With Canada’s aggressive campaign to recruit immigrants to fill its skills shortage and address its low birth rate, immigration consultants have been playing an important role in assisting applicants to realize their Canadian dream. But Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) deals only with authorized immigration representatives or consultants. To become an authorized immigration consultant, an individual has to follow certain procedures.
Enroll in an immigration program. Choose among the immigration programs offered by different schools such as Ashton College and University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Bow Valley College in Calgary, and Humber College and Seneca College in Toronto. The programs offered by these schools are recognized by the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants.
Apply for membership at the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC). You have to be a member of this society in order to be recognized by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) as a consultant. To become a member of CSIC, you must present to the society a copy of your graduation certificate and the original transcript of marks form the accredited school where you took your immigration course. You must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident to become a member. The CSIC also requires that you take an online pre-admission course, a language proficiency test and a membership examination. The CSIC website contains details on the forms to complete, documents to submit and the amount of membership fees.
Be a member in good standing at the law society in your province. If you are a lawyer, you don’t have to be a member of the CSIC. But to be recognized by the CIC, you must be a member in good standing of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society. If you are a notary, you must be a member in good standing of the Chambre des notaires du Québec.
- If you become a member of the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants, you subject yourself to its disciplinary authority. (Reference 2-about CSIC-rules of professional conduct)
- The CIC makes it clear that an applicant does not need an immigration consultant or a representative because all he needs are available on the CIC website for free. It is important to be aware of these guidelines from the CIC, so you can market your services accordingly.
- vancouver skylight 6 image by Patrick Scheffer from Fotolia.com