Don’t get scammed

Don’t get scammed

Jamaica to Canada

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

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Dear Mr Brown,

A scammer contacted me on social media pretending to be you and offering jobs for Canada and the United States. I know that you deal with immigration and education and not employment. I did not fall for it, but I suspect many others will. However, I would like to know if you represent any schools offering scholarships.

— HR


Dear HR:

Thank you for your e-mail. As you correctly stated, I am not an employment recruiter. I assist with Canadian immigration matters as a licensed professional and I am a National Association of Career Colleges (NACC) Accredited Education Agent for many Canadian Schools.

I have never proactively contacted strangers directly via telephone (cold calling) or social media to solicit business or extend a job offer. My office only responds to calls or e-mails that are received from the general public to facilitate scheduling appointments for consultations (either at my office or via telephone/Skype). Receiving a random call from anyone offering an overseas job (that you never applied for), with the request of payment (to an account in a different name) from someone (who does not have an office), seems like a “red flag.”

I have a website. I have an office. All correspondence from my office would be from my office landline, mobile number or email address. I do not work with any local agents or partners in Jamaica. I have a very transparent process as mandated by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC), which is the distinction of a licensed, authorised professional.


Recruitment/placement fees

The ICCRC is the regulatory body responsible for governing the conduct of immigration consultants. The Federation of Law Societies of Canada is the national coordinating body for provincial and territorial law societies in Canada. Together with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, they help safeguard potential immigrants from unauthorised representatives who pose a threat to the integrity of Canada’s immigration system.

Accordingly, under Canadian law, only authorised immigration representatives can charge a fee to help someone apply for a Canadian visa (visitor, study, work, or permanent residence). Therefore, it should be noted that all employment agencies, travel agencies or education agents in Jamaica must be authorised agents in order to provide any form of immigration advice.

An employment recruiter who is paid a fee for job placement is not allowed under Canadian law. In fact, charging foreign workers fees has been an illegal practice since 2009. However, for clarity, please distinguish a recruitment/placement fee from:

• Registration fees by an authorised immigration representative;

• Fees pertaining to legal work, which is allowed by authorised immigration representatives; and

• Fees charged by the Canadian High Commission.

As required by law, it is the employer that is to cover recruitment fees, rather than the applicants themselves. If a recruiter charges the applicant, instead of the employer, there is a penalty of a fine and/or imprisonment.

Consequently, unauthorised representatives are prohibited from the following activities:

• Explaining and/or providing advice on someone’s immigration options;

• Providing guidance to a client on how to select the best immigration stream;

• Providing guidance on completing and submitting immigration forms, such as a visitor’s visa, work permit or study permit;

• Representing a client in an immigration application or proceeding;

• Advertising that they are competent to provide immigration advice;

• Making interventions on behalf of the applicant during processing; and

• Requesting information from the embassy about the progress of the application.


Checking ICCRC member status

Always verify with a Canadian immigration consultant whether he or she is a member of the ICCRC. You should also request evidence to support their claim. ICCRC members must indicate their status as members on business cards, websites, and advertisements.

As it relates to scholarships, Thompson Rivers University (TRU) will be offering scholarships of up to $7,500 CAD. I will be hosting a seminar for TRU in Kingston at the Knutsford Court Hotel on March 13, 2019 at 7:00 pm.


Antonn Brown, BA, (Hons), LLB, MSc, RCIC, is an immigration counsel and an accredited Canadian education agent of JAMAICA2CANADA.COM — a Canadian immigration & education firm in Kingston. Send questions/comments to .

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