With over 8,000 licensed consultants working in Canada and abroad, it can be difficult to decide who to contact first, what questions to ask, and why retain one over the other. Here are some things to consider:
Are they licensed?
You can easily check the College registry here. There is fraud in every industry and sadly immigration is one where it’s prevalent. It’s ultimately up to you if, how, and who you use to help with your application however please note if you are using an unauthorized representative, knowingly or by accident, this could have serious consequences on your applications.
Are they full-time or part-time?
This may matter when it comes to the urgency of your situation or how often you expect to hear from them.
Are they a subject matter expert or a full-service agency?
Some consultants specialize in certain types of immigration applications while others offer a broad spectrum of expertise. A scroll through a listing of services will help you determine what type of expertise you can expect. If you’re looking for help sponsoring your common law partner to come to Canada, a firm specializing in refugee cases may not be the right fit.
Where are they located?
Licensed consultants are federally regulated meaning they can work anywhere in Canada (with the exception of Quebec and Saskatchewan who need an additional license). This may be relevant if you’re looking for location specific information or if time zones will pose a challenge.
Other things to think about may include pre-interview due diligence, billing method, fee schedule, years of experience, and complexity of your particular case. Doing your research can save you time, money, and headache in the long run.