Your gateway to Canada


Immigration Newsweek

By Attorney Henry Moyal


The Canadian Federal Government has finally enacted laws on immigration consultants after years (if not decades) of delay and procrastination. Lawyers and politicians alike has constantly lobbied the government to regulate consultants who often charge exorbitant fees, provide inefficient service and cheat clients out of money.

While the best scenario would be to eliminate the consultants altogether (which is the practice in the USA) the Canadian government has taken one step forward by passing a new law requiring all representatives to be on an approved list. Lawyers are automatically on the list and are automatically registered with the government via provincial licences. However, consultants were never regulated and had free reign to do what they wanted.

Effective April 13, 2004 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. At the present time, only 100 consultants are registered.

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 well, as one peruses the companies in Balita and other local papers 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. It is easy to check.Simply call 416 947 3318 ask the law society.
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 the approved government CSIC list. To check if they are approved consultants call 416 572 2800 or check

If they are not lawyers nor on the CSIC list, do not hire them as they cannot file your case.

Let’s hope the new laws will stop those from being cheated as is so common by unscrupulous consultants.

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