Ronda Payne" />
post banner image

The Importance of Lifelong Learning for Immigration Practitioners

By: Ronda Payne

Published On: September 8, 2020

Staying up to date on what is happening in your industry is an important part of being a leader in your field. In the world of immigration, especially in Canada, things are changing constantly, so it can be a challenge to stay on top of what’s happening at all times. However, there are ways to upgrade education while also learning about government program shifts through the course offerings from an education provider which is enmeshed in the field.

Lifelong learning is just as essential for an immigration consultant or paralegal working in the field of immigration as it is in other careers where there are regular changes and issues that can financially or emotionally affect a client. It is the responsibility of immigration practitioners to stay ahead of the curve and provide the most accurate and beneficial information.

Supplemental Education in Short Courses

All Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) must complete a minimum of 16 hours of professional development each year. The professional development must be approved activities by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). This can be done through programs offered and arranged through the ICCRC, or through courses approved by the ICCRC and offered by accredited partners such as Ashton College.

Education in the field of immigration does not have to be lengthy. That is one of the greatest concerns of busy immigration consultants and paralegals. They simply do not have the time to devote to extensive programs. This is where the short courses in the Ashton College Continuing Education division can help.

Often, an immigration consultant finds themselves working on a number of similar cases and may realize that they are lacking certain information. A paralegal may also find that several cases of a similar nature land on their desk, but they lack the specific expertise even though they are an expert in other areas.

Specific Course Options Deliver Advanced Knowledge

For example, cases which involve refugee applications can be quite complex. Taking a Certificate in Refugee Class Immigration Law course can be helpful in revealing quicker and better ways to complete the processes and paperwork. Similarly, those immigration consultants and paralegals who have to work through the Canadian immigration tribunal will benefit from a Certificate in Immigration Tribunal Practice course.

It is easy to get drawn into specific, advanced fields in immigration because of the complexity involved in the cases and the awareness of how the process impacts a potential immigrant. Not all immigration and law firms have the advanced knowledge these courses provide. Having an immigration consultant or paralegal with this expertise will allow a firm to further specialize or expand their offerings.

Not only will these courses provide the information required to deal with specific cases, they are also taught by immigration experts, experienced in these vital areas. These instructors have firsthand knowledge of the processes discussed in the courses and are able to answer specific questions students may have from their own experiences helping immigration clients.

The courses are also short, lasting only three months each. They require only one evening of class attendance per week while the other coursework can be done on your own personal schedule. The benefit of Ashton College’s Live Online platform ensures that you can enjoy in-class time from anywhere, provided you have a computer with an internet connection. You will also find the additional class tools are excellent at providing interaction not just during class time, but throughout the course.

Another option is the Certificate in Temporary Resident Immigration Law. This course is ideal for those who need to better understand how the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations apply to temporary residents.

Paralegal Specific Options

Those who have been working as a paralegal or legal assistant for three or more years are eligible to enhance their education through a number of paralegal-specific immigration courses. These include:

  • Paralegal Specialist Course: Canadian Citizenship Law
  • Paralegal Specialist Course: Immigration Law Principles
  • Paralegal Specialist Course: Permanent Residents under Canadian Immigration Law
  • Paralegal Specialist Course: Temporary Resident under Canadian Immigration Law
  • Paralegal Specialist Course: Refugee Protection under Canadian Immigration Law

These courses are designed specifically to enhance and expand the knowledge a paralegal has about the immigration system in order to bring a more complete and robust skill set to their law firm.

Additional Training and Learning Opportunities

Recognizing that immigration education doesn’t always come from a class or structured program, Ashton College established a special area specific to the support and ongoing excellence of immigration consultants. The Immigration Practitioner Centre includes overviews of courses, explanations and details about continuing professional development and the unique Immigration Practitioner Zone which supports new and growing immigration consultants and others in the field.

Getting Ready to Become an Immigration Consultant

As a complete provider of resources for those in the immigration field, Ashton College also offers the RCIC Entry-to-Practice Exam Prep Course. This comprehensive course is offered to prepare graduates of an accredited ICCRC educational program for the membership examination. Just two and half weeks will have prospective immigration consultants filled with the knowledge and information they need to confidently take their exam. Knowing the format of the exam, how questions are worded and what is permitted is an important part of being prepared for the exam.

Learning is important in any field, but lifelong learning is both a regulatory requirement and informational need in immigration consulting. Seek out the options that will provide you with the right education for your career growth.


    View All Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Submit Enquiry Form