Should I get help with my immigration application from an immigration consultant or lawyer?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) does not require you to use an immigration consultant or lawyer. If you choose to be advised or represented by a paid consultant, IRCC has rules about who can do this.

If you want, you can have someone help you with:

  • Your immigration application
  • Representation to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) or the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)

Special treatment is not given to your file if you use a consultant.

To protect your privacy, IRCC will not share any of your personal information with your representative unless you give written consent. You must fill out a Use of a Representative (IMM 5476) form [PDF] to give consent.

Types of Consultants

Your immigration consultant can be paid or unpaid.

Examples of unpaid consultants are family members, friends, or members of a religious organization.

Some immigrant and refugee-serving organizations can also help you. To find help in your area, go to Services Near Me.

If you choose to be represented by a paid consultant in Ontario, this person must be in good standing with the:

If you use a non-authorized paid consultant, your application may be returned to you.

Find out more about who can represent you on IRCC's website.

What should I look for in a consultant?

Be careful of scams and fraudulent consultants. IRCC has a tip sheet on how to avoid immigration scams. It is available in more than 15 languages.

It is important to work with someone who has proper knowledge and training. You can:

  • Ask about their experience with the Canadian immigration process
  • Ask for references
  • Speak to people who have used them
  • Find out if they belong to any other professional associations in Canada

Read tips on choosing an immigration consultant.

Find out how to complain about an immigration consultant.

Can I change my consultant?

Yes, you can change your consultant at any time.

You must notify IRCC immediately if you change your paid consultant. You must fill out a new Use of a Representative (IMM 5476) form [PDF] and send it to the office processing your file.

If you want to make a complaint about your paid representative, read How do I complain about a lawyer?

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Last updated: July 12, 2016 4000555