Questions to ask your Canada Immigration Consultant

Consumers Guide

This Q&A guide provides you the right questions to ask your Immigration Consultant before accepting their services. The questions are intended as a guide only and have been adapted from the The College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (formerly ICCRC)

Remember to always check the CICC online public register to confirm the status of your Canada Immigration Consultant before signing any contract.

How experienced are you?

The Immigration Consultant will tell you:

  • how long they have been licensed
  • other past immigration-related experience
  • areas they specialize in
  • what types of clients they have served

If they are experienced with cases like yours, they might be able to tell you:

  • how long the process will take
  • issues you may encounter in the application process
  • possible outcomes

I have been refused in the past, can you help?

To get the best service possible, you should let your Immigration Consultant know about past refusals and the reasons for the refusal.
The Immigration Consultant will provide a new strategy on how to submit your application and explain how your history of refusals may affect the chances of success.

What services am I paying for?

The Immigration Consultant will provide you with a contract (retainer agreement) that lists:

  • what work they will do
  • how much you will pay and when (i.e. in advance or when services are completed)
  • any deposits and if any part is refundable
  • services and cost of other professionals hired (lawyers, translators etc.)

If anything in the retainer agreement is not clear, ask for more explanation in writing. You should understand every service you are paying for. There should not be any “hidden” fees that occur after signing your retainer agreement.

Who will be working on my application?

During the process, other people in addition to your Immigration Consultant might be working on your file.

You should know:

  • your main contact
  • the staff, agents, Immigration Consultants or lawyers working on your file and their roles and responsibilities

Do I have to pay for all my applications up front?

The Immigration Consultant will provide a list of each type of application, the cost of each application, and the payments due at each stage of the application.

You should not be required to fully pay for an application that depends on the success of another application. In addition, if you are on a monthly payment plan, be sure you are only paying for service fees due at that time.

Can I pay you by the hour?

The Immigration Consultant may or may not offer a per hour rate service. If it is offered, the rate per hour will be outlined in your retainer agreement.

The Immigration Consultant will provide an estimated number of hours dedicated to preparation, submission, monitoring and ongoing communication, based on your individual case.

Can you help me find a job?

While immigrating and finding a job in Canada are often tied together, they may require different representatives. In addition to your Immigration Consultant, you may need to work with a licensed recruiter.

No one should charge you fees for finding a job: not the employer, not the recruiter, not the Immigration Consultant.

For you to work in Canada, your future employer must submit a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application to the Government of Canada.
If you have retained a new representative, you can sign a new IMM 5476 Use of a Representative Form and have your new representative request your documents and details for accessing your immigration application. 

Do you receive a commission working with the employer/school?

Immigration Consultants must abide by a Code of Professional Ethics. That Code requires that Immigration Consultants tell you:

  • if they are receiving money or benefits from someone else to work on your immigration application
  • if their business interests might oppose yours

What happens if I cancel my contract? Will you refund my money?

The refund policy in your signed retainer agreement will determine when you can get your money back. In general:

  • if your application has been submitted and you are awaiting a decision, a refund may not be reasonable
  • if your application has not yet been submitted, you could receive a partial refund for work not yet completed

The Immigration Consultant is obligated to return your original documents and provide any information that you may need to continue with your application.

If you have retained a new representative, you can sign a new IMM 5476 Use of a Representative Form and have your new representative request your documents and details for accessing your immigration application. 

Why are your fees more expensive?

Fees may be affected by factors such as years of experience, number of working hours dedicated to your file, complexity of your case or the need for other professional services.


1. Verify your Immigration Consultant’s status on our online public register.

2. Check disciplinary notices in our Complaints and Professional Conduct section.

3. Ask your Immigration Consultant for references.

4. Read reviews on your Immigration Consultant.

5. Compare Immigration Consultant fees.

6. Get directly in touch with the Immigration Consultant handling your application. Always use the contact information on our online public register.

7. Contact your employer/school directly for any questions about your job or study program.

Thank you for reading!
Canada Visa Status - The only way to know the most detailed information of an application is by requesting GCMS Notes. GCMS is the most comprehensive and up-to-date information that can be obtained to understand the status of a visa application or to learn the details about a visa refusal.  It offers far more detail than IRCC’s online system and you can order your GCMS Notes online
Disclaimer - Material contained within this website is intended for informational purposes only and is provided as a service to the Canada visa applicant community. These materials do not, and are not, intended to constitute legal advice.