WHO ARE AUTHORIZED IMMIGRATION REPRESENTATIVES?
Authorized immigration representatives are people who can legally offer Canadian immigration advice. They advise and act on issues concerning Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB), and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Authorized representative do not have special access to immigration-related programs and services, and no one can guarantee your application will be approved.
There are two types of immigration representatives: paid and unpaid
Paid representatives are qualified professionals who are accountable to their regulatory body and required to abide by strict ethical and professional rules designed to protect consumers. Only the following people may charge a fee or receive any other type of payment to represent or advise you with a Canadian immigration proceeding or application:
- Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) who are members in good standing of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC).
- Lawyers and paralegals who are members in good standing of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society.
- Notaries who are members in good standing of the Chambre des notaires du Québec:
Unpaid third parties include family members, friends, and non-profit or religious organizations.
WHEN SHOULD YOU SEEK THE SERVICES OF AN AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE?
At UBC, International Student Advisors (ISAs) are RCICs or RISIAs who offer a limited range of immigration advice to UBC international students and their immediate family members at no cost. This includes issues related to Canadian visas, study permits, and certain work permits (e.g. post-graduation, co-op, and spouse/partner work permits).
International student advisors are here for you! However, in some cases we may advise you to seek the services of an authorized representative if:
- Your questions go beyond the scope of our immigration services (e.g. permanent residency).
- We do not have sufficient expertise or authority to advise competently (e.g. non-Canadian visas, complex inadmissibility, and multiple refusals).
HOW CAN YOU FIND AN AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE?
Unfortunately, international student advisors cannot refer you to specific authorized representatives.
You can visit the links above to see a complete list of authorized representatives. When choosing a representative on your own, consider asking for information about their experience, knowledge, training, references, and/or client testimonials. Not all representatives are knowledgeable about international student issues. See IRCC’s tips.
The Lawyer Referral Service is operated by the Canadian Bar Association (British Columbia Branch). If you call and explain your situation, they will provide the contact information of a lawyer who meets your needs. Participating lawyers offer a 30-minute consultation for $25 plus tax. After the initial consultation, you can negotiate fees with the lawyer if you choose to seek additional services.