UAP’s Q and A | MyConsultant

UAP’s Q and A

UAP’s Q and A

Unauthorized immigration practitioners (UAPs) promise quick and easy solutions to immigration but may engage in fraudulent practices. Read on to learn how to identify and avoid UAPs.

What is an Unauthorized Practitioner (UAP)? 
An unauthorized practitioner, often called a "ghost consultant," is someone who offers paid immigration advice or services in Canada without being authorized or licensed by the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC) or any other recognized legal body.

What’s the difference between a Regulated and Unauthorized Practitioner?
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants or RCICs have specialized knowledge of Canadian immigration, refugee, and citizenship law, and are regulated by the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants. UAPs, or Unauthorized Practitioners, are individuals who are not licensed or registered with a formal regulatory body. 

What are some examples of UAPs?
UAPs include individuals who offer immigration advice for a fee, prepare legal documents, and represent clients in immigration matters without being licensed. UAPs also be friends, family members, and other third parties who may give the same services as authorized representatives but FOR FREE. 

What are the risks of engaging with UAPs?
Falling victim to UAPs can harm your immigration prospects and result in receiving inaccurate advice, paying high fees for services that are not legitimate, client files being delayed or abandoned, or even deportation. Because unauthorized practitioners are not regulated, it is hard for victims to pursue legal action against them.

How can I identify a UAP?
An unauthorized practitioner typically lacks a valid license from CICC or appropriate regulatory body as denoted in law, does not provide a registration number, avoids signing documents, and often requests cash payments without providing receipts.

How can individuals avoid UAPs in immigration?
Individuals should seek advice only from authorized immigration consultants, or practitioners who are authorized and registered with the appropriate regulatory body in their jurisdiction. The College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants has an online Public Register which clients can use to verify the status of an RCIC. 

To avoid being defrauded by UAPs, individuals should also be aware of red flags, such as promises of a quick and easy process or ones that seem too good to be true. Anyone looking for immigration advice should do their due diligence by ensuring the representative is authorized to represent, seeking references, inquiring as to experience and training and obtaining a written contract that lists the services and fees they provide. 

Where can victims of unauthorized practitioners seek help?
Victims can seek help by contacting the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC), CBSA the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, or local law enforcement agencies to report the unauthorized practice and receive guidance.

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