For students registering for courses starting in September 2024, UBC has switched to a new system, Workday. Please check your email for setup instructions. Summer Session students should continue using SSC.

Find a regulated immigration consultant or lawyer

What do authorized immigration representatives do?

Authorized representatives advise and act on issues concerning Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Authorized representatives do not have special access to immigration-related programs and services, and no one can guarantee your application will be approved.

There are two types of immigration representatives: paid and unpaid.

Paid representatives

Paid representatives are qualified professionals who are accountable to their regulatory body and required to abide by strict ethical and professional rules designed to protect consumers.

Only the following people may charge a fee or receive any other type of payment to represent or advise you with a Canadian immigration proceeding or application:

Unpaid representatives

Unpaid third parties include family members, friends, and non-profit or religious organizations.

Get help from an authorized representative

At UBC, International Student Advisors are RCICs or RISIAs who offer a limited range of immigration advice to international students and their immediate family members (spouses, common-law partners, and dependent children) at no cost.

International Student Advisors can help with:

  • Issues related to Canadian visas
  • Study permits
  • Certain work permits such as post-graduation, co-op, and spouse/partner work permits.

International student advisors are here for you. However, in some cases, we may advise you to seek the services of another authorized representative if:

  • Your questions go beyond the scope of our immigration services, including topics like permanent residency.
  • We do not have sufficient expertise or authority to advise competently on topics such as non-Canadian visas, complex inadmissibility, or multiple refusals.

How to find a representative

Unfortunately, International Student Advisors cannot refer you to specific authorized representatives. You can visit the links in the section above for a complete list of authorized representatives.

Not all representatives are knowledgeable about international student issues. When choosing a representative on your own, ask about things like:

  • Experience
  • Knowledge
  • Training
  • References
  • Client testimonials

See IRCC’s tips on choosing an immigration representative.

Contacting a lawyer

The Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) is funded by the Law Foundation of British Columbia and operated by the Access Pro Bono Society. LRS is available by telephone and online (limited areas). Please visit for more information and for their contact information. The LRS program enables the public to access lawyers and provides the opportunity to have a consultation with a lawyer for up to 15 minutes free of charge.

Find more public programs provided by Access Pro Bono at

International Student Guide

Find everything you need to know about life as an international student at UBC's Vancouver campus.

View the guide