Navigating immigration can be difficult and expensive, and there are scams out there that make it even more so.
That’s why two immigration consultants are raising red flags and hosting a free information session in Stayner this month.
Gerardine Alcalde and Susan Dasmarinas are regulated Canadian immigration consultants with experience in helping people from all different situations immigrate to Canada. They will be speaking to the public on May 19 at St. Patrick’s Hall (215 Pine St.) on how to avoid getting scammed by those fraudulently claiming to be immigration professionals and how to spot a fake job recruiter.
Alcalde and Dasmarinas are part of Access-Pro Immigration Services, but the event in Stayner is a community outreach initiative for educational purposes.
Odette Montelibano is a registered agent with Access-Pro, she immigrated to Canada in 2005. She said this community outreach is a direct result of the immigration consultants at Access-Pro hearing stories of fraud and fake job recruiters.
“I cannot say exactly the percentage, but it’s happening,” said Montelibano. “ Many people [immigrating to Canada] are mostly driven by desperation, and some people will take advantage of that desperation.”
Montelibano said her company has had clients come to them after being defrauded out of thousands and thousands of dollars. They will spend money to be trained for a job and arrive to find the job never existed.
“There are red flags,” said Montelibano. “During the information session we will discuss these red flags to watch out for and to help educate the people. The more people know about the processes, the less likely they are to fall victim to fraud.”
The information session is free and is for those in Canada on temporary visas or friends and family members of individuals who are or would like to immigrate to Canada.
ALcalde and Dasmarinas are members of the Immigration Canadian Consultants Regulatory Council, which is the regulating body for Canadian immigration consultants.
Alcalde and Dasmarinas will discuss the steps that can be taken to avoid falling victims into such scams.
According to a press release from Access-Pro Alcalde is an appointed Commissioner for taking affidavits by the Attorney General of Ontario. She is experienced in the different areas of immigration. She completed her Immigration Consultant Diploma program from Herzing College. Prior to this, she graduated with high honours for the Human Resources Management Certificate program of Centennial College. She also has backgrounds in public administration (master’s level), and mass communications.
Dasmarinas is experienced in the legal services industry, with expertise in Canadian Immigration Law and Immigration Issues. She is a founding member of the Immigrant Women in Business in Canada. Apart from being regulated Canadian immigration consultant she also runs an in-home caregiver consulting company. Her background is in Economics.Those who want more information about the information session may call Marlyn Lawrence, church events coordinator, at 705.896.1688, or send an e-mail to email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.