An Immigration Consultant’s Guarantees

Author: Parminder Singh, LL.B (Canada)

If an immigration consultant or an immigration lawyer gives you guarantee that your Canada Immigration Visa will not be refused, he is lying. Find out Why ?

Since its the Canada immigration officer who is making a visa decision, only the immigration officer knows whether a refused visa decision is forthcoming. Had the immigration consultant or the immigration lawyer been making your visa decision, he would have been speaking the truth.

Since the immigration consultant is only applying for your visa, he can simply say “I don’t know whether a refused visa decision will be rendered in your case, but I do know that I have applied your visa as per all the requirements of the immigration laws”.

An immigration consultant can give you guarantees of his work, but not of its results.

Guarantees by reference to connection in the Embassy

Its contrary to the rules of professional conduct to mention to the clients that an immigration consultant’s case is guaranteed because he has connections in the Embassy. Such consultants are either committing frauds on you or they are doing illegal and unprofessional practise. There is a penalty for such conduct.

Guarantees by reference to past success rate

Sometimes rather than giving guarantees, the immigration consultancies tend to mention past visa success rate, suggesting visa success in the future. Suffice to say that the past success is not an indicator of future success because the future decision makers and the immigration consultants can be negligent and less hard working than the past ones. Often we have seen a bright student at secondary level performing worse at the university level and vice versa due to sickness or other personal reasons. The success in future will only depend on effort. If the effort in the past and the future is same, the success rate will be same, but this is not possible due to unpredictable circumstances in the future.

I am not saying an immigration consultant cannot mention past success rate to his clients. Of course he can mention it, provided he also mentions that the past success is not a guarantee of success in the future.

Guarantees for a perfect visa application ?

Can it be said that since the immigration consultant applied for your visa according to all the requirements of the law, the Canada immigration officer will not deliver a refused visa decision ? I don’t think he can give you guarantees of the results of an otherwise complete and perfect application because even a complete visa application can get rejected if an immigration officer makes a mistake. It is not unusual that immigration officers make mistakes because the immigration law is complex and its not always possible to grasp the spirit of law for a non lawyer like an immigration officer.

A doctor’s analogy strikes similar to immigration consultant or lawyer in that a doctor never guarantees the results of his treatment. He in fact gets your signed “waiver of claim” before treating you. The doctor can give you guarantees of his work that he has given you medicine according to his study, education and experience, but he cannot guarantee that the medicine will cure you. In this way, if the doctor-negligently or carelessly- gives you a medicine that is not related to your disease, he has breached his guarantee of work and he is thus liable for his negligence and malpractice.

Liability for Guarantees

Similarly, an immigration consultant, who files your application or appeal for refused visa negligently, is liable for negligence and malpractice. An immigration consultant can make many unacceptable mistakes in the following scenarios: he files your application to a wrong visa office address or files your refused visa appeal to a wrong tribunal, resulting in delay in your case; an immigration consultant gives you a negligent advice without doing reasonable research on immigration rules and regulations; an immigration consultant gives you guarantees of the results of an immigration application. In all these examples, the immigration consultant is liable for damages, untruthfulness and negligence.

Opinion versus Guarantee

An immigration consultant may however give you his opinion on your case whether it is a strong or a weak case, but he cannot guarantee that a case will be successful even when the case is extremely strong because an immigration officer can still render a refused visa decision by committing an honest or negligent error of law or fact.

If the immigration officer made an honest error in good faith, he is not liable, but if he made a negligent error, he is liable to you for damages.

Appeals for refused Visa

As a client you should not ask for guarantees, rather you should ask for an opinion on the strengths and weaknesses of your case. If you think your visa was refused unfairly or by some legal error, you should seek judicial review of the court. All refused visa cases can be appealed in the Federal Court of Canada.

CONCLUSION 

Choose an immigration consultancy based on Outstanding Qualifications, not based on Bold Guarantees: Professionals who can give you correct ADVICE AND OPINION rather than UNTRUTHFUL GUARANTEES.

At Sigh & Associates-Lawyers, we provide complete and professional assistance for all types of visa applications and refused visa appeals. Contact us for an opinion or assessment of your case.

Selecting a Right Immigration Consultant

Author: Parminder Singh, LL.B (Canada)

4 common fallacies in choosing an immigration consultant

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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.

Conclusion

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 Remedies

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:

1. Qualifications

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.