Who can advise me in a Canadian work permit application?

If that individual receives consideration (including fees) or offers to advise  or represent you for a fee or other considertation, at any stage of the application process, the Government of Canada requires that they be members of one of the following groups:

  • Immigration consultants 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; or

  • Notaries who are members in good standing of the Chambre des notaires du Québec.

How can I verify that I am being advised by a licensed practitioner?

The individual should be able to confirm the organization that licenses him or her to practice immigration law, and to supply the membership number associated with that license.

Can others advise me at any stage of the application process for a fee or other consideration?

No, it is an offence under Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for others to charge a fee, to offer to charge a fee, or otherwise receive consideration for advising or representing you in any matter covered under this Act. Offendors may be subject to fines, imprisonment, or both.

What are the advantages of retaining a licensed consultant?

In order to be eligible for licensing by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council, candidates are required to pass many levels of scrutiny in addition to the years of experience that they offer. This includes a requirement that they undergo an immigration-specific education program, that they pass language tests in at least one of Canada’s official languages, that they pass background clearances establishing moral character, that they retain errors and omissions insurance, and that they follow strict ethical guidelines.

An unlicensed practitioner is not subject to any requirement.

Am I required to retain representation in order to apply for a work permit?

No, the Government of Canada does not require that you retain expert representation. Work permit applications do not commonly follow straight-forward rules of eligibility, however. Most require compliances with government defined occupational classifications, have extensive guidelines governing the decision-making process, and benefit from an understanding of the officials’ expectations and requirements.