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If you’re Filipino and considering applying to immigrate to Canada, you should be aware of some of the common scams Filipinos face in the immigration system. Unfortunately, there are fraudulent actors in the world of immigration who may try to take advantage of you. That’s why we’ve put together this list of common scams used against Filipinos trying to immigrate to Canada.
Take the time to familiarize yourself with these possible scams, and remember, if ever you want professional advice you can trust, you can always book a consultation with one of our recommended Canadian immigration consultants. We only recommend consultants with years of expertise and positive reviews.
As well, if you’re ever unsure whether a person or a situation might be a scam, you can always ask for advice from our community. Head over to the Moving2Canada PR Facebook Group and ask our community members what they think.
Guarantees of success / Promises that seem too good to be true
No one can guarantee you 100 percent success when it comes to Canadian immigration. Any trustworthy person in the industry will tell you that there is always a risk with an application. There’s always the possibility that an immigration program requirements could change right before you submit, or that there could be an unexpected issue with your personal history.
It’s impossible to guarantee success with immigration. If anyone does promise success, that’s a red flag.
Along the same lines, has someone made you an offer that seems too good to be true? It probably is.
Big promises regarding Express Entry or Caregiver immigration streams
Similar to what we just stated above, watch out for immigration representatives who make big promises regarding Express Entry and/or Caregiver immigration programs. Both of these Canadian immigration streams have undergone changes in the past few years that have impacted Filipinos. Many scammers have used the confusion of these changes to fraud prospective newcomers from the Philippines.
Before going through the Express Entry system or a Caregiver immigration stream, we suggest reading up on our guides for Filipinos interested in each of these programs:
- How to immigrate to Canada through Express Entry as a Filipino
- Caregiver immigration to Canada as a Filipino
Make sure you understand how the programs work before you pay a representative to assist you (and remember, you don’t necessarily need a representative, it’s possible to do the application on your own).
Get your questions answered by an expert
All paid Canadian immigration representatives must have the proper authorization to represent you. If they don’t, do not work with them.
If you want to work with a Canadian immigration consultant: They must be registered with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). In order to prove this, your consultant must have a valid RCIC Number. You can look up this number on the ICCRC database in order to ensure that your consultant is in good standing.
If you want to work with a Canadian immigration lawyer: They must be a member in good standing with their provincial or territorial bar association. First, determine in which Canadian province or territory the lawyer is based. Second, use this directory of provincial/territorial bar associations to search for your lawyer and verify their credentials.
Bear in mind that sometimes consultants and lawyers who have the proper authorization will still scam their clients. While verifying the authorization of your representative is important, it is only one step in verifying their credibility.
Payment for a job offer
It is illegal to accept payment for a job offer in Canada. If someone asks you to pay them for a job offer, this is a major red flag and is almost definitely a scam.
As well, if you receive a job offer from a Canadian company that asks you to pay upfront for anything related to your job offer this is also a red flag. For example, if you receive a job offer from a company in Canada asking you to pay a deposit for your work visa, or for your accommodations, this is a huge red flag. A Canadian employer should never ask you to make an investment upfront for a job offer. Such requests usually come from scam artists.
No option for a consultation before an expensive contract
This is one of the scams that is popular even among authorized and fully licensed immigration lawyers and consultants. Some of these representatives will try to pressure you into purchasing an expensive full-service immigration package from them, without ever taking the time to discuss your immigration options and your chances of success in detail.
This is a red flag.
Most ethical immigration lawyers and immigration consultants will usually begin by offering you a one-on-one consultation, often 30 or 60 minutes in length, though sometimes longer. Yes, this consultation will cost money, usually between CAD$100 and $300. But, in this initial consultation, your consultant will learn your personal details and help determine your potential immigration options, informing you of your chances along the way. Think of it as an investment in being informed and making smart decisions that will save you time, money, and stress down the line.
Once you have been informed about your options, your consultant may offer a longer contract for their services, or they might encourage you to complete some or all of the process on your own.
If an immigration lawyer or immigration consultant does not offer you this personalized consultation upfront, then it may be a red flag. If they try to pressure you into signing a contract for thousands of dollars without ever getting to know your case personally, you should be cautious.
Immigration is a journey, and it’s important to take the time you need to figure it out. If you do want professional guidance from immigration representatives we know to be trustworthy, consider booking your consultation with one of our recommended Canadian immigration consultants. If you’re in the Philippines, they’ll be happy to connect with you by phone or video call.
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