Do Your Homework When Immigrating to Canada from South Africa
· Opening a business in Canada
· Being transferred by your current company to a Canadian branch
· Having enough qualified work experience to apply for Permanent Residency without a job offer
· Having previous Canadian Work Experience and applying for Permanent Residency without a job offer
· Having qualifying relatives in Canada who are citizens or permanent residents
Each Canadian immigration program or stream has its own set of requirements. You want to ensure that you will meet all of these requirements before investing too much time and money into an application that may not be successful.
You can research the immigration programs on your own or you can contact a Citizenship and Immigration Canada Authorised Representative to assist you in evaluating your options and guiding you in the right direction. With so many Canadian Immigration scams in South Africa, it is hard to know who to trust.
If you do choose to use an Authorized Representative keep in mind that only the following are legally allowed to assist you with your application or on choosing an immigration program for a fee:
§ Lawyers and paralegals who are members in good standing of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society (Does not include South African Lawyers or paralegals)
§ Notaries who are members in good standing of the Chambre des notaires du Québec and (Does not include South African Notaries)
§ Immigration consultants who are members in good standing of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC)
Many companies state that they have an authorized representative working for them, but they fail to tell you that that person specifically is not handling your case. When anyone assesses you and qualifies you for Canadian Immigration or gives you paid advice ensure they are one of the individuals listed above and not a case worker or sales person.
If you are on the phone with someone who is telling you that you qualify for Canadian Immigration, ask him or her if they are a salesperson or if they fall into one of the three authorised classifications above. If they say that they do, ask for their registration number and verify it on the official website for that organisation. Also be clear that you want to speak with the authorized representative directly and not the case manager before signing on for anything or making payments of any kind. We highly recommend you get their phone number and direct e-mail address as well to see if they communicate with you, to ensure they are legitimate.
You can find out if the person you are dealing with falls under one of the categories by checking with their regulatory board in Canada directly. The regulatory board will be able to confirm their registration. The immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) provides the list of all of their members on their website where you can search by name, location, company name, and a variety of other criteria:
If the person you are looking to hire for your Canadian application does not appear to be registered with any of the regulatory boards listed above, ask them directly which regulatory board they belong to along with their membership number. This will give them the opportunity to clarify your concerns. You can then use this to confirm with their regulatory body. Also, most companies display their membership logo directly on their website. If you do not see this logo, it may be a clue that they are not legally authorised to represent you.
If you find a person or company is not authorised to provide Canadian immigration advise for a fee you should not use them in order to protect yourself and your application from any possible issues with Citizenship and Immigration Canada. You can also report them directly to the ICCRC by visiting the site below:
Alternatively, if it is a lawyer who is not registered with the required body you can report them to the law society which they are a member of: