For years, the profession of immigration consulting was plagued by "ghost consultants"; people claiming to have expertise in immigration law but who would disappear into thin air the moment they received any money from a client.
To combat this, the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) was created to protect consumers from phony consultants who just want to take your money and run. They developed a licensing process, drafted codes of conduct and professional ethics, and maintain ongoing monitoring of all working Registered Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs).
I am an RCIC, and together with my colleagues across the country and the world, my information appears on a searchable list accessible to the public. This list, accessible through the ICCRC website, is an easy way for you to confirm that the consultant you are working with is legitimate and has met the legal standards required to operate as a professional immigration consultant.
First, go here and select your language--English or French. For this demonstration I will choose English. From there you will be taken to The Council's Registry, where you can search the registry of immigration consultants alphabetically or by typing in some of their information. I'll use myself as an example:
Click 'Search'. If the consultant is licensed with the ICCRC, their details, including their name and registration number, will be listed. Their status will also be 'Active'.
If they fail to appear in the search results, or if their status is something other than 'Active', then you should not be paying them money to help you. What you should do is...