Use of representatives: Who can act as a representative

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Any person providing citizenship or immigration advice or representation to a client for a fee or other form of consideration must be an authorized representative to do so. Please note: this information is not applicable for passport applications or any proceedings under the Canadian Passport Order. These functions include making interventions on behalf of the applicant during processing, and requesting information about the progress of the application. In order to intervene and request information on behalf of the applicant during application processing, individuals who are receiving compensation must be a lawyer, notary or other member in good standing of a law society, or a member in good standing of the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC).

It is an offence for anyone other than an authorized representative [under A91 of Immigration Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) for immigration matters and A21.1 of the Citizenship Act for citizenship matters] to represent or advise clients for a fee or other consideration for the following

  • at any stage of an immigration application or proceeding including the period before a proceeding begins or an application is submitted, or
  • on citizenship matters.

If convicted, (whether the individual knowingly and/or directly or indirectly committed the offence) the individual can be fined or imprisoned, or both. Both the IRPA (section 91(9)) and the Citizenship Act (section 29.1) have offence provisions. The punishment on conviction for an offence includes maximum fines of $100,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 2 years upon conviction by indictment; and of $20,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 6 months on summary conviction.

Types of representatives

There are 2 types of representatives:

  • Individuals who receive some form of compensation for their services (either directly or indirectly) (compensated representatives)
  • Individuals who provide such services for free (these would typically be family members, friends, and in some instances non-governmental and religious organizations, etc.) (uncompensated representatives)

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