Getting the right immigration consultant plays a vital role in your immigration process. How, then, do you know the legitimacy and authenticity of your immigration consultant?
We have written a well-detailed guide to choose the best immigration consultant.
Who is an Immigration Consultant?
An immigration consultant is an individual who specializes in assisting immigrants in filling out applications, filing for a petition and other respective applications, organizing all necessary documents for their immigration application, or even helping to act as a translator to immigrants.
They are the best to look out for if you’re looking at filling out all the blanks in a pre-printed Immigration, refugees, and Citizenship (IRCC) form.
With that said, you should note that is illegal if an immigration consultant in Canada:
- Represents you as an attorney in court or in front of the IRCC
- Offers you legal advice on which immigration benefit you can leverage on
- Provides information on how to approach an immigration interview
- Provides legal assistance concerning naturalization procedures.
Questions to Ask a Potential Immigration Consultant
In order to be certain of the right potential immigration consultant to use, you have to verify the following:
- Is the immigration consultant verified to work by the ICCRC?
- Is the immigration consultant limited in his dealings with you?
- Is the immigration consultant competent enough?
- Will the immigration consultant provide alternatives just in case your application gets rejected?
- Is the immigration consultant cost-friendly?
- How is the immigration consultation good at communicating information?
All these can be properly addressed by using the following questions to ask a potential immigration consultant for the best immigration service:
- Are you registered with the ICCRC?
- Can I communicate directly with you?
- How long have you been working as an immigration consultant?
- What makes you unique as an immigration consultant?
- Which immigration program best suits me?
- What are the possibilities of success in my program?
- What other alternatives are made available?
- What are your service fees like?
- Who else can benefit from this program?
- What measures are in place to update me on the program’s progress?
These questions can be broken down thus:
#1: Are You Registered with the ICCRC?
ICCRC, which stands for Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council, is a national regulatory organization whose main aim is to serve and protect the public by controlling the process of immigration and citizenship consulting and international student advisories.
The ICCRC is the body that regulates the operation of immigration consultants, so it’s one of the many questions to ask a potential immigration consultant to verify his or her operation. Dealing with an unregistered immigration consultant will lead you down the wrong path.
Take note of the license or registration number of your immigration consultant, and verify their certification via the ICCRC official website.
You can also call the local embassy to verify whether or not your immigration consultant is registered with them.
#2: Can I Communicate Directly with You?
Communication is key in every deal!
With that said, you should have the freedom to talk directly with your immigration consultant to bridge whatever communication gap. This is one of the many questions to ask a potential immigration consultant to verify his or her operation.
Never work with an immigration consultant that’s not so open with his communication with you.
#3: How Long Have You Been Working as an Immigration Consultant?
It’s important to know the total years of working experience your potential immigration consultant has before hiring such an agent. This is one factor that goes to show how effectively he or she can guide you through the entire immigration process.
It’s also important to verify this information because some agents claim to have worked in the industry for a long time, but that’s false! You can verify this information by asking them for their company registration details and confirming it by calling your local embassy.
#4: What Makes You Unique as an Immigration Consultant?
Every immigration consultant should have what makes him or her click!
So, this is one of the main questions to ask a potential immigration consultant to help you determine which consultant or company to hire. The immigration consultant should state his strengths compared to his many competitors in the market.
#5: Which Immigration Program Best Suits Me?
Amongst the many questions to ask a potential immigration consultant, this is one of the most important…
An immigration consultant should be able to help you determine the best program for you and state with reasonable reasons WHY!
#6: What are the Possibilities of Success in My Program?
The truth’s that no reputable immigration consultant can guarantee you 100% success on your immigration program. So, if you come across one that assures you, with full certainty, to get a visa, you must be very careful with such an agent.
However, an immigration consultant should be able to brief you on your chances of approval before signing the contract.
#7: What Other Alternatives are Made Available?
So, what happens if my immigration program application gets declined? What other alternatives are there for me?
The most common answer you’d get for this is – “We are so sorry for the inconvenience, and will disburse your money back to you“.
But is this what will solve your problem of being declined? NO!
All these are questions to ask a potential immigration consultant… This is where the importance of hiring a registered immigration agent comes in because an unregistered immigration consultant will leave you on seeing that that program request got requested because he or she has no access to case officers for further negotiations on your behalf.
#8: What are Your Service Fees Like?
In full detail, it’s important to know how much you’ll spend throughout the program.
#9: Who Else Can Benefit from this Program?
Will my family members (wife, kids, brothers, inlaws, or others) also be eligible to register for this program? Will this also affect the total service fee that is being paid?
Most immigration programs give applicants the liberty to include family members in applying. But, it’s best never to assume this to avoid unnecessary or unbudgeted expenses.
#10: What Measures Do You Have in Place to Update Me on the Progress of the Program?
Did we talk earlier about the importance of communication inquiries as one of the key questions to ask a potential immigration consultant? Of course.
This cannot be overemphasized enough!
Seeing that immigration processes can sometimes take months, you need to know how your agent will contact you regularly to update you on the entire process.