3 Inspiring Facts About Becoming an Immigration Consultant in Canada
This nation is mostly a land of immigrants. Canada simply wouldn't exist as the country it is without the historical and ongoing influx of new residents from almost every corner of the globe. Immigrants continue to be vital contributors to Canada's prosperity and cultural development. In fact, the numbers prove just how much diverse potential the country gains through immigration. For example:
- Canada's 6.8 million foreign-born residents accounted for 20.6 percent of the country's total population in 2011, which was the highest percentage among all G8 nations.*
- During the decade from 2004 to 2014 alone, Canada welcomed more than 2.79 million new permanent residents. They came from over 170 different countries.**
- In 2014, the top source nations of new Canadian permanent residents were the Philippines, India, China, Iran, Pakistan, the U.S.A., the United Kingdom, France, Mexico, and South Korea.**
So hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals immigrate to Canada every year in search of better lives and opportunities. But the actual immigration process can be lengthy and complex. And the federal government frequently amends or updates the country's immigration laws, which can add an additional layer of complexity to the process.
That's why a lot of would-be immigrants and temporary visitors to Canada choose to hire immigration consultants. By having knowledgeable professionals assist them with their applications and represent them throughout the process, they can often avoid costly mistakes and increase their chances of success.
As a result, the field of immigration consulting continues to provide a lot of value to both immigrants and the professionals who represent them. Here are a few of the most encouraging facts about becoming a Canadian immigration consultant:
1. You Can Achieve Good-Paying Opportunities
The average immigration consultant salary in Canada is about $48,700. But some people in this field earn total yearly pay as high as $77,000 or more.***
Plus, most registered immigration consultants are self-employed and operate their own businesses. So their incomes are generally only limited by how many clients they can take on and how much they can charge for their services based on their level of experience.
Of course, immigration consultant jobs can also be found with employers such as law firms, social assistance organizations, government agencies, and private companies with large human resources departments.
2. The Training and Registration Process Is Relatively Short
You may only need about six months to complete an immigration consultant program that results in a certificate or diploma. In fact, that's enough time to learn almost everything you need to know, which includes important areas such as:
- The basics of Canada's immigration system
- Canadian visas and temporary entry to the country
- Economic- and family-class immigration
- Refugee laws and humanitarian applications
- Practical business and communication skills
- The ethics and professional responsibilities of representing immigrants
After completing your short on-campus or online training, you'll be a major step closer to qualifying for the Full Skills Exam (FSE), which is administered through the Immigration Consultant of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). In order to legally provide Canadian immigration consulting services for a fee, you need to be registered with the ICCRC or be a legal professional in good standing with a provincial or territorial law society. (Prior to June 30, 2011, the regulatory body for this field was the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants.)
But once you've completed your program, you may not have to wait very long to take the FSE since the exam is offered multiple times throughout the year. Plus, the ICCRC gives applicants up to four attempts to pass the exam.**** By passing the exam and meeting the ICCRC's other requirements, you can become a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) and earn the respect and opportunities that come with that title.
3. The Work Can Be Truly Rewarding
Immigration consultants fill a vital role. That becomes vividly apparent when they help their clients land in Canada after successfully completing application processes that are often lengthy and emotionally challenging for them. After all, as an immigration consultant, you will likely care a lot about your clients (and often their families), especially after getting to know their life stories in detail. And helping their dreams come true can give you a big lift of inspiration and satisfaction. So all of your tasks, which might include the following examples, could be imbued with a lot of meaning:
- Obtaining the proper immigration documents
- Helping clients complete all required documents accurately and on time
- Making the process and all information easy to understand
- Filing all necessary paperwork with the appropriate government agencies
- Providing timely and relevant immigration-related legal advice
- Anticipating potential obstacles and appealing negative decisions
- Helping clients arrange for their relocation to Canada
- Staying up to date on the latest changes to federal immigration policy
Get Your Future Underway
Make the first move toward attaining the enriching career you want. Start by quickly searching for an immigration consultant course of study that's offered online or at a campus near you. Simply enter your postal code in the box below to see the options!
* Statistics Canada, "Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity in Canada", website last visited on October 29, 2015.
** Citizenship and Immigration Canada, website last visited on October 29, 2015.
*** PayScale, website last visited on October 29, 2015.
**** Immigration Consultant of Canada Regulatory Council, website last visited on October 29, 2015.