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Canadian Immigration Lawyers vs. Immigration Consultants

Published on: March 13th, 2020
Last updated: October 18th, 2022

When looking to immigrate to Canada you may choose to use a Canadian immigration lawyer or an immigration consultant. While they are both legally authorized to represent clients during the immigration process, lawyers and consultants have different educational backgrounds and regulation authorities.

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Canadian 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

Canadian immigration lawyers, or attorneys, have much more legal education experience than consultants. Immigration lawyers must attend law school and complete a three-year degree to become a lawyer. They are also required to complete the bar exam to become legally registered. In addition to their education, many lawyers 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.

Canadian 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 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.

CICC Number

Canadian immigration consultants are regulated by the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC). Individuals that become immigration consultants are given a seven-digit CICC number that shows they are certified. If you are working with an immigration consultant, you should verify that their CICC number is valid.

In comparison, Canadian immigration lawyers are governed and regulated independently by provincial law societies. Since they are lawyers and not consultants, they do not have a CICC number and are instead registered under the bar and province. If someone tells you that your immigration lawyer requires a CICC number, it may be an immigration fraud red flag.

Did you know?

Immigration Attorneys do not require a CICC number to represent you.

Avoiding Fraud

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.

Canadim is a Canadian immigration law firm that wants to make sure you feel secure when choosing to use our services. Since we are a law firm, we are not regulated by the CICC. Instead, to verify our credentials, you need to look us up on the Barreau du Québec website. From here, you can see that Attorney Renaud Dery is registered with the Quebec Bar Association and is in good standing. Follow the steps below to check for yourself.

Verifying Our Credentials

  1. Visit the Canadian Immigration Government Website
  2. Scroll to Barreau du Québec and click on the link
  3. On the new page, look for “Lawyers Directory” on the right-hand side
  4. Enter Surname: Dery
  5. Enter 1st Name: Renaud and click on “Find”

 

Our Canadian immigration attorney Renaud Dery will appear on the search page and you can confirm our law firm’s listing in the membership directory.

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