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Immigration Consultant

Immigration consultants assist with the legal and document requirements of relocating to Canada. This includes preparing oral and written submissions, helping clients secure a visa, and advocating on their behalf before government agencies.

Also Known As

Immigration Practitioner

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Social Policy Researchers, Consultants and Program Officers (4164) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Social Policy Researchers, Consultants and Program Officers (E034) 
  • 2011 NOC: Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers (4164) 
  • 2016 NOC: Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers (4164) 
Updated Mar 31, 2019

In Canada, the role of an immigration consultant is to advise immigrants and help them navigate the immigration system. They ensure applicants meet the legal requirements of Canada’s immigration laws.

In general, immigration consultants oversee all aspects of the visa and immigration process. They:

  • Help clients obtain visas and other documentation
  • Communicate with clients in person and in writing
  • Ensure clients complete applications and submit them on time
  • Ensure the client provides accurate and up-to-date information
  • Prepare all fee quotes and any information required by clients, colleagues, or authorities
  • Represent clients at tribunals and before administrative bodies, including Canadian visa offices abroad
  • Advise clients of their legal rights and all matters related to immigration and citizenship law
  • Research legal precedents and gather evidence regarding applicants’ claims about their home countries
  • Help applicants manage relationships with lawyers
  • Apply for appeals if applications are denied

Immigration consultants may need to help human resources personnel understand immigration rules.

Those who work for post-secondary schools as advisors offer guidance to international students. Their duties can include helping students apply for work permits or permanent residence.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Strength Required Strength requirements vary

Immigration consultants most often work in an office setting during standard weekday hours. Some travel and must work overtime on occasion.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Immigration consultants need:

  • Interpersonal skills, including patience, assertiveness, and compassion
  • Communication skills, including interviewing, public speaking, and writing
  • Organization and time-management skills
  • Analytical and investigative skills
  • Problem-solving and critical-thinking skills
  • Flexibility and attention to detail
  • Goal orientation and persistence
  • Appreciation of different cultures
  • High ethical standards
  • Common sense and good judgment

Immigration consultants are often involved in lengthy processes. This carries a lot of responsibility. They should have an interest in locating and interviewing witnesses and applicants. They should be at ease representing clients before agencies. They should enjoy drafting briefs, pleadings, and other documents, and being socially engaged.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2011 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers

2011 NOC: 4164

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 28 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 18, 2021 and Sep 19, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Personal Suitability: Team player
Personal Suitability: Excellent written communication
Personal Suitability: Organized
Personal Suitability: Reliability
Personal Suitability: Excellent oral communication
Perform administrative tasks
Personal Suitability: Effective interpersonal skills
Personal Suitability: Accurate
Conduct research
Personal Suitability: Dependability
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Minimum Education Varies

Employers require applicants to have an undergraduate degree, diploma, or equivalent practical experience. Applicants should also have a level of language proficiency in English or French. They must also be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, or belong to a First Nation.

Immigration consultants must keep up with Canada’s immigration system and policies. These include the Refugee Act, Criminal Code, and immigration-related procedures and legislation. They need some clerical knowledge to prepare briefs, pleadings, and other documents.

Consultants who work with foreign workers need knowledge of and experience with related immigration programs. Examples include the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Academy of Learning - Calgary Central
Academy of Learning - Edmonton Downtown
CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary North

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Certification Not Regulated

Under Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act [pdf] and Citizenship Act [pdf], an immigration consultant, in Canada or abroad, who provides Canadian immigration services for a fee must be a member of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). The accreditations offered through ICCRC include:

  • Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC)
  • Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (RISIA)

Annual education is required to keep registration up to date. Details on the registration requirements and exceptions are available on the ICCRC website.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Immigration consultants are self-employed or employed by established consulting firms or post-secondary schools. Those who are self-employed must market their services and maintain professional credibility.

Immigration consultants employed by consulting firms may become team leaders and senior consultants. With experience in a consulting firm, many immigration consultants set up their own firms. Even experienced practitioners who leave salaried positions to become consultants must often subcontract their services to established consultants before building their own client base.

Immigration consultants are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 4164: Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers. In Alberta, 76% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook (pdf) in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • Size of the occupation

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

In Alberta, the 4164: Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.8% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 77 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2019

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers

2016 NOC: 4164
Average Wage
Per Hour
Average Salary
Per Year
Average Hours
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 4164 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $22.15 $41.92 $30.87 $28.88
Overall $23.99 $50.38 $35.85 $31.87
Top $26.92 $55.19 $39.73 $37.55

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Public Administration
Health Care & Social Assistance
Educational Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
Vacancy Rate
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Social Sciences, Law and Religious Studies
  • Social, Community and Protective Services
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants website:

Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2019. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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