Specialization Program

Practice before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) is now a restricted area of practice. 

As of July 1, 2023, only Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) with an RCIC-IRB class of licence are authorized to practise before the IRB.


The Specialization Program

The Specialization Program provides Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) with the required knowledge, skills and judgment to practise before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) safely and ethically in the public interest. The program is based on the Essential Competencies for RCIC Practice.

If you want to obtain the RCIC-IRB class of licence and you have not completed a Graduate Diploma Program, you are required to:

  • Complete the Education Pathway, and
  • Pass the Specialization Exam.

When you have completed both requirements, you will be eligible to obtain an RCIC-IRB class of licence. As of July 1, 2023, this licence class will authorize you to practise before the IRB.

For more information on your eligibility to obtain the RCIC-IRB class of licence, read the Eligibility to Obtain The RCIC-IRB Class of Licence Policy.

If you have other questions about the Specialization Program, contact sp-ps@college-ic.ca.

Program Pathways

The Education Pathway is the only Specialization Program pathway available to obtain the RCIC-IRB class of licence. The Education Pathway is intended for current RCICs with no IRB experience, limited IRB experience, or are interested in formal IRB education.

Both the PLAR and Hybrid pathways have been discontinued.

Registration is now open for the 2024 schedule. The College has added new groups for the Education Pathway and courses will run until June 2025.

How to apply

Registration opening dates for the 2024 schedule:

  • April 9, 2024 for licensees re-enrolling to continue the program - now full and closed.
  • April 16, 2024 for licensees applying for the first time - now full and closed.
  • July 8, 2024 for newly added groups, open to all licensees.

To  apply, complete the Specialization Program Pathway Application Form and pay the invoiced registration fee before the Pathway Application Deadlines. You are encouraged to register as early as possible, as spaces are limited.

Before indicating your preferred group in the application form, review the Course and Live Tutorial Dates Schedule. Tutorial attendance is mandatory and there are no make up dates available. Please check the schedule carefully, as some groups do not include all 5 Specialization Program Education Pathway courses.

For questions about the Specialization Program or to request an assessment accommodation, contact sp-ps@college-ic.ca.

How to obtain your RCIC-IRB class of licence

Once you complete the Specialization Program, register for the Specialization Exam. You will be issued the RCIC-IRB class of licence if you pass the exam, maintain good standing with the College and meet all licensee requirements.

 The College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants is not affiliated with and does not endorse any external exam preparatory courses or programs.

Education Pathway

The Education Pathway is a series of part-time courses for RCICs to obtain the class of licence they need to appear before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB).

Specialization Exam

After completing the Specialization Program, you must pass the Specialization Exam. Passing the exam demonstrates your competence to represent clients before the IRB.



For more information, contact sp-ps@college-ic.ca