Legal Forum: Fees for Immigration Services to Canada Not Fully Refundable

By Gemma Casas Published: May 23, 2015

2015-0525! Legal Forum Fees for Immigration Services to Canada Not Fully Refundable

LEGAL CASE 1: Like so many other migrants from the Philippines, I am also dreaming of one day making it big to Canada from the UAE. I even hired the service of an immigration consultancy firm in Dubai to make my application faster.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen so I decided to discontinue the firm’s services and asked for a refund.

The firm sent me a consent letter for refund but the terms are on its favors, especially on how much I would get from the fees that I paid. Please advise me on how to handle this situation. Thank you.

Name Withheld Upon Request

ANSWER:This is a request to do contract review. We cannot represent you without a formal engagement but for purposes of publication, we can give general pointers as there are many Filipinos applying for employment visas in Canada.

Immigration services contract for job placement or assistance to secure visas are highly technical in nature. Standard clauses provide that all fees paid are non-refundable. Moreover, there is no guarantee that your visa application or job placement will be successful.

Prior to entering such contracts, it is highly advisable to consult an independent lawyer who can provide you with an objective evaluation of your application vis-à-vis the immigration requirements applicable to your qualifications.

We always suggest to make progress payments rather than a lump sum amount so that you only pay for the services actually performed. Requests for refunds would require documentary support and is usually a stressful exercise so it is better to be extra careful before paying any fees.

Refund policies are based on your agreed terms in the contract as well as those mandated by laws. 


Sloppy immigration consultancy service ground for a refund
Legal Case 2: I am a nurse based in Abu Dhabi with two kids and a wife whom I left behind in the Philippines.

Last year, I sought the services of an immigration firm after it convinced me that I am eligible to apply as a nurse or immigrant I Canada. I paid a total of Dh12,000 (about PhP120,000) to process my application. We signed an agreement and I submitted all supporting documents that were asked of me.

Their initial assessment showed I am eligible to apply. However, I was told that I didn’t get the passing grade for IELTS (International English Language System) for my position, thus, I should retake it but I must also make an additional fee to the consultancy firm.

I cannot afford the additional payment the firm was asking me so I decided to terminate my services with them. When I asked for refund, I was told that I cannot get anything despite a clause in our contract that I am entitled for such.

As far as I am concerned the consultancy firm didn’t deliver what was expected of it. All it did was to ask me to prepare all the documents that I needed to process my application. I want to get a refund even just a dirham. Please help me. Thank you.

ANSWER: A contract for the provision of services is subject to the consumer rights protection under UAE laws. Even if it is stated that fees are not refundable, you may still be entitled to claim a refund or even damages if the other party did not provide the agreed scope of work, especially if the services rendered is erroneous.

There are several ways in which you can register a complaint with the Department of Economic Development (DED). You can make a complaint by calling “Ahlan Dubai” at +971 600 545555 or send your complaint via fax at +97144503996.

The other alternative is for you to email the following information:

  • your name and contact details
    • trade name, address and contact person and number of the service provider
    • copy of the contract
    • copy of the invoice to prove payment
    • details of the services you are complaining

You can also visit the DED Consumer Protection division to file your complaint in person.

The Consumer Protection division will provide you with a unique case number which you will quote when enquiring about the progress of your case. Generally, the DED will take action to resolve the matter within two working days.

In this issue, Atty. Al Bonghanoy, a senior counsel at Gulf Law Litigation Department in Dubai, the Philippines and United Kingdom who is also a certified public accountant, gives legal advice to a reader who lost his job within the probationary period and a group of Filipinos troubled by the company’s late filing of their employment visa applications.




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