Difference between using a consultant and DIY (Do It Yourself) – Canada visa application
Canadian immigration authorities have made it abundantly clear that using a consultant or lawyer as a representative offers an applicant no added advantage or privilege over someone who has filed the application themselves. CIC provides easy forms and application/instruction guides on its website which are comprehensive.
Canadian law requires that anyone providing Canadian immigration advice for a fee or other consideration must be a member in good standing of ICCRC, Canadian law society of Canada, or the Chambre des notaries du Québec.
Whether located in Canada or abroad, anyone offering services in immigration for a fee or other consideration, who is not a member of the authorized bodies, as mentioned in immigration fraud, is not authorized to provide migration-related services. They are operating illegally. Consequences can include up to 2 years in prison and/or a fine of $100,000. Your case can be rejected for using illegal representatives as per Canadian laws.
No consultant can “guarantee” the success of your application. If they do, then they are lying and that’s the first sign that you must stay away from such consultants.
The reality of a lot of so-called consultants/agents out there…..
Let’s be honest, most of the so-called consultants, agents and immigration experts that have mushroomed globally are quacks. They are unlicensed and untrained agents who claim to know it all. They even claim to be friends with the visa officers in the Canadian Embassy. They are there only to grab your money.
They are your best friends and your best advisors until the time you have put your hands into your pockets and once they are paid, they start acting like the miffed relative who doesn’t wanna have anything to do with you.
You repeatedly call them, you visit their office, you send them emails, but to no avail. At best you hear the same repeated clichéd response that “don’t worry your application is in the queue and it will be your turn soon”.
Their promised 6 months soon turn into 12 months and then 18 and then 24 months. Before you know it they no longer want to know you or refund your money or talk to you.
Your only recourse is either to kiss your money goodbye or start the lengthy and hassled judicial process to recover your hard-earned money.
Why Do the application yourself?
- Complete control of your application and its content. It is your future after all. You will be most careful with it.
- Save money, lots of money that you would pay a consultant for his/her service.
- Become more knowledgeable in Canadian Immigration matters through research and study.
- Various online forums, social media groups offer free help and guidance.
- Complete application guides and information is available on the ICCRC website/ Provincial website.
- Opportunity to network and connect with other applicants processing their application.
So, go ahead and file your own application without worry. There is enough support out there.
Word of advice:
Immigrating to a new country is a daunting decision filled with nerve-wracking moments, confused and stressful chats and disturbing sleepless nights. The process itself can be extremely overwhelming, though being quite simple.
I have seen many people on various forums who with their good intentions of helping others are actually offering incorrect and false information. There are just too many such instances.
If you are one of those people who wish to help then please make sure you have a credible source of the information you are offering or at least be dead sure based on your experience or your first-degree experience. Hearsay information passed with surety will be detrimental to someone else.
So if in doubt it’s better to not comment or not offer any suggestion at all and that would still be a great help.
Similarly, if you are the person who seeks information on these forums, people please know that no one is obligated to provide you with correct information. They are doing it just because they are being helpful. However, that does not make them (me included) an official source of information with regards to the Canadian Immigration process, laws and rules.
The onus is on you to be sure about the information you are getting is correct. Do not blindly believe everything you read. Do your due diligence. If in doubt always refer back to the ICCRC website, it has all the information you need. Don’t be lazy about this. After all this is one of the most important decisions of your life.
So then, Why Choose an Immigration Consultant?
You only need a Consultant:
- if you cannot understand the instructions
- if you feel overwhelmed with all the document requirements and applicable laws
- if you cannot exercise care and caution while filling the application
- if you do not have time to research for information
- if you do not have good (not great) language skills
- if you are lazy and have lots of money
- if you have a tendency to get easily confused
- if your case is not straightforward
Immigration/Visa application is not about form filling as it is made out to be. A good consultant is NOT a form filler. Your 12 year old son/daughter could do that with little guidance.
If one navigates through the immigration application forms, it asks for basic, general and detailed information about the applicant and his/her life activities.
A good consultant “knows” why this information is being asked for and using this knowledge he/she can answer the questions asked appropriately and at most times to the advantage of his client. At times, it is not possible to explain the information completed on the forms and a good consultant will know how to apply the current legislation and immigration laws to explain the information that is not obvious in the application.
The immigration laws are always changing and a good consultant will be abreast of these changes. He/she would know the best fit for your case from more than 60 Federal/Provincial immigration programs. Applying appropriate legislation and immigration law to provide you the advantage or advising you on the legal ways of migrating by providing you a complete immigration plan is what a good consultant does best.
Even when dealing with a consultant it is best to be a bit knowledgeable yourself. Read, research and learn before you approach one. This is the most important decision of your life. It will help you make the right choice.