While some so-called immigration practitioners claim to be authorised immigration agents only those duly registered with a particular country’s immigration department or recognized immigration body may assist with a legal immigration and accept payment therefor.
Scam artists have been known to fail to assess their clients likelihood of being granted a visa and in some cases doesn’t ever communicate with clients. In some cases the authorised individual is not even on this continent. One of the major issues with this method is, if you sign on and go through the entire immigration process you may actually find out months later at the time of submission that you never actually qualified for immigration to begin with.
When anyone assesses you or qualifies you for immigration or gives you paid advice ensure they are actually authorised to do so and are not a case worker, agent of the representative or a sales person. For example, when dealing with Canadian Immigration you need to be one of the following to provide advice or recommend an immigration program / plan:
Lawyers and paralegals who are members in good standing of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society (Does not include South African Lawyers or paralegals)
Notaries who are members in good standing of the Chambre des notaires du Québec and (Does not include South African Notaries)
Immigration consultants who are members in good standing of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC)
If you are looking to immigrate to Canada from South Africa you can find out if the person you are dealing with falls under one of the categories by checking with their regulatory board in Canada directly. The regulatory board will be able to confirm their registration and their physical address.
The immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) provides the list of all of their members on their website where you can search by name, location, company name, and a variety of other criteria.
If the person you are looking to hire for your Canadian immigration application does not appear to be registered with any of the regulatory boards listed above, ask them directly which regulatory board they belong to along with their membership number. This will give them the opportunity to clarify your concerns. You can then use this to confirm with their regulatory body.
If you are planning on immigrating to Australia then only registered migration agents can legally provide you with immigration assistance in Australia.
To do this, they must be listed on the Register of Migration Agents, held by the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority.
You should not feel comfortable with an immigration practitioner who does not have a digital footprint, in other words; published articles, a professional website and so on.
Never trust an agent using a gmail, hotmail or yahoo email account, they should be utilizing a traceable official company email account.
An agent making guarantees and promises is either inexperienced or a scam artist. Visas can never be guaranteed.
Never make payment into an individual’s bank account, payment should only be made into a proper company registered bank account.