Your gateway to Canada


Immigration Newsweek

By Attorney Henry Moyal


A few months ago the Canadian Government passed a new law requiring applicants to only hire ” authorized representatives” . The definition of an authorized representative is either a lawyer or a consultant who is a member of the CSIC (Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants). CSIC is a self regulating body that purports to give credibility to consultants who have not graduated from law school nor are licensed by any law society.

The reasoning behind the above was to protect the public but since the inception of the new rules the public has been more confused. For example, lawyers (who are not members of the CSIC because they ARE NOT CONSULTANTS) are being turned away by clients because they do not have a CSIC number. As well, the Canadian Government not only publishes information on its web site equating both bodies but provides information on CSIC before lawyers. This is astonishing to the bar.

It is worth repeating that effective immediately, Canada Immigration will only process and accept applications from Authorized Representatives. If an application is sent to any Canadian Embassy or Consulate office or any Immigration Office by a non-Authorized Representative the application by law must be returned unprocessed.

In order to be an Authorized Representative, a person must be a Canadian Citizen or Resident of Canada and either be:

1. A licenced lawyer governed by any Law Society in any Canadian province , or

2. A consultant that is duly registered by the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC). In order to be registered by the CSIC a consultant must have at least $1million in insurance and pay an annual fee.

Therefore, attorneys in the USA cannot file applications for Canada Immigration and all those ” agencies” in the Philippines are now barred from acting on behalf of clients.

As one peruses the myriad of immigration companies one must be very careful of who is and who is not an authorized representative. Here are some tips:

1. If a person does not have ” Barrister & Solicitor” at the end of their name. They are not lawyers.
2. Do not call a person ” attorney” if they are not. An attorney is a lawyer and in order to be a lawyer a person must be licenced by the Law Society of Upper Canada.
3. Just because a person has an L.L.B degree (law degree) does not mean they are lawyers. It only means they attended a law school. It is like going to medical school but not becoming a doctor.
4. Just because a person has the word ” Law” in their name or company does not mean they are lawyers. This is simply a trick to deceive the public.
5. If a person is not a lawyer, in order for them to represent you they must be recognized consultants on a list. To check if they are approved consultants call or check.

If they are not lawyers nor on the CSIC list, do not hire them as the cannot file your case or represent you at the Immigration and Refugee Board.

Attorney Henry Moyal is a certified and licensed Immigration Lawyer in Toronto, Ontario. The above article is general advice only and not intended to act as a legal document. Send questions in confidence to Balita or to Attorney Moyal by fax, mail or email