Author: Parminder Singh, LL.B (Canada)
4 common fallacies in choosing an immigration consultant
4 Remedies to avoid common fallacies
4 common fallacies
Just as a patient must ask a doctor’s qualifications before seeking a treatment, so does a client ought to ask an immigration consultant’s qualifications before seeking his advice. After all, your life’s 60-70 years are at stake.
1. Rich Qualifications versus Rich Office
Having said this, a number of clients do not ask for qualifications of immigration consultants, rather they see how lavishing their offices are, and whether they have conducted 5 star hotel seminars or ran expensive ad campaigns. The glow of rich office and staff gives them an impression of establishment, qualifications and credibility. A client’s eyes are so blinded by the glare of rich office that they are unable to see the true face of an immigration consultant.
2. Self Proclaimed Track Record versus Verified Qualifications
Further, rather than asking for qualifications of an immigration consultant, the clients ask for immigration consultants’ track records. Good track records of an immigration consultant are desirable but self-proclaimed track record, however good, has no value. Self-proclaimed track record cannot be verified from an independent 3rd party. Further, a good track record cannot make up for a person’s lack of qualification.
3. Qualifications versus Credibility
Often I come across people who have ignored an immigration consultant’s qualifications just because he is honest and credible. This is a flawed approach because an honest person, however credible, might not be qualified, and therefore he may give you a misguided advice, albeit, honestly.
4. Pseudo Qualifications versus Certified Qualifications
Still often the defrauded clients tell me that they did not ask for qualifications of an immigration consultant because the consultant has sent some of their friends to Canada and therefore he must be both, credible and qualified.
I tell these clients that a compounder and a Hakim also treats patients successfully just like a doctor does, but that does not mean that patients should go to a compounder or a Hakim for treatment. Beware that there are risks involved with self-proclaimed fake doctors, hakims and compounder. In similar terms, there are risks involved with unqualified immigration consultants even though, occasionally, they had some success in filing applications.
SUMMING UP: Let not a lavish office, 5 star seminars and an expensive ad campaign, be a symbol of the CREDIBILITY of a company. Let the RELEVANT QUALIFICATION, whether displayed in a lavish or a modest office be the hallmark of credibility.
I am not saying that a lavish office, expensive ad budget or a 5 star seminar is an automatic sign of a fraud. What I mean is that all these accessories without relevant qualifications are signs of a hidden bait and recipes of your disaster.
4-Point Checklist to avoid common mistakes in choosing an immigration consultant
In order to help you find a right immigration consultant, I have devised the following check list:
When you enter an immigration consultant’s office, check what certificates or degrees are displayed in his room.
Check whether an immigration consultant, who is directly talking to you, holds a certificate, diploma or a degree. If he is using someone else’s degree or diploma, stay away from such immigration consultant.
2. Relevancy of qualifications
Check whether the certificates are relevant to the immigration advise he is rendering.
Check what is the area of study of the immigration consultant. Check whether the area of the consultant’s study is same as his area of consulting or practise. Note that their qualifications must be relevant to the area of consulting e.g. a military officer, however high ranking, does not have the relevant immigration knowledge base and qualifications for immigration consultation.
Check the websites of the immigration consultancies to inquire about the qualifications of their staff.
3. The difference between a certificate, diploma and a degree
Check whether the immigration consultant is a certificate, diploma or a degree holder.
Know the difference among a certificate, diploma and a degree. A certificate is earned in a year or less; a diploma is earned in 2 or 3 years, a degree is earned in 3 or 4 years, a professional degree such as law or medicine degrees take further 3 to 4 years after the first degree.
Assign appropriate weight to the opinion or advice of an immigration consultant with a certificate, diploma and a degree ( A degree holder’s advice ought to be given greater weight than a diploma holder’s opinion)
4. Professional and a non professional
Note that a professional is less likely to defraud you than a non-professional because a professional’s hard earned degree is at stake, if he commits a fraud, whereas a non-professional has nothing to lose if he defrauds you. Hence a professional will most likely not commit a fraud for fear of losing his degrees or license.
5. Qualifications must be from a credible country or an institution
From time immemorial, our humanity has suffered from confusion created by self-proclaimed professionals or experts. To deal with this problem, all nations and all societies around the globe recognized experts only by their licenses and degrees. Despite the fact that all nations around the world have separated self-proclaimed professionals or experts from the certified experts by issuing them licenses and degrees, the confusion still persists. The result is that clients do not show confidence in degrees and licenses, rather they show confidence in referrals, even when the referral is of an unqualified professional or expert.
Part of the reason for the persistent confusion is that degrees and licenses are not, in some societies, issued by credible institutions. When the degrees and licenses are questionable in some societies, the confusion created by self-proclaimed professionals or experts will definitely find a fertile ground to promote themselves as experts.
The best advise in these cases is to check, not only the qualifications, but also the countries from which the qualifications are obtained. If the qualifications are from a 3rd world, under developed country, clients must also see whether the credible institutions granted those degrees. However if the degrees are from the developed nations, it is sufficient to check the degrees without indulging into further investigation of the institutions.