Canada plans of having a New Regulatory Body for Immigration Consultants -10th April, 2019

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Canada has decided to overhaul the regulating system for Immigration Consultants with the creation of a new College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants.

The Act on this subject was tabled forming a part of the bill for Budget Implementation on April 8th, 2019. It will introduce a new licensing regime and a have a code regarding professional conduct for the consultants.

The system is self-regulatory, similar to the present Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council that is in force since 2011. Moreover, this has happened despite a recommendation of the Parliamentary Committee two years ago. It had called for the regulating consultants and bringing them under the direct control of the Federal Government.

The act tabled now gives new powers to the Federal Immigration Minister like establishing a code of conduct and also forming a Board of Directors of the CICC.

Details of the CICC Act

1.    Creating a licensing regime for consultants and requiring compliance of licensees regarding the code of doing their activities in a professional manner. This will be established by the Immigration Minister, by the regulations forwarded by the government.

2.    It also authorizes the Complaints Committee of the College to carry out an investigation into the conduct and activities of licensees.

3.    There is an Authority to the Discipline Committee of the College to initiate an action when the licensee commits professional misconduct or is incompetent.

4.    It Prohibits persons who do not hold a license from using titles and making a representation that they are the licensees. It also makes a provision for the College to seek an injunction for any contravention of the prohibitions.

Additional facts

5.    Imparts an authority to the immigration minister to fix the number of directors on the board. Additionally, it requires the Board to act accordingly in carrying out the purposes of the Act.

6.    It also gives powers to the new body to hear complaints on licensed members under the former body – the ICCRC and finally

7.    Fines increased for violators of rules.

This is the result after investigations and reports regarding abuses and violations of both licensed and unlicensed consultants belonging to the immigration industry.  The regulation of these consultancies was also a source of controversy, before the Standing Committee of 2017.

The main areas:

1.    The legislative framework of the body charged with governing the consultants.

2.    Investigations and enforcement regarding the offense of practicing without any authorization and other offenses.

3.   IRCC procedures to process applications and issues concerning communication with clients and prospective aspirants.

Previously there were reports condemning the conduct of the ICCRC. The observation was that is an unprofessional organization suffering from infighting and bad practices.

Another concern is unregulated or ghost consultants who work within the country and overseas and do not take a sanction.  The legal framework requires the involvement of CBSA and RCMP, and the federal government to address the problem.  Immigration candidates also need to be cautious while hiring a consultant.  Furthermore, they must hire a qualified lawyer, under the supervision of provincial law society.

Conclusion

Finally, this Act has to undergo approval before taking effect.  The immigration minister will bring forward the set of regulations providing additional details regarding the functioning of the new regulatory body.

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