Who needs a licence?

Anyone who provides Canadian immigration or citizenship advice or representation for a fee or for any other benefit


Who needs a licence?

It is an offence under the College Act for an unlicensed individual to provide Canadian immigration or citizenship advice or services for compensation.

If someone advises, helps, or directs or represents another person in a Canadian immigration or citizenship matter, they are “providing immigration or citizenship advice”.

For example, all of these are ways of providing immigration or citizenship advice:

  • Using publicly available information to advise someone on an immigration matter.
  • Telling someone how best to answer a question on an immigration-related application form.
  • Advising about what additional information someone should include with an application.
  • Writing a covering letter to accompany someone’s application.
  • Acting as their representative.

Anyone who provides Canadian immigration or citizenship advice or representation for a fee or for any other benefit (see below) must be:

  • A licensee in good standing of the College,
  • A member of a Canadian law society, or
  • A member of the Chambre des notaires du Québec.

NOTE: Immigration consultants providing Canadian immigration or citizenship services in countries other than Canada are subject to Canadian law.


How can RCICs and RISIAs help me with immigration matters?

An RCIC can help and support you if you want to study, work or live in Canada.

Once you are in Canada, an RCIC can also help you with citizenship applications, family sponsorship applications, visitor visas, detention reviews, or study permits.

RCICs in Canada and around the world help by:

  • Explaining immigration and citizenship options.
  • Choosing the best program for you.
  • Filling out and submitting your immigration or citizenship application.
  • Communicating with the Government of Canada on your behalf.
  • Representing you in an immigration or citizenship application or hearing (An RCIC must have an RCIC-IRB class of licence to represent you before the Immigration and Refugee Board).

A RISIA (pronounced riz-ee-ah) are international student advisors licensed by the College.

RISIAs working for designated learning institutions in the Canadian education sector can provide immigration advice about:

  • Study permits.
  • Temporary resident visas.
  • Study permits related to other permits currently available in Canadian immigration programs.

They are not authorized to represent you in immigration or citizenship matters or complete immigration forms for you.