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Immigration Consultant

Immigration consultants help people with the legal and document requirements of relocating temporarily or permanently to Canada. This includes preparing oral and written submissions, guiding clients through the process to secure a visa, and advocating on their behalf before government agencies.

Also Known As

Authorized Representative, Immigration Practitioner, RCIC, Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors, RISIA

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

  • 4164: Social Policy Researchers, Consultants and Program Officers

2006 NOC-S

  • E034: Social Policy Researchers, Consultants and Program Officers

2011 NOC

  • 4164: Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers

2016 NOC

  • 4164: Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers

2021 NOC

  • 41403: Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers

2023 OaSIS

  • 41403.04: Immigration and citizenship consultants
Updated Mar 23, 2023

In Canada, the role of an immigration consultant is to advise individuals, employers, and organizations on immigration-related matters. They ensure applicants meet the legal requirements of Canada’s immigration laws. Immigration consultants help people navigate the immigration system.

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

  • Advise clients of their legal rights and all matters related to immigration and citizenship law
  • Help clients obtain visas and other documentation for temporary entries and permanent residence
  • Ensure clients complete applications and submit them on time
  • Ensure the client provides accurate and up-to-date information
  • Research legal precedents
  • Gather evidence regarding applicants’ claims about their home countries
  • Communicate with clients in person and in writing
  • Determine a client’s next steps if their application is refused

Immigration consultants may help human resources personnel understand immigration rules related to their organization’s foreign workers.

Some immigration consultants have specialized or limited duties.

Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant – Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (RCIC-IRB) licence holders are the only ones authorized to practise before the IRB. They:

  • Represent clients at tribunals and before administrative bodies, including Canadian visa offices abroad
  • Attend administrative law tribunals with the IRB
  • Apply for appeals if applications are denied before the IRB

Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (RISIAs) are authorized to provide immigration advice only to students. They:

  • Work for Canadian designated learning institutions that are approved to host international students
  • Offer guidance to international students
  • Help international students apply for study permits or temporary resident visas

A citizenship consultant offers Canadian citizenship consulting services. Some consultants offer both immigration and citizenship consulting services.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 23, 2023
  • Strength Required Strength requirements vary

Many immigration consultants work as sole practitioners or as partners with their own professional corporations.

Most work from home or in an office setting during standard weekday hours. Some travel and must work overtime on occasion.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 23, 2023

Immigration consultants need:

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

Immigration consultants are often involved in lengthy procedural and legal processes. This carries much responsibility. They should be at ease representing clients before agencies.

They should enjoy:

  • Drafting briefs, pleadings, legal opinions, and other documents
  • Being socially engaged

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.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers

2016 NOC: 4164

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 79 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 18, 2021 and May 07, 2024.

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.
Attention to detail
Construction Specialization: Dependability
Construction Specialization: Accurate
Construction Specialization: Excellent written communication
Construction Specialization: Excellent oral communication
Construction Specialization: Organized
Construction Specialization: Values and ethics
Construction Specialization: Reliability
Construction Specialization: Client focus
Construction Specialization: Effective interpersonal skills
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 23, 2023
  • Minimum Education Varies

To work as an immigration consultant, you must be licensed as a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) or a Regulated International Student Immigration Advisor (RISIA).

The programs below are the only accepted educational pathways to becoming an RCIC. They are both offered online:

The only accepted educational pathway to becoming a RISIA is the International Students and Immigration Education Program. You can take this through the Canadian Bureau for International Education.

Besides licensure, employers generally require proficiency in English or French. They also require Canadian citizenship or permanent residency, or membership with a First Nation

Immigration consultants must keep up with Canada’s immigration system and policies. These include:

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

They need some clerical knowledge to prepare briefs, pleadings, and other documents. They need to be familiar with immigration practice management rules and obligations.

Related Education

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

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 23, 2023
  • Certification Not Regulated

Under Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act [pdf] and Citizenship Act [pdf], to provide Canadian immigration services for a fee in Canada or abroad, you must be one of the following:

CICC offers the following license types:

  • Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC)
  • Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (RISIA)
  • Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant - Immigration Refugee Board (RCIC-IRB)

Annual education is required to keep registration up to date. For details about all registration requirements, contact CICC or visit the CICC website.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 23, 2023

Some immigration consultants are self-employed. They must market their services and maintain good standing with the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC).

Other immigration consultants work for:

  • Established consulting firms
  • In-house immigration practitioners for the private sector
  • Post-secondary institutions

Immigration consultants who work for 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.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 4164: Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers occupational group, 85.4% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 4164: Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 2.2% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 111 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: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

In 2022, the following numbers of individuals were licensed by CICC in Alberta:

  • 1394 Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants
  • 43 Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (Source: CICC Annual Report, 2022)

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

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 23, 2023

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

2021 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 $23.08 $43.90 $34.75 $36.05
Overall $26.10 $54.40 $41.66 $41.29
Top $30.77 $62.20 $44.15 $47.04

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

Information, Culture, Recreation
Educational Services
Health Care & Social Assistance
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Public Administration

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 23, 2023

Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants website:

College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC):

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

Updated Mar 23, 2023. 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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