Specialization Program

Practice before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) is now a restricted area of practice. 

As of July 1, 2023, only Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) with an RCIC-IRB class of licence are authorized to practise before the IRB.


The Specialization Program

The Specialization Program ensures RCICs have the required knowledge, skills and judgment to practise before the IRB safely and ethically in the public interest. The program is based on the Essential Competencies for RCIC Practice.

If you want to obtain the RCIC-IRB class of licence and you have not completed a Graduate Diploma Program, you are required to:

  • Complete the Education Pathway, and
  • Pass the Specialization Exam.

When you have completed both requirements, you will be eligible to obtain an RCIC-IRB class of licence. As of July 1, 2023, this licence class will authorize you to practise before the IRB.

For more information on your eligibility to obtain the RCIC-IRB class of licence, read the Eligibility to Obtain The RCIC-IRB Class of Licence Policy

If you have other questions about the Specialization Program, email sp@college-ic.ca


PLAR and Hybrid pathways have been discontinued. At this time, the Education Pathway is the only Specialization Program pathway available to obtain the RCIC-IRB class of licence.

Education Pathway: Intended for RCICs with no IRB experience, limited IRB experience, or interested in formal IRB education.

Note: PLAR and Hybrid pathways of the Specialization Program will be discontinued following final deadlines. The Education Pathway will remain the only pathway available to obtain the RCIC-IRB class of licence.   

How to apply

Complete the Specialization Program Pathway Application Form and pay the required program fees by the Pathway Application Deadlines.

If you require an assessment accommodation, email the Registration Department at sp@college-ic.ca to receive the Assessment Accommodation Request Verification Form. You will need to return this form with the appropriate supporting documentation, no later than the application deadline.

The Education Pathway application deadline is July 17, 2023. After this date, new enrolments will not be accepted for the remainder of 2023. Please note that additional courses will be scheduled at a reduced frequency in 2024.

How to obtain your RCIC-IRB class of licence

Once you complete the Specialization Program, register for the Specialization Exam. If you pass the Specialization Exam, you will be issued the RCIC-IRB class of licence which will authorize you to practise before the IRB as of July 1, 2023.


The College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants is not affiliated with, and does not endorse, any external exam preparatory courses or programs.

Education Pathway

The Education Pathway is a series of part-time courses for RCICs get the class of the licence they need to appear before the Immigration and Refugee Board.

Specialization Exam

After completing the Specialization Program, you must pass the Specialization Exam. Passing the exam demonstrates your competence to represent clients before the IRB.

If you pass the exam, you will be awarded the RCIC-IRB class of licence.



For more information, contact sp@college-ic.ca