Immigration red flags

26.04.21 04:34 PM
Recently a colleague after reading one of my articles suggested that I write an article explaining what to look for when selecting an immigration professional to handle your case. Immediately I thought this was an excellent idea and one that could be of great service to those in the market.


I have entitled this article "Red Flags" to meaning there are certain circumstances that ought to cause you to pause. In the duration I have seen many of these Red Flags and hope that these may be of benefit to you.


There are some that feel that "caveat emptor" or let the buyer beware ought to apply and that the buyer is totally responsible for their choices and the consequences. I however feel a responsibility for both the good of the overall profession and in particular the good of my practice to help to recognize the Red Flags.


Firstly beware of anyone including immigration consultants and lawyers ,no matter how persuasive guaranteeing that they can get you your permanent residence. Why is this? The answer is actually quite simple, it is because someone else, namely a Visa Officer (VO) IRCC that makes that decision. Over and above this the VO makes this decision based on the balance of probability which essentially means there could be an element of subjectivity to their decision making.


Secondly take the time to ensure that the person you are going to engage is qualified. I have seen many examples of unqualified persons offering pricing which seems to good to be true. In the case of Immigration Consultants you can readily check to see of they are in good standing with the Regulatory Body, the ICCRC. You can do this by simply asking for the Immigration Consultants registration number. ICCRC registration also ensures that the Immigration consultant has successfully passed a recognized program of study, passed an Regulatory exam and carries the required practice insurance


Thirdly, have you been provided a Service/Retainer Agreement which is required by Canadian Immigration Standards. This agreement will detail exactly the immigration service you are requesting, the milestones associated with your application, the associated price and disclosure of IRCC application fees.


Fourthly, generally speaking beware if you are asked to pay the full application fee upfront. Typically in the Immigration business a retainer is requested to start the file with the balance tied to completion of milestones outlined in the Service Agreement


Fifthly beware if you are told that the process is a simple filing of forms and that you input is minimal. A well prepared application by an Immigration professional relies heavily on client input. You should have it no other way and insist on being involved in your file, it's your future.


Finally at the end of the day" Trust Your Instincts". As in many professions the relationship between client and Immigration Consultant can only work if based on trust.