Immigration consulting firms offer services relating to the legal status of individuals, including permanent residency and visa services. These services include submitting visa applications, providing visa advice, preparing for and representing clients before a court of review authority in relation to visa applications and other related matters.

In spite of high levels of immigration in Canada, the growth experienced in the industry was stifled due to falling per capita disposable income and corporate profit, causing individuals and corporations to find alternatives to industry services. Nevertheless, revenue is expected to rise as post-recessionary conditions benefit corporate profit and stricter federal and state immigration laws are implemented.

Steps on How to Start an Immigration Consulting Business in Canada   

  1. Conduct Market Research

Conducting market research before starting any business is key to the success of the business hence you must not open an immigration consulting business in Canada without conducting market research. This is because market research provides critical information about your business landscape.

This helps you to understand how your business is perceived by the clients you want to reach. It helps you determine who and where your customers are, and which customers are most likely to do business with you. In essence, thorough research helps you understand how your customers think and adapt to their needs in order to turn them into regular customers and brand advocates.

a. Who is the Target Market for an Immigration Consulting Business in Canada?
  • Immigrants
  • Expats
  • Students
  • Sportsmen and women
  • Business owners
  • Corporate organizations
  • Charity organizations that work with refugees
  • Everyone above 18 years who resides in your business location.
b. Is Immigration Consulting a Profitable Business in Canada?

Yes, immigration consulting business in Canada is very profitable because when it comes to the “go-to” country for migrants from all across the world, Canada sits among the top countries. Available statistics show that between 2017 and 2018, net immigration accounted for 80 percent of Canada’s population increase, while the remaining 20 percent was through natural increase.

c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?

No, there are no niche areas in the immigration consulting business in Canada. This is because immigration consulting is a niche in the consulting industry.

d. Who are the Major Competitors?
  • CICS Immigration Consulting Inc.
  • Canada Immigration Consulting Ltd
  • Bright Immigration
  • Alternativa Canada Immigration Consultants
  • TopNation Immigration Services & Consulting – Edmonton
  • RightWay Canada Immigration Services
  • Immigration Consultant Surrey – SET Canada Immigration
  • Love Canada Immigration Consultancy
  • One Immigration Consulting
  • Patel Canada Visa Consultancy
  • Amir Ismail & Associates
  • Euro Immigration Consultants
  • Migration Concerns Canada Inc.
  • Axis Immigration Consultants
  • Connect Canada Immigration Services Inc.
  • Avni Canadian Immigration Consultancy Inc.
  • Chitra & Associates Immigration Consultants Inc.
  • Green Light Canada Immigration
  • Jane Katkova – Canadian Immigration Experts
  • World Canada Immigration Consultancy Inc.
e. Are There County or Province Regulations or Zoning Laws for Immigration Consulting Business in Canada?

Yes, there are county or provincial regulations or zoning laws for immigration consulting businesses in Canada. Players in this industry are expected to work with the existing regulations governing similar businesses in the county or state where their business is domiciled. It means that at any point in time, the county office can determine whether the immigration consulting business meets the zoning rules of the community.

f. Is There a Franchise for Immigration Consulting Business in Canada?

No, there are no franchise opportunities for immigration consulting businesses in Canada.

g. What Do You Need to Start an Immigration Consulting Business in Canada?
  • A feasibility report
  • Business and marketing plans
  • Business licenses and permits
  • Office space
  • Computers, laptops, and servers
  • Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST)
  • Council permit
  • A corporate bank account
  • Software apps
  • Competent employees
  • Startup capital
  1. Choose a Memorable Business Name

When looking to start a business, before you can begin to file the necessary documents with the constituted authorities or start your website, it is necessary that you come up with a name that you will be recognized with. It is essential that the name you come up with can easily be pronounced, is unique and easily memorable.

Some of the catchy business name ideas suitable for an immigration consulting business are;

Creative Immigration Consultation Business Name ideas
  • Tim Vaughan® Immigration Consulting, Ltd.
  • Oakville Mickey® Immigration Consulting, Ltd
  • Alberta Expats® Immigration Consulting Services, Ltd.
  • Marple Legal® Immigration Consulting, Ltd.
  • Burlington Dave® Immigration Consulting, Inc.
  • Sherbrooke Ings® Immigration Consulting Group
  • Saskatoon Group™ Immigration Consulting, Ltd.
  • Markham May® Immigration Consulting, Inc.
  • Mariah Jared® Immigration Consulting, Inc.
  • Richmond Hill® Immigration Consulting, Inc.
  • Peter Driscoll® Immigration Consulting, Ltd.
  • George Winston™ Immigration Consulting, Ltd.
  • Mike Kester® Immigration Consulting, Ltd.
  • Greater Sudbury® Immigration Consulting, Ltd.
  • Grande Prairie® Immigration Consulting, Inc.
  • Sanford Wellington® Immigration Consulting, Ltd.
  • Cathartines® Immigration Consulting, Ltd.
  • Rowland Hyden© Immigration Consulting, Ltd.
  • Clem Weston™ Immigration Consulting, Ltd
  • Maple Ridge® Immigration Consulting, Ltd
  • Cape Breton® Immigration Consulting, Ltd.
  • Thunder Bay™ Immigration Consulting, Inc.
  1. Register Your Business

a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for Immigration Consulting Business in Canada?

If you choose to start your business in Canada, there are four basic forms of business ownership or legal entity you can build a business structure on in Canada. They are sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and cooperative.

Note that when you incorporate a business you create ownership shares, which produce taxation and legal distance between the company and its shareholders. This has tax advantages for the owners. It provides liability protection from the corporation’s debts and offers some measure of protection for a company’s name. The downside is that setting up a corporation involves initial and ongoing costs for legal and accounting fees.

b. Steps to Form a Corporation in Canada

To register as a corporation, you will need to take the following steps:

  • Incorporate your business through federal incorporation or provincial/territorial incorporation.
  • Get a federal business number and corporation income tax account from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
  • Register as an extra-provincial or extra-territorial corporation in all other Canadian jurisdictions where you plan to do business.
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open an Immigration Consulting Business in Canada?
  • General Business License
  • Zonal Permits (Applicable in some Province)
  • Signage Permit
  • Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) License.
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Open an Immigration Consulting Business in Canada?

There is no provincial license or certification to become an immigration officer in Canada. The only certification is from the ICCRC.

e. What Documents are Needed to Open an Immigration Consulting Business in Canada?

These are the basic legal documents you are required to have if you want to run an immigration consulting business in Canada;

  • Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST)
  • Council permit
  • Business and liability insurance
  • State permit and building approval
  • Certificate of incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business plan
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Online terms of use
  • An online privacy policy document
  • Contract document
  • Company bylaws
  • Memorandum of understanding
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?

If you are considering starting an immigration consulting business in Canada, there may not be any need to file for intellectual property protection or trademark. The nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.

  1. Cost Analysis and Budgeting

a. How Much Does It Cost to Start an Immigration Consulting Business in Canada?

The cost of starting an immigration consulting business in Canada could range from $50,000 (CAD) to over $150,000 (CAD) depending on how big you plan to start the business. This amount includes the salaries of all the staff for the first month of operation.

b. What are the Cost Involved in Starting an Immigration Consulting Business in Canada
  • The fee to file articles of incorporation federally is $200
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits and accounting services (software, P.O.S machines, and other software) – $8,300.
  • The total cost for hiring a business consultant including writing a business plan – $2,500.
  • The total cost for the purchase of insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation, and property-casualty) coverage at a total premium (initial (first) premium) – $4,400.
  • The cost for renting or leasing operational office space – $45,000.
  • Other start-up expenses include commercial satellite TV subscriptions, stationery ($500), and phone and utility deposits ($2,800).
  • The operational cost of the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills, and software renewal fees et al) – $35,000
  • The cost for the purchase of software apps: $5,000
  • The cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $1,750
  • The cost of purchase and installation of CCTVs: $2,000
  • The cost of launching a website: $2000
  • The cost for our opening party: $3,000
  • Miscellaneous: $2,000
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening an Immigration Consulting Business in Canada?
  • The size of the immigration consulting business
  • The choice of location
  • The required licenses and permits
  • The type of facility
  • The additional services offerings
  • The cost of hiring and paying a business consultant and attorney
  • The cost for branding, promotion, and marketing of the immigration consulting business
  • The cost of furnishing and equipping the facility
  • The cost of the insurance policy covers
  • The cost of registering the business
  • The cost of recruiting and training your staff
  • The cost of the purchase and customizing of uniforms
  • The cost of the grand opening of the immigration consulting business in Canada
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will It Cost?

You don’t need to build a new facility for your immigration consulting business in Canada. The business can be operated from a leased or rented office space.

e. What are the Ongoing Expenses of an Immigration Consulting Business in Canada?
  • Utility bills (internet subscriptions, phone bills, signage, and software renewal fees et al)
  • Rent
  • Employees salaries
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
  • Chief Executive Officer (President) – $55,000 Per Year
  • Immigration Attorney (Consultant) – $42,000 Per Year
  • Human Resources and Admin Manager – $38,000 Per Year
  • Accountant – $35,000 Per Year
  • Client Service Executive (Help Desk Office) -$32,000 Per Year
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start an Immigration Consulting Business in Canada?
  • Raising money from personal savings
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Applying for a loan from your bank/banks
  • Pitch your business idea and apply for business grants and seed funding from, the government, donor organizations, and angel investors
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and friends.
  1. Write a Business Plan

a. Executive Summary

Sharon Greene® Immigration Consulting, Inc. is a registered and licensed immigration consulting firm that will be based at 32 Victoria Street Toronto – Ontario, Canada.

Sharon Greene® Immigration Consulting, Inc. is a client-focused and result-driven immigration consulting firm that provides broad-based services at an affordable fee that won’t in any way put a hole in the pocket of our clients. We will offer standard and professional immigration consulting services to all our clients at the national, and international levels. We will ensure that we work hard to meet and surpass our client’s expectations whenever they hire our services.

b. Products and Service
  • Provide legal advice on the ability to reside in Canada and the country of their choice
  • Collect and submit appropriate documentation to prove a case
  • Helps obtain the type of documentation needed to legally reside within the country
  • Obtain immediate access to citizenship in emergency situations
  • Represent our clients in court
  • Assist with citizenship tests
  • Defend a person’s case to prevent him or her from being deported
  • Handle family-sponsored immigrants, employment-based immigrant visas, Diversity programs, Refugees and Asylees, and other categories.
c. Mission Statement

Our mission aims at positioning the immigration consulting firm to become the leading brand in the immigration consulting industry in Toronto – Ontario Province. We are committed to providing truthful, honest, competent, and result-oriented service through advising and representing our clients in Canada and overseas in a wide range of immigration matters.

Vision Statement

Our vision is to build an immigration consulting brand that will become the number one choice for both individual and corporate clients in Toronto – Ontario Province.

d. Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of the immigration consulting business in Canada are to help people handle their immigration concerns.

e. Organizational Structure
  • Chief Executive Officer (President)
  • Immigration Attorney (Consultant)
  • Human Resources and Admin Manager
  • Accountant
  • Client Service Executive (Help Desk Office)

Marketing Plan

a. SWOT Analysis
Strength:
  • Effective structure in place
  • Highly experienced and qualified employees and management
  • Reliable software app
  • Support from relevant organizations
  • Water-tight strategies on how to expand beyond the major markets.
Weakness:
  • Financial Constraints
  • A new business that will be competing with well-established immigration consulting businesses in Canada
  • Inability to retain our highly experienced and qualified employees longer than we want
Opportunities:
  • Partnerships and mergers between established companies.
  • Good support structure for immigration consulting business in Canada.
Threat:
  • The arrival of new immigration consulting business in Canada within our market space
  • Unfavorable government policy and regulations
  • Differences in management and culture are the biggest barriers to integrating the immigration consulting business in Canada
  • Liability problems
  • Continuously changing consumer demands especially as it relates to how they expect immigration consulting businesses in Canada to serve them.
b. How Do Immigration Consulting Businesses in Canada Make Money?

Immigration consulting firms make money by offering the following services;

  • Provide legal advice about the ability to reside in Canada and the country of their choice
  • Collect and submit appropriate documentation to prove a case
  • Helps obtain the type of documentation needed to legally reside within the country
  • Obtain immediate access to citizenship in emergency situations
  • Represent our clients in court
  • Assist with citizenship tests
  • Defend a person’s case to prevent him or her from being deported
  • Handle family-sponsored immigrants, employment-based immigrant visas, diversity programs, refugees and asylees, and other categories.
c. Payment Options
  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via credit cards/Point of Sale Machines (POS Machines)
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money transfer
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
  • Introduce your immigration consulting business and the services you offer by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to residents, corporate organizations, travel and tour agencies, NGOs, and other key stakeholders throughout the city where your immigration consulting business is located.
  • Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to get your message across
  • Create a basic website for your business so as to give your business an online presence
  • Directly market your services
  • Advertise your business in community-based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
  • List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
  • Encourage the use of word-of-mouth marketing (referrals)

Financial Projection

a. How Much Should You Charge for your Product/Service?

The amount immigration consultants charge in Canada depends on the services rendered. For example, for Citizenship Processing Fees; Adult aged 18 and older, $630 per person; Adopted minor (18 and under), $100 per person; Minor (18 and under), $100 per person. Canadian Experience Class (CEC) $2,500 – $3,500, Spouse (or common-law partner) sponsorship $3,500 – $5,000, and Child sponsorship $2,000 – $3,000.

b. How Much Profit Do Immigration Consulting Business Owners Make a Year in Canada?

Immigration consulting business owners in Canada usually make between $45,000 to over $150,000 per year.

c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
  • The capacity of the immigration consulting business
  • The location the immigration consulting business is covering
  • The management style of the immigration consulting business
  • The business approach of the immigration consulting business
  • The advertising and marketing strategies adopted by the immigration consulting business
  • The number of years the immigration consulting business has been in operation
d. What is the Profit Margin of an Immigration Consulting Business in Canada?

The profit margin of an immigration consulting business in Canada is not fixed; to a large extent, it will depend on some factors that are unique to the type and nature of services offered.

e. What is the Sales Forecast?

Below is the sales forecast for an immigration consulting business. It is based on the location of the business and other factors as it relates to such startups in Canada;

  • First Fiscal Year (FY1): $250,000
  • Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $380,000
  • Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $400,000
  1. Set Up your Shop/Office

a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for Immigration Consulting Business in Canada?
  • The demography of the location as it relates to migrants
  • The demand for immigration consulting services in the location
  • The purchasing power of businesses and the resident of the location
  • Accessibility of the location
  • The number of immigration consulting businesses in the location
  • The local laws and regulations in the community/province
  • Traffic, parking and security et al
b. What City is Best to Open an Immigration Consulting Business in Canada?
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Montreal, Quebec
  • Calgary, Alberta
  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • Edmonton, Alberta
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Brampton, Ontario
  • Hamilton, Ontario
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate an Immigration Consulting Business in Canada?

You would need to buy software applications, computers/laptops, internet facility, telephone, fax machine, and office furniture (chairs, tables, and shelves) amongst others.

  1. Hire Employees

When hiring employees for a standard Immigration consulting business in Canada, you should hire a competent Chief Executive Officer (President), Immigration Attorney (Consultant), Human Resources and Admin Manager, Account Manager, and Client Service Executive (Help Desk Office).

  1. Launch the Business Proper

In recent times, no immigration consulting business in Canada opens business without first organizing an opening party to officially launch the business. You can do a soft opening party if you are operating on a low budget or you can go for a grand opening party for all and sundry. The bottom line is, with a proper launching of the immigration consulting business, you officially inform people in your city that your immigration consulting business is set for services.

a. What Makes an Immigration Consulting Business Successful?
  • Choose a good location to launch the business
  • Offer a robust immigration consulting service (give your customers options)
  • Be deliberate with your marketing and sales approach
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth to promote your immigration consulting business
  • Leverage all available online and offline platforms to promote your immigration consulting business.
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at an Immigration Consulting Business in Canada?
  • The office is open for the day’s work
  • The to-do list is reviewed
  • Employees go straight to their job description
  • Marketers go all out to market the service offerings of the company
  • Reports are written and submitted to superior officers
  • The business is closed for the day.
c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build an Immigration Consulting Business in Canada?
  • Excellent communication and negotiation skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Problem-solving ability
  • Good Supervisory skills
  • Excellent marketing skills
  • Excellent computer skills
  • Ability to pay attention to details
  • Good managerial and human development skills
  • Good accounting and bookkeeping skills
  • Visionary leadership
  • Team-building and Interpersonal skills
  • Experience in managing immigration consulting business
  • Experience in business administration
  • Experience in handling relevant software.