An certified consultant is a qualified & experienced counsel who has completed the mandatory education, passed a qualifiying exam, and has an ICCRC number listed on the ICCRC website.
ICCRC: The Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC/the Council) is the regulatory body for immigration consultants. A new regulation (Bill C-35) is in effect as of June 30, 2011, providing tough controls around the profession of immigration consulting.
WARNING! If you have paid a non-authorized consultant, the Canadian government can refuse your application.
Any person acting as a representative for you must be in good standing with
1) The governing body for immigration consultants ICCRC, (Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council) which replaces CSIC, (Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants), OR
2) A provincial bar, OR
3) The chamber de notaries du Quebec.
Now, it is illegal for anyone, not authorized via one of the 3 categories above, to charge a fee for providing immigration services at any stage of an immigration application. This includes the period before an application is submitted.
New Enforcement: Violators can be charged a specific offense and penalties up to $100,000 and/or imprisonment up to 2 years upon conviction by indictment and $20,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 6 months upon summary conviction.
Confirm that your immigration counsel is listed on the ICCRC web-site, at www.iccrc.ca, or other categories listed above.