For some people, the process of applying for a visa can be quite complicated and time consuming, so they look for outside help when lodging an application. Although it can be overwhelming when you first look at all the types of visas on offer, it is possible to apply for visas by yourself through the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.
If you decide to work with an immigration agent, make sure they are a member of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council. There have been many reports of unofficial agents charging unsuspecting customers thousands for visa advice and lodging visa applications, which is illegal. Similarly, if you decide to use an immigration lawyer, ensure they are a member of a Canadian territorial or provincial law society.
When you have chosen an immigration agent or lawyer, you must inform CIC. You can do so by downloading and filling out a Use of Representative form.
What Can Immigration Agents Do for You?
Immigration agents can:
- Explain the visa options available to you, help identify the most suitable visa to apply for, and provide advice on immigration law
- Assist you with extending your visa, applying for permanent residence etc.
- Prepare documents for your visa application
- Lodge a well prepared application to CIC
- Can contact CIC to ask questions on behalf of your application
Remember that an immigration agent cannot fast-track your application or influence the outcome of your application. Only CIC can make decisions about visas.
Benefits of Using an Immigration Agent
If your case is particularly complex or you are not confident submitting an application independently, it can be worthwhile to employ the services of an immigration agent. Immigration agents generally have an extensive knowledge of the visas available and how the system works, as well as knowledge of current immigration law.