website. People relying on just what is stated online, I fear, have a false sense of security. Sadly, large part of our immigration practice is devoted to cleaning up messes from people trying to go solo thinking that if they just follow the instructions online, their cases will go smoothly. Unfortunately, this is usually not the case.
So the message is this: hire a representative for your immigration case. Just make sure it’s the right one.
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