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I had an emigration consultant offer to help me get a work visa for Canada (I work in IT). It ended up costing a lot more than he initially said (first he said it'll cost $700, he's asked for $3000 and is asking for more still).

It's "Dream Life immigration". Incidently, used to be "Cream Life immigration" when I first got in touch a 6 months ago. https://www.instagram.com/dreamlife_immigration_/

He sent me documents that list a UCI number for my application, but logging into Canada's IIRC system tell me my UCI is unrecognised (this tool right here: https://services3.cic.gc.ca/ecas/security.do?lang=en).

I'm told that since my application was a "paper application" as opposed to a digital one, this lag is expected. But it's been 4+ months and my UCI is still unrecognised online. According to this agent, my work visa is already issued. I just need to dole out some more funds (asking for $5000 to "show I can cover living costs, that'll be returned back to me").

Is this remotely plausible, though? It sounds pretty scamy to me, and I wanted to ask someone who's more familiar with the Canadian system.

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    Not familiar with the Canadian visa system, I think scam as soon as an agent asks for more money than initial indicated.
    – Willeke
    Dec 4, 2021 at 13:03
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    asking for $5000 to "show I can cover living costs, that'll be returned back to me" Huge red flag.
    – jcaron
    Dec 4, 2021 at 13:13
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    (1) Other than very rare cases, paper applications are not appropriate any more. (2) The link you are using is for checking PR and citizenship applications, not for work permit. (3) The guy seems to be a licenced consultant so you may be able to file a complaint if things go wrong (but only if the guy you are contacting is the listed consultant). (4) Asking for $5000 or showing you can cover your costs in Canada is not part of the normal process. Your salary should be enough to cover your costs for a work permit.
    – xngtng
    Dec 4, 2021 at 15:19
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    @PeterM Of course, you should always check the registers. I checked CICC website and the registration is active with the same company name; the caveat being that someone could pretend to be the actual consultant and that some registered consultants can be shady as well.
    – xngtng
    Dec 4, 2021 at 15:32
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    These people count on the fact that people from developing countries think it’s normal that you need to hand out money to get anything done from the government. Dec 5, 2021 at 3:00

2 Answers 2

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You are being scammed.

Nothing about this adds up.

You definitely do not need to send money in order to prove you have it. Bank statements do the job much better. Sending them money proves nothing. You might have borrowed it. Canadian immigration will never ask for this.

It is even more impossible that money is required after the visa is issued. Once the visa is issued there is nothing more to do. These guys are just thinking more reasons for you to send them money, and will continue to do so as long as you send it.

The fee for a Canadian work visa is $155. Canadian immigration will not ask you for more than that. Even if your application were legit (it isn't) everything else is going to the agent.

A legit agent would never make a paper application.

Real agents do not use Instagram for their websites.

While I don't know exactly how long it takes for a UCI to enter the system, it's likely not longer than a few days and definitely before the visa is issued.

The government of Canada is very aware of scams like this and warns strongly that it is never necessary to use an agent to make a visa application, and that visa applications done by you are just as likely to succeed as an agent.

Send no more money and report these people.

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    "Real agents do not use Instagram for their websites." THIS for sure...
    – barbecue
    Dec 4, 2021 at 21:28
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  1. Immigration agents are extremely rarely necessary
  2. Still, if you feel the need and you are talking to one that you have not picked from a government website then they are scammers

Everyone can fill out the necessary forms online, there's extremely little an agent can possibly do for you. Almost all cases are very straightforward.

None of this is Canada specific. (Although I did my Canadian immigration by myself.)

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