How to Become an Immigration Consultant in Toronto: Study Paths & Career Options
Jan 12, 2017
Students in Herzing College’s Immigration Consultant program visit the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (Toronto)
Immigration consultants help their clients navigate Canada’s complex immigration system. They use their knowledge of immigration law, various pathways to entry, and the application process to increase their clients’ chances of gaining admittance to Canada.
With the Canadian government ramping up immigration targets for the next several years, there is growing demand for consultants—particularly in favourite destinations like Ontario.
So what does it take to become an immigration consultant in Toronto? In this post, we break down training requirements, typical course content, and career options for students considering immigration consulting in one of Canada’s most moved-to cities.
Choosing an Immigration Consultant Program
First and foremost, students must ensure that the immigration consultant program they choose is accredited by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC).
The ICCRC was designated by the government of Canada to regulate Canadian immigration and citizenship consulting, and international student advising. Their primary goal is to ensure all consumers have access to consulting services from qualified, ethical consultants.
This mission begins by bestowing accreditation on training programs that meet strict quality standards. Students should look for the ICCRC seal of accreditation on the website program page of any immigration consultant program they are considering.
What requirements must students meet to apply?
In order to be considered for an immigration consultant program in Canada, applicants must be:
- university graduates; OR
- have completed at least two years of post-secondary education; OR
- have at least two years of related work experience
Immigration consultant programs in Toronto usually take about 6 months to complete. Students should look for a program that includes an internship so they can begin acquiring job experience prior to graduation.
Concerned about juggling training with work and/or family?
Some colleges offer flexible online immigration consultant training, which students can work around their own busy schedules. Online programs should also bear the ICCRC seal of approval.
What to Expect from Immigration Consultant Courses
In order to attain ICCRC accreditation, immigration consultant programs must develop curriculum in accordance with ICCRC regulations. Students can expect immigration consultant courses to focus on the technical, legal, and regulatory issues that impact immigration to Canada, such as:
- immigration and refugee law (immigration policy, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, an overview of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, landmark legal decisions, and more)
- temporary status (the various types of visa applications and programs, citizenship and passport issues, ethics, and rules of professional conduct)
- economic class (the laws and regulations for each selection category, provincial nominee programs, and more)
- administrative tribunals and the Immigration and Refugee Board (rules and procedures for appeals, detention reviews, admissibility hearings, etc.)
- starting an immigration consulting practice (practical guidance for launching and growing a successful consulting business)
- code of ethical conduct (as set out by the ICCRC)
These are just some of the topics students should look for on program course lists. It is advisable to choose a robust program, because in order to become an immigration consultant in Toronto (or anywhere else in Canada), students will need to pass a comprehensive ICCRC exam. Your training should prepare you for this test.
Registering with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council
As mentioned, the final step of completing your training as an immigration consultant is passing the ICCRC exam and registering with the ICCRC.
In addition to completing an accredited college program (and passing the test), students will need to fulfill several other mandatory registration requirements, which include:
- achieving at least the minimum score on an accredited English or French language test
- providing a police check for every country you have lived in for 6 months or more, since the age of 18 (for Canada, that means obtaining an RCMP certified criminal record check with fingerprints)
- a sworn declaration that attests to your good character and conduct
For a full list of requirements, fees for testing, 2017 application deadlines, and other important information, please visit the ICCRC here.
Career Options for Immigration Consultants in Toronto
Once graduates pass their exams and register with the ICCRC, they are eligible to pursue several different career paths. The government of Canada’s aggressive immigration policy has raised demand for immigration consultants in top destinations like Ontario (and Toronto specifically) as thousands of skilled workers, family members, and students apply for entry into the country.
Registered immigration consultants can find positions in law offices, legal departments, government, or open their own practice. Starting out, graduates can expect to earn an average salary of $43,000 per year.
After gaining a few years of professional experience, many consultants go into business for themselves, so they can determine their own working hours and earning potential.
Are you interested in learning more about—or applying to—an accredited Immigration Consultant program in Toronto?
Take a look at Herzing College’s 6-month Immigration Consultant program, delivered both on-campus AND online through the Toronto campus.
Visit the program page for a full list of course descriptions, entry requirements, career options, and to chat live with a knowledgeable advisor. We’ll help you get started.
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