How to verify an immigration consultant and how to make sure you do not get scammed? – this question persists for years since there are many unauthorized consultants each of which offers a different immigration strategy and false promises that may make you want to reach your wallet. However, knowing authentic consultants from those who are not is key to saving your money and getting a fair chance to compete in the chance to be drawn for your chosen immigration pathway. 

So, knowing how to tell immigration consultants apart can save a lot of money and stress – in part because they are not free – they can charge upwards of CAD2,000 for your application, so knowing your Canadian immigration programs and working with an authorized immigration consultant is the best way to proceed. Not only do you make sure your money is put into a good place, but you also make sure that you actually do join an immigration pathway and have good chances of immigration. 

How Do I Verify A Canadian Immigration Consultant?

But still, when seeking advice for immigration, many realize that the Canadian immigration landscape is very … diverse. This should say that there are many immigration programs (over 80) and that the complex immigration program that you are about to join can mean all the difference between getting elected or not. In fact, the field of immigration consultants has flourished in the past several decades, exactly because people have difficulties finding the right program for them and making sure that they get to join the programs for legal immigration. 

With this in mind, it is easy to see why immigration frauds have flourished as well – the immigration journey is long and complex and many are willing to pay others to do this strenuous job. In fact, it goes without saying that you will need to verify your immigration consultant to see whether they work in accordance with immigration policies or not. There are several ways to do this: 

  • you need to make sure they are a member of the CICC
  • you need to look for the company email ID
  • look at the payment process: Is anything strange there? 
  • check their website for experience and success rate and then compare that to online reviews on different platforms
  • look out for attractive deals that they may be offering

Member of the CICC

The first thing to do to see if you are really working with professional consultants or a simple immigration blogger is to check whether they are a member of the CICC. A good immigration consultant will always be a member of the CICC (College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants). By doing this simple check, you can make sure that you do get your money’s worth, as the person will indeed be a professional consultant. 

You can do this by heading over to the CICC website and using the RCIC license check to see whether the consultant you have found online has a valid license or not. You can search by their CICC number or even by their first, last name, or their address. If you cannot find their CICC number or their data listed on the website, they are NOT a genuine immigration consultant and you should avoid working with them. Your journey of immigration costs a lot, and takes a long time, so working only with verified and registered Canadian visa experts will ensure you get the best advice you can get. 

Company Email ID

When checking immigration consultant credentials, it is a good idea to check their company email ID. Although there is not much that you can do here, a simple look at the email address can say a lot about the credentials of the consultant. If you are provided with a generic or fishy email address, ending in,, or similar, you may consider this to be a red fag. In addition to this, knowing what a good email address looks like is a great way to ensure you do not get scammed.

In the business world, it is a rule of thumb to have both your first and last name present in the email, followed by @ and the name of the company. is a much more professional email (and more trustworthy) than for example The same goes for the company website and the domain: why would you visit and trust if sounds more plausible and is registered in Canada (signalled by the .ca)?

Payment Process

While on the website, you should also check the payment process. Do they accept PayPal transfers only? Do they accept WireTransfer, MoneyGram, or a similar service only? This could be a red flag.

Namely, most businesses allow for online payments, which are easy to track on both sides. They also allow a variety of cards to be used, both debit and credit, Visas, Master Card, Maestro, etc. Having a variety of payment options is a good sign that someone has actually put effort into enabling these easy-to-track payment systems and this could be a potentially positive sign to look out for.

Check the Website

Furthermore, you need to check out the entire website. Does it look clumsy and unprofessional? Is this a simple WordPress site or a site with a skin that does not match the intent of a website? How about their about us page? Does it show data that seems realistic to you or does it show some generic information with no RCIC number anywhere on the website?

A good website will have a modest, but professional look. It will also provide you with all the necessary information that you can trust. It will also have been written in good English, showcasing that it was invested in, rather than paid for, and that it was done by an English (preferably Canadian) speaker. All of these things have to be taken into consideration as conpersons can get witty at times.

Experience and Success Rate

When checking the websites of different consultancy firms in search of the one you wish to work with, it is helpful to note that a reliable immigration consultant will have testimonials and their experience and success rate posted on their website. You will need to check all of these. They will need to have plenty of cases handled for immigration to Canada, preferably from your country of citizenship or current country of residence. 

You will also need to check for their success rate, to see how many of the cases they have handled were actually successful. When doing so, please beware that the success rate should be good, but if it is too high, this may signal that the office only takes up easy cases that are deemed for a successful immigration process. Likewise, lower rates may signal that the assistance of immigration consultants may not be of high quality, but also that they work with a lot of difficult cases – such as those that have been deemed inadmissible on criminal or health basis. 

Online Reviews

An experienced immigration consultant can help with your application from scratch and will be able to help against the rise in immigration. However, checking them online (outside their website) can also be a good way to see whether they are truly as good as they may say. In fact, their online reviews should be good and reliable, and you should also check social networks and recommendations by your friends. Seeking testimonials from people who worked for them can also help you better understand their immigration process handling. 

Look Out for Attractive Deals

Besides these, there are also other things to look out for. These include deals that sound too good to be true and making false promises to take money from people. Sure, the application fees and their own fees have to be paid for, but there is no suitable immigration program for you that promises that you can get to Canada no matter what. 

Likewise, if your consultant asks for debit or credit card details over the phone or sends constant emails with false reviews (that you cannot find online), you will be able to see that they are not the real deal. Remember that a good consultant will not make false claims, offer a great workplace post-immigration, or even make an ‘unbeatable’ arrangement of documents. 

Questions To Ask Before Choosing an Immigration Consultant or Lawyer in Canada

When applying for sponsorship to migrate to Canada, you may be all set. After all, you have somebody who leads the process from Canada itself, and this, in turn, means that there is less work to do for you. However, when looking for an immigration program, you may want to consider more programs than one, as a legitimate immigration process starts with you finding the right program for you. 

However, this can be difficult, and the consultant you have already found may still seem a bit shady. For this reason, here are a few questions that you can ask them to ensure that you get the best immigration consultant in Canada. 

Check out How to Check Your Canadian Immigration Consultant’s ICCRC Registration and Standing?:

What Is Your RCIC or Provincial Bar Association Registration Number? 

When looking for a reputable consultant, it is useful to know where and how to find one. After looking online, you should be able to filter out unrealistic promises and those that seem to have to good track record or ethical standards when it comes to their business conduct. A good consultant will also be able to present you with their RCIC number. 

An RCIC number is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant number and is used to check whether the consultant is really registered and does their business legally or not. You can use this number to check how well they stand with the CICC – College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants. When it comes to Canadian immigration lawyers, they need to be registered with their local bar association. 

It is important to note that just about anyone can represent you during your immigration process. However, immigration lawyers and consultants have to be registered and they are the only ones that can charge for their services. When it comes to Quebec, notaries can represent you as well and charge you. Besides this, anyone can help you out, with advice and guidance, but they cannot charge for those services. 

What Is the Total Cost of Your Services and How Do You Receive Payment?

A legitimate immigration consultant will also be able to provide the total cost of their services and will be able to provide you with a contract or an agreement that outlines their role and responsibilities, with a breakdown of the costs and the fees that you are expected to pay. Genuine consultants will be able to know what kind of program is the best option for you and what you are expected to do to help expedite the process. 

If you have business with a consultant that cannot help you make an informed decision, is unclear about their pricing and guarantees when it comes to the process of joining Canadian immigration services or if they do not seem very professional – this is probably because they are not. Avoid working with shady consultants who do not know their job and rely on good and proven websites and other online resources to find legitimate consultants.

What Is the Duration of Our Retainer/Contract?

Another warning sign is ‘trustworthy consultants’ that do not disclose the length of their contracts. Namely, this is a common way that some may cheat you into paying more than you should – by limiting their contract duration to just a part of the application process. 

For example, the Express Entry program has a processing time of about 6 months, and your application, once it is in the system (the candidate pool) will be valid for 12 months sharp. This means that you may need a total of 18 months for the application and the draw, excluding the submission of your paperwork. Some consultants may limit their contract length so that they only make the application for you. Once you are drawn, you may have to pay additional fees for them to submit your full application and further handle your application through the immigration services. 

To avoid this (as this is a known issue), you should be prioritizing contracts and consultants that offer contracts based on a complete service, rather than time-based contracts. You could also consider applying yourself – all you need to do is have a valid email and you could be joining permanent residents of Canada in a matter of months. 

Do You Provide Single Consultations?

Canadian immigration websites offer plenty of information on immigration to this country and Canadian immigration scams. This being said, a good consultant will be able to offer you a one-time consultation at least and they should be able to deduct this cost from the application fee for the program that you are eligible for. 

When it comes to the consultation time, it is usually spent reviewing your eligibility for a specific program, or it could simply be organized around you and the consultant reviewing your credentials and immigration needs to see what programs would be good for you. 

Fake immigration agencies usually do not offer this type of consultation, but not being able to speak with a person should be a big red flag. Counseling from immigration agencies should be done over Skype or phone, and sometimes through email, although genuine immigration agencies will generally want to see your face to make sure that the person submitting the documents and paying for their services is indeed the person they state they are. 

What Is the Best Immigration Program for Me and Why?

Fake immigration officers generally do not know that much about immigration programs or how you can handle your application. They are also unable to tell you which program would be the best for you or why the program they propose is the best option for your immigration. When it comes to an honest immigration consultant, they should be able to:

  • review your credentials and some documents
  • understand your position and the country you are applying from
  • understand your needs and your educational background that will help provide you with income once you are in Canada
  • provide an insight into different programs that the Canadian immigration services offer
  • will be able to choose the best immigration program for you based on all of the above
  • will be able to explain why that particular program is the best option for you 
  • will be able to handle the process for you without making wild promises or asking for too much money
  • will be able to provide you with a single fee or a fee breakdown 
  • will be able to conduct a consultation with you to present all of this information to you and help you on your immigration journey

What Are My Probabilities of Success in This Program?

The pivotal question of how high the probability is to actually succeed in an immigration program and land a high-paying job in Canada is one that is bound to be asked in any Canadian immigration agency. When it comes to the immigration authorities, however, their job is not open to the public. The entire system is transparent, but there is no way to know the chances of anyone’s success before an actual draw is made. 

For this reason, any immigration company that says ‘100%’ chance of success, ‘guaranteed acceptance’, or anything similar, especially in exchange for paying a higher fee is very likely to be a fake immigration agency. Rather than giving you pompous statements about your likelihood, they should rely on numbers in previous draw cycles and give an estimate or an informed likelihood of your success. 

Your immigration experience may be very different to that of other applicants and an official immigration agency should be able to propose ways to increase your CRS score or likelihood of getting accepted. Legitimate immigration agencies do not make any promises but rather guide you on the way to immigration to Canada while recognizing that it is your responsibility to provide truthful information and documents and to secure a high standing against other candidates. 

Are Members of My Family Eligible to Apply? Will Your Fees Increase if I Include Them?

Common knowledge about immigration laws and programs says that you should be able to immigrate together with your family in many programs. Legitimate immigration agencies need to ensure that you get professional immigration options for both you and your family. In fact, they should be able to present you with how the expenses will be increasing with each added family member and what you should do to ease that process, eg. provide more documents or settlement funds. If they do not know this, this is a big red flag. 

What Is CICC?

CICC is College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants. It is a college that gives licenses to Canadian immigration consultants and provides a uniform immigration experience and service across the country. There The college provides education and training to two types of immigration consultants: 

  1. RCIC – Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants 
  2. RISIA – Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors

While the former deal with your immigration status and help you join and succeed in Canadian immigration programs, the latter are focused on students, and all those pursuing international diplomas. Having CICC recognition and being listed on its website is a sure sign that you have no business with immigration scammers, but rather with immigration professional personnel that can help you reach your dream of moving to Canada. 

CICC Certified Immigration Consultant

A CICC-certified immigration consultant is a consultant who has been recognized and listed by the CICC. They are considered or called RCIC (a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant) and are likely to be very good at their work, in particular, because of the training and education that goes into joining the realm of immigration consultants.

What Is CICC Registration?

This being said, if your consultant cannot provide you with a CICC number, they are not registered with the College and cannot guarantee the quality of their service. When it comes to the registration itself, an immigration consultant can make it to the list only if the CICC chooses the consultant based on how well they can conduct the immigration services. Today, registration with the CICC is considered a gold standard in the immigration policies of Canada.

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What Are the Benefits of Hiring an Immigration Consultant?

Whether immigrating from the Philippines or any other country in the world, you should be aware that an immigration consultant can help make the immigration process much easier, although there are never guarantees. In a way, they can aid and assist, and even take over a huge portion of the immigration process, making it easier for you and saving you time. This, of course, comes with a charge, which may not be as low as you may think, so if you do consider getting a consultant here are some common reasons why you may want to do so: 

  • for making the entire process more convenient
  • in case you have applied for a Canadian visa or permanent residence before and have been turned down
  • in case you have criminal charges against you
  • in case you have been declined on medical grounds 
  • in case you are applying through a complex immigration program and need assistance

For Convenience

Although the Canadian government works hard to make the immigration process easy on you and as transparent as possible, it is important to note that it still takes time and effort to go through the programs, decide which one is the best for you, and apply. If you find this process too long, difficult, or bothersome for one reason or another, an immigration consultant can help you out. They will need the same documents, which you will have to collect, but the rest of the application process is handled by them. 

You will also need to schedule a consultation with them to ensure that you know how the immigration consultant will handle your case, what your prerequisites are and to understand what your obligations are and what are theirs. You will need to exchange contact details for this, including your name, your country of origin, etc. Before giving out any of this data, you should do your research: avoid fake government websites and always check whether you are dealing with fake government officials and consultants before making any kind of contact. 

If You’ve Been Turned Down Before

If you have been turned down before during your application, you will need to contact a consultant or, even better, an immigration lawyer. Visa consultants may not have enough experience to handle your case, while a good immigration lawyer will have a deep knowledge of immigration laws and how you can reapply for the program in question if you have been turned down before. However, if you have been turned down on criminal or medical grounds, the situation is more complex. 

In any case, most of the applicants get rejected because they submit incomplete documents or documents that are otherwise faulty. To avoid this, you should check whether you have real credentials and assessments: fake documents issued by fake government officials or a simple fake email address put as a reference can slim down your chances of getting accepted into the program, as all of these details will be checked before you are allowed to proceed with the application. 

If You Have Been Charged With or Convicted of a Crime

If you have been charged with a crime, you may be deemed inadmissible to Canada. Beware that you do not need to have been convicted of an armed robbery or crimes that are more serious to be deemed ineligible. Most crimes involving drugs, public disturbance, weapons, or any kind of connection to criminal groups or terrorist organizations and any kind of human rights violations will deem you inadmissible. 

In this case, you should speak with a licensed immigration consultant or even an immigration lawyer. In the latter case, you should be prepared to hear that there may not be legal grounds for your acceptance to Canada. In any case, you should opt for a consultation first and be willing to give all the necessary details to ensure you get the best possible advice. 

If You Have a Medical Issue

You can also be deemed inadmissible on health grounds. In most cases, you will need to provide a medical examination to showcase that you do not bear any pathogens that could endanger public health, especially if you are applying for a work visa program which means you will be in contact with a lot of people. 

The immigration consultancy realm will know more details on this, and they will know where and how you can get tested. They will also know that some preexisting medical conditions may deem you inadmissible, especially if their treatment is too expensive. In general, if you have a condition that could cost more than CAD102,585 to treat over five years, you may be deemed inadmissible or ineligible for an immigration program. 

If You’re Submitting an Application Under a More Complicated Immigration Program

Although the Express Entry program is very easy to apply for, there are programs that could give you a headache when applying for them. Namely, some PNP programs demand that you are in the Express Entry pool to apply for them. Then, another part of the application is carried out through the PNP program, while another one is through the EE platform. Finally, you may get your ITA (Invitation to Apply) through the EE platform. 

This may be confusing to some potential immigrants, while others may find this an easy thing to do. if you are in the first group, you will need to contact a consultant to help you out with this. Your immigration consultant charge may change based on which program you want to apply for, so make sure you understand what your exact immigration needs are in the first place and be ready to hear that another program (sometimes more expensive, sometimes less) may be the right option for you. 


How Can I Check Registered Canadian Immigration Consultants in Dubai?

Even if you live abroad, for example in Dubai, you can still check to see if your immigration consultant is registered and rea, or not. To do so, you need to visit the CICC website and click on ‘Find an Immigration Consultant’. Then, you can search them by their name, last name, or the RCIC number. In addition to this, you can also use their registered company name to search. Check out the search results and make sure the ‘Status’ field says ACTIVE. This way, you know that the consultant is a registered, real consultant. If you use a single entry to search for them, make sure all other details on the list match. 

Can I Immigrate to Canada without a Consultant?

Yes, you can immigrate to Canada without an immigration consultant. However, they can be helpful: there are so many immigration options to choose from and the immigration process can be long and demand robust knowledge. If you find yourself in need of an immigration expert, you probably should hire one and ensure that your visa application goes smoothly. 

How Much Does It Cost to Immigrate to Canada?

Depending on the Canadian province and the immigration program you choose, the cost could differ. Whether you are a single student looking for a study permit or a family of four also has a say in how much you will pay. Generally, we are looking at a cost of around CAD15,000 for a single person, CAD20,000+ for a couple, and CAD25,000+ for a small family. 

Is Canadian Online Immigration Legit?

There are many immigration scams online, so you should always be aware of them and stay away. When making an online application, you should only do it through a trusted, official platform. You can also find legit information on your domestic Canadian visa office, consular office, or even embassy website. When in doubt, give them a call and ask for the exact web address (URL) for the application platform. 

Final Thoughts

When it comes to immigration consultants for Canadian immigration, simply choosing one is often not enough. As there are many conpersons online and in real life, it is always wise to know how to choose one to avoid issues down the road. When it comes to consultants and immigration services in general, the CICC listing is the best thing you can ask for, as this simple code can tell you whether you are dealing with the real deal or a fake who wants your money. Besides this, there are other red flags that we have covered, to improve your safety during the application process and to help you save money that you could easily waste by choosing a wrong consultant.