Use an authorized representative

You may choose to use a representative to act for you with:

  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC),
  • the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, or
  • the Canada Border Services Agency.

There are two types of representatives: paid and unpaid.

Paid representatives

Only some people can charge a fee or receive any other type of payment to represent or advise you on a Canadian immigration or citizenship proceeding or application. These are:

  • 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 and
  • citizenship or immigration consultants who are members in good standing of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council.

These people are called “authorized” representatives.

CIC will not deal with representatives who charge for their services and are not members of one of the above groups.

Other people who offer paid immigration or citizenship advice

Anyone who gives you paid advice before you apply or start a proceeding must be authorized. Unauthorized people must either become authorized or refer you to someone who is.

If you pay a representative, they must be authorized if they:

  • act on your behalf during an immigration or citizenship proceeding by speaking for you,
  • help you choose the best immigration stream or
  • fill out any forms.

Unpaid third parties

Unpaid third parties include:

  • family members,
  • friends,
  • non-profit groups and
  • religious groups.

They can still act for you in the same way as a paid representative.

To protect your privacy, you need to give written consent to CIC before we share any of your personal information with your consultant, lawyer, or other representative, paid or unpaid. Use the Use of a Representative (IMM 5476) form to give your consent.

Choose a representative

Get tips on choosing a representative.

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