What is an RCIC?
RCIC stands for Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant. RCICs can provide professional consultation and legal advice regarding Canadian immigration matters. They can also be authorized to represent their clients with regard their applications and appeals with the various immigration agencies (e.g. visa offices, IRCC/CIC, IRB, etc).
RCICs are not lawyers, and thus cannot consult on legal matters outside of immigration law. RCICs are not (necessarily) employees of the Canadian government. They do not have special connections with the IRCC/CIC nor are they allowed to use any special connections they may have to influence an application’s outcome. RCICs cannot guarantee the success of any application or appeal. Only employees under the IRCC/CIC may decide on applications and grant visas.
What does it mean to be "regulated"?
Being a regulated profession means that not just anyone can practice as an immigration consultant in Canada. RCICs are required to take courses on immigration law and policy and pass a Full Skills Examination before they can obtain a license to practice.
RCICs are members of, and regulated by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). They are in charge of policing RCICs, ensuring that they act ethically and professionally as consultants.
How do I find out if a consultant is regulated?
You can go to the ICCRC website, where you can search for licensed RCICs. There you can find their current status (e.g. active, leave of absence, suspended, etc.) and contact information.
What if a consultant is not regulated?
Providing legal advice and representation without a license and charging a fee for the service is illegal. The Government of Canada will refuse to deal with unlicensed representatives who charge a fee, putting the respective application in jeopardy.
If you are currently being represented in an application by an unlicensed consultant who is charging you a fee, contact the IRCC/CIC immediately. We strongly advise you withdraw your authorization to represent, and replace the unlicensed consultant with one who is licensed and is in good standing with the ICCRC.
How do I file a complaint against an RCIC or an unlicensed consultant?
If you would like to file a complaint against an RCIC, you may do so by contacting the ICCRC. The ICCRC is authorized to investigate and discipline any of its members of wrong-doing.
If you would like to file a complaint against an unlicensed consultant, you may also do so through the ICCRC. The ICCRC has no legal power to investigate or discipline non-members. However, they will be more than happy to forward your complaint to Canada Border and Services Canada (CBSA), who will investigate and act accordingly.