Choose an immigration or citizenship representative

Choose your representative carefully

To find a paid or unpaid representative:

  • Ask people you trust to recommend someone. Get advice from several people before you choose.
  • Ask questions. Be careful of someone who will not answer your questions.

If you're hiring a paid representative:

  • Find out if they are authorized. This means they have a license to practice and give advice.
    • If you choose a paid representative who is not authorized, we may return your application or refuse it.
    • If you give a representative money or compensate them in any other way in exchange for their services, they're considered paid and must be authorized.
  • Ask about the representative’s training and experience. For instance:
    • ask for references and
    • find out how long they have been in business.
  • Discuss the services they'll provide and the fee.
  • Make sure to get a written contract and read it carefully before you sign it.
    • Make sure the contract lists all the services the representative will give you and clearly states the fee you discussed.

If you're using a representative who works in Canada, you can also contact the Better Business Bureau. It can tell you if it has received complaints about a citizenship or immigration consultant, lawyer or other representative.

Tips to protect yourself from fraud

  • Be careful of anything that sounds too good to be true.
    • Using a representative will not draw special attention to your application or guarantee that we will approve it.
  • Beware of representatives who encourage you to give false information in your application. It is against the law. You could be denied entry into Canada or deported after you arrive.
  • Don’t leave original documents or photos with your representative.
  • Don’t sign blank application forms.
  • Don’t sign forms or documents unless you can read them.
    • If you don’t understand them, ask someone to translate.
  • Make sure to get copies of any documents that your representative makes for you.
  • Any time you pay your representative, get a signed receipt.
  • Make sure your representative updates you on your application often.
  • Protect your money and remember that:
    • We'll never call you and ask you to deposit money into a personal bank account.
    • We'll never ask you to transfer money through a private money transfer company.
    • Our processing fees are in Canadian dollars and they're the same around the world.

Learn more about how to protect yourself from fraud.

If you're having problems with your representative, see:

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