What is an Immigration Consultant?
Canada offers a wide variety of immigration programs for people interested in relocating for business, work, tourism, or study. And entry requirements for each program vary based on each applicant’s reason for relocating, their qualifications, and circumstances. As a result, more people are relying on Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants to ensure their best chance of successful entry into Canada.
But what exactly is an Immigration Consultant? And what are the benefits of hiring one? Below we summarize the roles and responsibilities of an Immigration Consultant and how they can make your immigration process easier.
What are the Roles and Responsibilities of an Immigration Consultant?
In essence, a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) provides advice and representation on all Canadian immigration matters, assisting:
- Individuals interested in immigrating to Canada for business, work, travel, or study; and,
- Companies employing temporary foreign workers for their operations in Canada.
An Immigration Consultant’s responsibilities include:
- Assessing individual circumstances for immigration and advising on the best entry approach;
- Helping clients prepare and submit applications and supporting documentation;
- Communicating with government agencies, such as Service Canada and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, during the application process.
What are the Benefits of Hiring an Immigration Consultant?
1. In-Depth Knowledge and Expertise
Canadian immigration law is complex, with over 80 programs covering different types of immigration scenarios. Entry requirements vary dependent on each case and/or industry. Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants are knowledgeable in Canadian immigration law and will assess each case. They will then advise on the most appropriate entry category.
During the application process, a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant can assist with the following:
- Arranging translation services
- Filling out forms
- Obtaining the appropriate permits
- Ensuring applications are submitted correctly.
Some Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants also have expertise in immigration legislation related to specific industries. For example, immigration regulations applicable to offshore industries differ from that of onshore activity. As a result, a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant experienced in the offshore sector can ensure a greater chance of successful entry for vessel crews and other offshore personnel.
Furthermore, your Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant will monitor the status of your temporary foreign workers, advise when work permits or visas are about to expire, and guide you through the reapplication and/or extension process. They will also provide advice when changes to Canadian immigration programs have the potential to impact workers and your business operations.
2. Time & Cost Savings
Understanding the rules and regulations, managing the application process, and communicating with government departments requires a lot of time and resources. Most businesses do not have the in-house resources to manage these requirements.
Without the appropriate resources or expertise, managing immigration services can be risky. Choosing the wrong category or even using the wrong version of a form can lead to costly setbacks due to extended processing times, entry delays, or refusals. Seasonal industries (e.g. offshore oil and gas, marine, agriculture, etc.) are particularly affected due to the unique characteristics of these industries. For instance, short-term projects contribute to an influx of applications, causing even longer processing times by governmental agencies.
A licenced Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant can alleviate the stress of understanding the regulations and dealing with government procedures, allowing you focus on your core business.
3. Serve Your Best Interests
Relocating to Canada can be a long and challenging process. A Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant will assess cases on an individual basis and provide advice on the best entry option. Furthermore, they will ensure applications submitted are accurate and complete, on the correct forms, and with proper supporting documentation.
They will advise on important deadlines for submission and communicate with governmental departments, such as Service Canada and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, on your behalf to ensure any points of clarification are addressed.
They will make the immigration process as smooth and efficient as possible to ensure you have foreign workers in place to carry out your business operations and projects as planned.
How to Select a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Immigration fraud is a growing issue in Canada and there are many unauthorized representatives offering Canadian Immigration Consulting services. Therefore, when hiring a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, ensure you select a regulated, reputable professional.
1. Are They Regulated?
RCICs are licensed professionals who meet rigorous educational, professional and ethical standards. They are licensed and regulated through the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CCIC).
Therefore, when choosing an Immigration Consultant, first check The College’s Public Register of Canadian Immigration Consultants. The registry provides a list of all RCICs in Canada, as well as their designated Consultant Identification Number and status.
RCICs may also be members of the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants (CAPIC).
2. Are They Experienced?
Ensure the RCIC has experience in providing the services you require. Ask about their experience with the specific entry option you are pursuing (e.g., Temporary Foreign Worker Program, etc.) and experience in your particular sector/industry.
Choose PF Collins
Careful planning and an understanding of Canadian immigration regulations are key to avoiding delays, fines, or refusals of workers. Our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants can provide expert advice to make the immigration process as smooth and efficient as possible.