What is an Unauthorized Practitioner (UAP)? | MyConsultant

What is an Unauthorized Practitioner (UAP)?

What is an Unauthorized Practitioner (UAP)?

An unauthorized practitioner, formerly known as "ghost consultant," is someone who offers paid immigration advice or services without being authorized or licensed by a Canadian regulatory body.

What’s the difference between an Authorized Representative and an Unauthorized Practitioner?

Authorized representatives are authorized by s. 91(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and s. 21.1(2) of the Citizenship Act to Provide paid immigration and citizenship services. Immigration and citizenship consultants, also known as Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) are among the authorized representatives. They have specialized knowledge of Canadian immigration, refugee, and citizenship law, and are regulated by the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC). Unauthorized Practitioners, namely, are individuals who are not licensed or regulated according to the provisions of IRPA or the Citizenship Act but still provide paid immigration and citizenship services, including advice.

What are some examples of UAPs?

UAPs include individuals who offer immigration advice for a fee, prepare legal documents, fill out forms, and represent clients in immigration matters without being licensed. In other words, UAPs are unlicensed individuals who offer immigration advice for a fee in return.

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, as well as refusals. Because unauthorized practitioners are not regulated, it is hard for victims to file a complaint 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 have a registration number. They may refuse to disclose themselves as representatives.

How can individuals avoid UAPs in immigration?

Individuals should seek advice only from RCICs, 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 they provide and fees they charge.

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.

Unauthorized Practice – Operating without a licence (college-ic.ca)

Contact the Border Watch Line (cbsa-asfc.gc.ca)

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca)

Canadian regulatory body

About the author

Hui Zhang [CICC ID: R524643]
RCIC-IRB Lawyer (China)
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