Many people ask if they need to hire an immigration representative to come to Canada or change their status in the country. My answer: you don’t have to but you might need to.
We live busy lives and rely on professionals to help us on our way: just as most of us would need a lawyer to represent us in court, the majority would need a professional to take care of their immigration situation.
It is possible to make an application without help and it might be successful if you have good English, attention to detail, an easy case and a lot, usually months, of free time. Unfortunately, many people make crucial mistakes in their applications without realizing the impact those might have on their future. Sometimes the damage cannot even be undone because rules and regulations would not allow it.
If you do decide to hire an immigration professional, please make sure they are licensed to help you. For immigration consultants, use this link to check their status in the official registry. For example, you can find me by typing Natalia Kostonyan in the search boxes. For lawyers, please check with their local law society.
Be aware of the “ghost” consultants! Some people pretend to be licensed professionals to commit fraud. These “ghost” consultants may take your money and disappear or prepare your documents in a way that might cost you your status. They have no connection to Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC), no education in the field and no right to offer those services. Before you enter into a professional relationship with an immigration representative, make sure to check their licence and avoid paying for services until you have a retainer agreement in your hands.
Next time: An Immigration Consultant Or A Lawyer?