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Avoid Scams on Your Way to a Canadian Visa

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Hiring an immigration consultant for your application process to Canada is an easy and stress-free way to immigrate without worrying about paperwork or incomplete documents. However, sometimes this stress-free experience is ruined by fraudulent scammers who ask for hefty sums of money and are rarely up to any good when it come to the actual application.

Photo by Jaimie Harmsen on Unsplash
Photo by Jaimie Harmsen on Unsplash

Yes, hiring an authentic RCIC can be a little tricky at times, but with these tips you can easily avoid Canadian immigration frauds and make sure that your money is being invested in the right place.

 Secure Payment

Always make sure that you are sending money through safe, secure and authentic payment portals. Remember that the main purpose of any fraudulent agent is getting money, so any signs of urgency when it comes to payment processing, being vague about the actual amount it will take for your case, sending shady payment links via emails and asking an upfront fee without any assessment, application form or guides are all red flags.

Another thing to look out for are those suspicious ‘special offers’ that try to lure potential clients with false pretense. No authentic immigration company or RCIC agent will have a year-round 50% discount or give you a 100% guarantee for immigration. Furthermore, no authentic immigration consultant will ask you to directly share credit card details, or even initiate a payment without going through at least the initial assessment phase.

 Confirming the Immigration Consultant’s Identity

All the certified RCIC and immigration lawyers are registered with their name and license/registration numbers at the ICCRC website. A simple way to avoid Canadian immigration frauds is to run their details on the website and check for authenticity. Even so, it’s easy for a scammer to copy the name and registration of a licensed RCIC so make sure you are communicating with the right person and they can show you proof of authentication.

Asking all these questions is your basic right before agreeing to any payment package. You will find most reputable RCIC agents on LinkedIn as well, which is a sure-short way to confirm their authenticity. If they contact you through email exchanges, run a search on the email id they use and if it is in fact an authentic one.

 Transparency on the Immigration Website

If you are a licensed, registered and well-liked immigration consultancy company, you’ve got nothing to hide, right? This should be reflected in the company’s website in every way – from their About Us section to sharing information about their team and RCIC agents. An authentic immigration consultancy shares all the details a potential client will need to make a well-informed decision about hiring their services. The website should also have a secure client portal, terms of use and privacy policy. Ideally, they should also have a live chat option.

If you find that they have mentioned everything you need to know, run a quick review before taking things further – as even the contact information can be wrong sometimes. If a number or email address is provided, reach out to them and get your peace of mind. Lastly, a lot of scam websites are not secure, so look for that padlock sign on the browser to be sure of its legitimacy. It is best to stay up to date with the latest anti-spam and anti-virus software and use the browser filters for detecting fake/scam websites.

 Word-to-Mouth

One of the easiest ways to be sure of secure and authentic handling of your immigration case is to hire an immigration company or a consultant after reading positive reviews and testimonials. If it is not directly suggested by a trusted friend, family member or acquaintance, then do your homework and learn about the practice through authentic reviews and ratings. Raid their social media profiles and assess the number of interactions they have, if they have a review section, and how much following they have. Your safest bet is following recommendations after reviewing success stories and positive reviews.

Steer Clear of Suspicious Emails

RCIC agents don’t just randomly pop up in your inbox. If you’ve been on Canadian job boards/portals or took random surveys, it is likely to end up with a scammer in your inbox. They lure you with fake promises and hitting an ‘immigration lottery’ but this is all misleading. There is no sure short way to immigrate, one has to go through all the necessary steps put in place by the Canadian federal government and even the best RCICs can’t skip them or offer immigration guarantee.

To sum it up

An RCIC can help you make your Canadian dream come true. From collecting the documents, to calculate your Canada CRS score, these immigration consultants can make your way to Canada much easier and shorter than to do the whole process on your own.

While it may sound a bit complicated to navigate through and keep so many things in mind, once you find an authentic immigration consultant things only get easier from that point. It is quite natural to be apprehensive of being scammed when you are asked to invest from your hard-earned money, so follow these simple tricks to make sure you are investing it with the right people.