Always use an authorised representative

Dear Mr Brown:

I am seeing a few advertisements on social media about jobs in Canada by working through overseas firms. I am a little sceptical since travel to Canada is restricted and parts of Canada are locked down during the pandemic. I want to know if such firms are legitimate.

– KP

Dear KP:

I receive many questions about overseas firms offering such services. My advice is always to use an authorised representative when dealing with immigration matters, especially now in these uncertain times of the pandemic.

The Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) is the regulatory body responsible for governing the conduct of immigration representatives. The Federation of Law Societies of Canada (FLSC) is the national coordinating body for provincial and territorial law societies in Canada. Together with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), these organisations help safeguard potential immigrants from unauthorised immigration representatives who pose a threat to the integrity of Canada’s immigration system.

Authorised immigration representative

When undertaking Canadian immigration matters, you should always receive Canadian immigration advice from an authorised immigration representative. Under Canadian law, only authorised immigration representatives can charge a fee to assist someone to apply for visas, permits, permanent residence and/or citizenship. Accordingly, local employment agencies (as well as travel agencies or education agents) in Jamaica must be authorised agents in order to provide any form of immigration advice. Otherwise, they are contravening the laws of Canada.

Code of Ethics

Authorised immigration professionals enter their profession with a standard level of knowledge in immigration. Moreover, they must follow the code of professional ethics that states an immigration professional must be honest with you and work within his/her abilities to handle your immigration case. If you are not sure about the status of an immigration professional, you may ask about an immigration practitioner’s membership standing.

Not licensed? Not legal!

Canadian Immigration Regulations prescribe which immigration representatives may (or may not) represent or advise for a fee or other consideration.

Examples of advice and representation would include:

• advertising that they can provide immigration advice for a fee;

• explaining and/or providing advice on someone’s immigration options;

• providing guidance to a client on how to select the best immigration stream;

• providing guidance on completing and submitting immigration forms, such as a visitor’s visa, work permit or study permit;

• representing a client in an immigration application or proceeding;

• making interventions on behalf of the applicant during processing; and

• requesting information from the embassy about the progress of the application.

An unauthorised representative is an individual or company who receives a fee for advising or representing a client on immigration matters, who are not members of the ICCRC or a law society. They are not permitted to provide any of the services outlined above.

Please visit JAMAICA2CANADA.COM for additional information on Canadian Permanent Residence programmes, including Express Entry, The Study & Work programme , visas or appeals, etc.

– Antonn Brown, BA, (Hons), LLB, MSc, RCIC, is an immigration counsel and an accredited Canadian education agent of JAMAICA2CANADA.COM—a Canadian immigration & education firm in Kingston. Send questions/comments to documents.jamaica2canada@gmail.com



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