It isn’t necessary to hire an immigration consultant to Canada in order to process your application. It’s completely up to the client, but it does make things easier and hassle-free. Ideally, Canadian immigration lawyers make things easy for potential immigrants by helping with uploading documents, dataflow, and paperwork which is not everyone’s cup of tea.
Unfortunately, some unlucky ones come across fraudulent scammers who charge a lot of money and are up to no good. There are many scam agencies and immigration consultants in Canada, but you can save yourself from them by keeping your eye out for a few very notable slip-ups and inaccuracies.
How can I tell if immigration consultants/lawyers are a scam?
Here are a few sure short ways to spot a scammer or a fraud practice.
Detect Scam immigration consultant or lawyers website
A legit immigration agency has nothing to hide. They are transparent and allow the clients to make an informed decision. It’s very important to go through the company’s website and search for the information of the Canadian immigration lawyers they claim to be working with. A legit immigration consultant to Canada will have an RCIC registration number which can be confirmed before taking things forward.
Review the information provided on the website, even contact details which can sometimes be false. Also check if you are on the same web address that you clicked on, and are not in fact redirected to a fraud IRCC portal. Moreover, most scam websites are not secure and don’t have a padlock on the browser.
Some websites also look similar to government portals. Do check if the web address is ending in ‘.gov.’ Also, government instructions and forms/applications are free of cost.
Fake RCIC Agents
It’s not that hard to copy a reputable RCIC agent’s name and registration number and add it to a scam website. Certified Canadian immigration lawyers or RCICs are registered on the ICCRC website, and their authentication can be checked through the website by entering the RCIC’s name, company name, or registration number.
Terms and Conditions
Misleading Contact Information
It makes sense for a company to have the same area’s phone number as the physical address mentioned in their registered location. Scam websites often make the mistake of putting a phone number that doesn’t correspond to the area code of the provided address.
Spotting a Scam
Processing of Payment
Let’s get down to the most important thing first – money! Every scammer and fraud is doing so for money, and here’s where you get to spot any red flags. You don’t have to make any payments right away, especially for initial assessments, guides, and application forms. IRCC provides all of this for free on their website. You are only charged for processing the application and nothing else.
Another thing to be careful about is the payment method. If you are getting an unsecure link or are redirected to payment page via a WhatsApp, it is most likely fraudulent. An authentic Canadian immigration agency will not send you payment links through emails or WhatsApp.
Don’t fall for those year-round ‘special offers’ with huge discounts that are too good to be true. None of the Canadian immigration lawyers can guarantee you entry into Canada as a PR unless you get an invitation to apply by the federal government.
No legit immigration consultant to Canada will ask you for your original documents like passport or birth certification. These requirements come later in the application process. If a company asks for your passport beforehand, it can be used as leverage to withhold information until you pay them in full amount.
Never trust an email that is sent out at random, or offer immigration just for a job application or random survey you completed. There is no such thing as an immigration lottery. Most of them are fraud attempts. Scammers claim to be from a particular immigration office but won’t be able to prove the legitimacy of their practice.
Assuring a Job
A legit immigration consultant to Canada can help you find a job or get a work permit for temporary resident applications, but they can’t claim to guarantee you a job. A legit Canadian employer is the only one who can offer you a job in Canada, and it’s important to know that the contact and business information provided to you actually exists.
Tips to Avoid Scam
Get in Touch
Use the contact details provided on the website and get in touch with the owner or customer service representative to gather all the necessary information. If the person on phone presses you for advance payments even for assessment or initial registration, they are more likely running a scam and shouldn’t be trusted with your money. Never share your personal information or credit card details over the phone or email, especially in the initial steps of registration.
Keep your web browser up to date with all the latest anti-virus and anti-spam software. Some browser filters are able to detect fraud websites. Make sure to check the domain as well.
Reviews and Search
Keeping up with company reviews is one of the most secure and easy ways to find out if they are legit or not. Even a quick web search of the company name will give you many reviews and you can easily find out if there are any reported problems or complaints about that agency.
Being Mindful About Payments
A legit immigration consultant to Canada will assess your case and discuss the immigration plan that’s right for you before demanding full or even advance payment for a particular visa or application procedure. Make sure that you have a clear understanding of what you are being offered before you make payments for anything.
Navigating and successfully processing the immigration process for Canada can be a bit complicated, which is why legit Canadian immigration lawyers can help take away the stress and worry of the complexities of the Canadian immigration system.
With the demands of different documents and forms as well as deadlines and submission dates, it is only natural to get nervous and even fall for a scam. Be sure that you invest your valuable savings in a reliable and trustworthy agency.