Only seek Canadian immigration advice from an authorized representative

We have come across many people in the UK who have unfortunately taken Canadian immigration advice from unauthorized agents who falsely claim to be members of the ICCRC or a Canadian Law Society.

The consequences of seeking Canadian immigration advice from an unauthorized agent

Instructing an unauthorized agent can have dire consequences. These include:

  1. No insurance cover in the event that your file is refused due to their negligence,
  2. Automatic refusal of your file for misrepresentation due to failure to submit a Use of Representative Form, 
  3. Not knowing the status of your application or appeal as unauthorized agents are not allowed to liaise with the Canadian authorities on your behalf.
  4. They will qualify you for a visa even when your chances of approval are almost zero just to make sure you part with your hard earned money.
  5. They provide guarantees and make inflated promises to give you “peace of mind”.
  6. They do not provide you with an honest assessment of your chances of securing a Canadian visa and tell you that the Canadian immigration process is simple.

Who is authorized to provide Canadian immigration advice and representation?

Only the following types of representative can advise you in connection with a Canadian immigration application or appeal. These are:

  • Lawyers and paralegals who are members in good standing of a Canadian law society,
  • Quebec notaries, and
  • Immigration consultants who are members in good standing of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC).

These people are called “authorized” representatives.

CIC will not deal with representatives who charge for their services and are not members of one of the above groups.

The Use of Representative Form (IMM5476)

To protect your privacy, you need to give written consent to CIC before we share any of your personal information with your consultant, lawyer, or other representative, paid or unpaid.

You must use the Use of a Representative (IMM 5476) form to give your consent. Failure to provide this form and ensure its contents are accurate will result in an automatic refusal of your application for misrepresentation.

Recently a member of the public attended an interview at the Canadian Embassy in London, England. The first question they were asked was “Did anyone assist you with your immigration application?” They replied that they had instructed a firm in London and paid £2,500. The Canadian immigration officer asked why a Use of Representative Form had not been submitted with the application to which there was no reply.

The reason why this form was not used was because the firm concerned were not members of the ICCRC or a Canadian Law Society. They had submitted the application as if the applicant had applied for a visa directly without seeking any assistance. No covering letter, no legal submissions, no contact information for a lawyer on any of the application forms and no Use of Representative form.

The application was refused for misrepresentation and the person was given a ban on entering Canada for a minimum of five years.

Once you have chosen a representative

  • Make sure you get a written contract. Read it carefully before you sign it.
  • Make sure it lists all the services the representative will give you and clearly states the fee.
  • Ensure you know your representatives regulatory body details (ICCRC, Canadian Law Society etc.).
  • Ensure you know their license number.
  • Do not sign blank application forms.
  • Do not sign forms or documents unless you can read them or have had them translated.
  • Make sure to get copies of any documents that the representative makes for you.
  • Any time you pay them, get a signed receipt.
  • Make sure your representative updates you on your application.
  • You can instruct a new representative or change your current representative at any time.
  • If you instruct a representative, you must tell CIC right away by sending in an IMM 5476 Form.
  • You must give your representative’s name and contact information on your application form, whether they are paid or not. If your representative says you do not have to, they are wrong.
  • If you choose a paid representative who is not a member of one of the designated bodies mentioned above, CIC will return your application to you.

Sterling Immigration is authorized to provide Canadian Immigration Advice

Sterling Immigration are members of the ICCRC. Our license number is R507916. We are also members of the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants.

Sterling Immigration was recently rated in the top 3 Canadian immigration law firms in Vancouver for 2015 by the prestigious Georgia Straight Magazine, Canada’s largest urban weekly.

When Seeking Canadian immigration advice it is important to ensure that your representative is qualified and regulated. Failure to do so may have dire consequences.