Did you know: When looking to immigrate to Canada you may choose to use an immigration lawyer or an immigration consultant? They are both legally authorized to represent clients during the immigration process but have different education backgrounds and regulation authorities.
Immigration lawyers and consultants share similar roles in representing clients when they come to Canada. The main way they differ is in educational credentials and the institutions that regulate them.
Immigration Lawyer vs. Consultant
Immigration lawyers, or attorneys, have much more legal experience than consultants. Immigration lawyers must attend law school and complete a three-year degree in order to become a lawyer. They are also required to complete the bar exam in order to become legally registered and many undergo an internship period with a law firm during, or after, their studies. Most law programs also require an undergraduate degree before attending law school, which means that lawyers generally have several years of post-secondary education.
Immigration lawyers are also able to attend immigration interviews with you, and can advocate for your application in a Canadian court of law in the rare case that your application is brought under judicial review. Canadim is a Canadian immigration law firm and our managing partner, Renaud Dery, is a Canadian immigration lawyer.
Conversely, immigration consultants are not lawyers. They do not attend law school and generally undergo a one-year certification in order to become registered. It is also not required for immigration consultants to have completed an undergraduate degree to start their certification.
While immigration consultants are legally able to represent you, only lawyers are allowed to advocate on your behalf in federal court, in the event that it is required.
Canadian immigration consultants are regulated by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). When you become an immigration consultant, you are given a seven digit ICCRC number that certifies you. If you are working with an immigration consultant, you should verify that their ICCRC number is valid.
In comparison, immigration lawyers are governed and regulated independently by provincial law societies. Since they are lawyers and not consultants, they do not have an ICCRC number and are instead registered under the bar and province. If someone tells you that your immigration lawyer requires an ICCRC number, it may be an immigration fraud red flag.
Did you know?
Immigration Attorneys do not require an ICCRC number to represent you.
Unfortunately, there are many cases of fraud that affect thousands of potential immigrants throughout the world. Although many immigration consultants are trustworthy individuals, it is undeniable that a high level of fraud exists in their industry. This is not meant to discredit the profession, but you must be cautious when choosing an immigration consultant in your home country. It is incredibly important that you verify the services you are using and be wary of potential immigration red flags.