Applying for a Canadian Visa by Yourself Versus an RCIC

Immigrating to another country is a big move, for anybody. When it comes to wanting to immigrate to Canada specifically, there are so many factors to think about, such as which program you are best suited for or which province would be best to settle in and where your skills are most needed.

That being said, let’s take a look at the differences between applying for a Canadian visa by yourself versus an RCIC.

Applying for a Canadian Visa with an RCIC


Firstly, let’s go over what exactly an RCIC is. A Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) is someone who is legally licensed by the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC) to evaluate your visa application and submit it on your behalf.

How can I see if an RCIC is authorized by the CICC?

To see if an RCIC is licensed, you simply need to go to their website and fill in the particular RCIC’S name that you’re looking for, along with their registration number and company name. This will show you whether they are authorized or not.

How an RCIC can help you

As mentioned before, finding a Canadian visa that works for you can be especially daunting because Canada has over 100 visas and immigration programs to choose from. Working with an RCIC will alleviate some of your stress because they’ll do an evaluation of which Canadian visa you and your family qualify for.

This alone will increase your chances of success and help you save time and money by not applying for something that’s not suited for you.

We also know that life gets busy and that we don’t always have time when it comes to certain parts of the visa process. This is where an RCIC would be helpful to work with as they can ensure you’ve filled in everything correctly and that it’s submitted on time.

Good to know!

Late visa applications are one of the most common reasons why foreign nationals tend to have their applications rejected by the Canadian government.

If you choose to work with, the entire process will become much simpler. This is because our clients work on our online digital visa dashboard. This allows you to upload all your information and supporting documents needed, in one place. Furthermore, you’re able to track your process in real-time and have direct contact with your RCIC.

This way, you’re always kept up to date, and should you have any questions, they can be easily answered. Having 24-hour support from Canadian visa experts is invaluable when it comes to your Canadian journey, as this will only improve your success rate while simultaneously taking the difficulty out of the process.

And finally, Canadian visa and programs rules and regulations are constantly changing, especially due to COVID-19. It’s an RCICs job to ensure they stay up to date with any sort of changes; therefore, they would be the best people to tell you exactly which visa you’re eligible for and which documentation is needed from you.

Let's take a look at one one of the RCIcs we work with has to say:

Question: What would you say is the most important thing an RCIC can do for a client during the application process?
Answer: The RCIC in most cases will be able to help you find the immigration pathway that matches the client's profile the best. Many times there is a need to show things to visa officers that are not clearly stated in the government websites. An RCIC has also the experience to be able to present the candidate's case in a more convincing way, that will satisfy the visa officer.

So as you can see applying for a Canadian visa with professional help can only work in your favour.

Applying for a Canadian Visa by Yourself


If you choose to, you can definitely apply for a Canadian visa by yourself. However, the process can be daunting, and it will take some extra work on your part. Let’s have a look at the step-by-step process you’ll need to do.

For the purpose of an example, we’ll be showing the process of Express Entry.

Step 1: Are you eligible?

You’ll need to find out if you’re eligible for Express Entry. There are two ways in which you can do this:

1. You’ll need to answer a few questions that will show which of the three programs you’re eligible for. The questionnaire usually takes around 10 to 15 minutes to complete. You’ll be asked questions about your:

  • nationality
  • age
  • language skill
  • family members
  • education
  • work experience
  • details on any job offer

2. Your other option is to read the detailed requirements for each of the three programs. You can also compare all three programs via the Canadian website.

If you’re eligible, you’ll receive a list of instructions on what your next steps are. This will also include completing your online profile.

Step 2: Check your CRS score

Once you’ve completed and submitted your online profile. It’ll then be placed into the draw pool. This is where you’ll receive your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. The CRS score is used to assess and rank your profile.

You will score based on the following factors. Please note that the highest score achievable is 1,200 points.

  • skills
  • education
  • language ability
  • work experience
  • other factors

Step 3: Get all your documents ready

You’ll need to get all of your documents ready; it’s also best to get certain documents ahead of time as they could take some time to get them ready. The documents you may need are the following:

  • your passport;
  • your language test results;
  • a provincial nomination (if you have one);
  • proof of work experience, certificate of qualification in a trade occupation issued by a Canadian province, a written job offer from Canadian employer (the last two requirements are only needed if you have one);
  • proof of Canadian education or an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) if you’re applying through the Federal Skilled Workers Program and if you want to get CRS points for your education outside of Canada;
  • proof of funds.

Step 4: Complete your profile

You’ll receive an online profile to fill out via your Express Entry account. Your Express Entry profile is where you give the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) information about yourself.

You’ll need to do the following:

  • Follow the instructions to create an account (if you don’t already have one)
  • Enter your personal reference code when it prompts you to (only if you have one)
  • Enter your personal details
  • Create or sign in to your account

To complete your profile, you’ll need:

  • information from certain documents, such as your language test results;
  • your National Occupational Classification (NOC) job title and code; and
  • your information will be saved in your account, so you’re able to leave your profile at any time.

Step 5: Receive an invitation and apply

You’ll receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) if you have one of the highest scores in the pool. The draw usually takes place every two weeks. If you do receive an invite, you’ll have 60 days to complete and submit your Canadian permanent residence application.

This part of the process will take around six months or less.

As you can see, there are several steps that you’ll need to take in order to successfully apply for a Canadian visa online and receive an ITA. Missing a step or doing a step incorrectly can result in your application being unsuccessful.

Why Do Immigrants Move to Canada?


Canada has one of the highest numbers of foreign nationals living in the country. People from all over the world choose Canada as a place to immigrate, study, start or continue their careers for a reason.

With Canada having a booming economy creating job opportunities and an education system rated as one of the best in the world, it’s important to get your visa process done the right way. So when you’re thinking of applying for a Canadian visa, it would be beneficial to work alongside Canadian visa experts.