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Canadian Visa Scam: What to Watch out For

Canada is arguably the most sought after destination for prospective immigrants and it’s easy to see why. With free healthcare, free public primary and secondary school education, freedom of religion, high paying jobs and an extremely welcoming stance towards newcomers, Canada has everything you need to start a new life comfortably. Navigating the complex immigration system can; however, be a debilitating experience for most. With over 70 different programs to choose from, it becomes extremely difficult to determine your eligibility without the help of an immigration professional like a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC).

Unfortunately, the Canadian immigration industry is also filled with scams and fraudulent consultants that daily dupe innocents out of thousands of dollars. These criminals promise their clients visas and jobs if they pay them enough money resulting in many giving up their savings for the false hope of starting a new life in Canada.

Imagine making it all the way to Canada, only to be turned away by immigration officials at the airport. Imagine all of that time and money wasted. What can you do to avoid this terrible scenario? Hire, a licensed immigration consultant of course! With thousands of consultants out there, figuring out who you can trust can be a nightmare but with some useful tips and tricks, you can protect yourself from fraud. In this guide, we will show you how to spot a Canadian immigration scam website.Man holding an alert sign to warn about a Canadian Visa scam.

Are They Authorized Representatives?

The first thing you should do is to check if the immigration lawyer, consultant, agent, etc. you want to hire is an Authorized Representative. These are officials who have been granted the authority by the Canadian government to assist with visa and immigration applications through paid services. The list of Authorized Representatives includes RCICs, lawyers, notaries and paralegals (Ontario only), so if the agent you are looking at is not in one of these professions, run for the hills.

In a perfect world, everyone would always tell the truth, unfortunately, people lie. It's very easy for a Canadian immigration scammer to lie about their credentials, tricking you into trusting them. There is nothing out there stopping someone from claiming they are an RCIC or lawyer online so, for this reason, you need to follow up and check if they are really licensed, professionals. It may sound difficult to do, but actually, it's quite easy.

To check the authenticity of a citizenship or immigration consultant, simply search their RCIC number on the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council’s registry. If you are interested in the services of an immigration lawyer or notary, simply check if they are members of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society. Finally, all paralegals who offer immigration assistance must be registered with the Law Society of Upper Canada.

What to Look out for on their Website

There are various things to look out for that may indicate that a website is fake. Keep in mind that even if a website seems legitimate, it is essential to determine whether the officials are Authorized Representatives.

  • Avoid websites that seem to offer a special, too-good-to-be-true deal. No one can guarantee you a visa, faster application processing or a high paying job. They can only save you time by making the process easier for you. The Government of Canada is the only authority that decides on who gets a visa.
  • Make sure the website is secure. Check if there is a padlock in the browser window or at the start of the web address. This icon indicates that the website has some form of secure encryption that helps to protect third party information.
  • Do not trust websites that were directed to you via an email from a stranger.
  • Find out if you can get into contact with someone who works for the company. If you can’t interact with anyone on the website or there is no contact information, avoid using its services.
  • Locate the company’s authorized representatives’ credentials on the website so that you can check their registration.
  • Read the website’s terms and conditions, and privacy policy documents to find out how the company will handle your sensitive information, what their refund policy is and what exactly you are agreeing to when you hire their services.
Man pointing to futuristic sign to enable fraud protection from Canadian Visa scams.

Hire the Services of Licensed Professionals

At CanadianVisa.org we have three RCICs in our team with years of experience under their belt. Jimmy Park (#R510391), Ying Liu (#R521924) and their leader David Allon (#R513335) are dedicated to making the complex world of Canadian immigration easy for you. Their personal experiences as Canadian immigrants drive them to help others and inspire them to reach new goals. If you want to come to Canada, they are the team to get there.

The first step towards Canada is completing our comprehensive online evaluation that will determine which of the over 70 different immigration programs and visas you qualify for. Following this process, one of our RCICs will apply for the chosen visa on your behalf making sure everything is correct, complete and submitted on time. All you need to do is sign up and then we can start planning your personal immigration strategy.

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