Under Canadian law, only the people who fall into the three categories below can legally provide paid immigration counseling.
- Lawyers and paralegals who are members in good standing of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society,
- Quebec notaries who are members in good standing of the Chambre des notaries du Québec, and
- Immigration consultants who are members in good standing of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council.
It is illegal for anyone to provide immigration counseling for a fee if they do not belong to one of the above categories.
Illegitimate organizations do exist in Canada and overseas and they are often referred as "ghost" consultants. We highly recommend you to only deal with regulated experts who have received the appropriate training and education to best help your case.
In a 2012 interview to the Globe and Mail, John Ryan (chair of the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants at the time) admitted that investigators have tracked nearly 2,000 "ghost" consultants in Canada who are providing unethical advice.