Canadian Immigration- Immigration Consultants or Scammers: The Oversight

The profession of Immigration consulting is quite notorious in nature. You might have seen your friendly neighborhood consultant and their advertisement to get you the “visa you want” and promising you your dream life in a foreign country. But over the years, there have been many reported incidents of fraud and duping hopeful and innocent citizens of thousands of dollars. The people, who are in fear for their life and being deported, end up not reporting these cases. Due to some people coming forward, this has come to the attention of the federal authorities.

Immigration Consultancy is fast turning into Scamming Professions where the lure of Canadian Land is exploited to hilt
Immigration Consultancy is fast turning into Scamming Professions where the lure of Canadian Land is exploited to hilt

The Problem- why the immigration frauds are on the rise in Canada?

Back in 2004, the government founded an organization called CSIC for regulating the profession of Immigration Consultants and put unofficial and illegal practices to rest. Since then, there have been many complaints about fraud cases, unlicensed consultants as well as ghost consultants. Many state authorities, such as in Ottawa, have delisted and declined to recognize the validity of the organization.

In the case of Ottawa, they even tried to put together a self-regulatory body by themselves, known as the ICCRC or the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council. Six years after its inception in 2011, the ICCRC has been plagued by similar complains which its predecessors had, the main culprits being Unlicensed operators as well as ghost consultants.

There was a case related to a woman of Filipino origin who applied to be a live-in caregiver in Canada which caught the attention of many. Like many do, she also hired an immigration consultant to help her with the visa application. After paying the consultant upwards of 4000 dollars and arriving in Canada, the woman comes to find out that there is no job for her. Certain excuses were made and then, she never heard back from the consultants.

The Federal Government Report

After getting lots of complaints about immigration Consultants or Scammers and the related fraud problems, the Canadian authorities conducted a study to find out the extent to which this problem was affecting people. And let’s just say the results were not encouraging.

The study of immigration Consultants or Scammers shows that the existing framework was unable to provide enough oversight to keep things in check. Unscrupulous consultants and their illegal activities were affecting innocent civilians and the Immigration System of the country.

Under the reports, the committee that undertook the study recommended more than twenty suggestions for the improvement of the existing framework. Some of these recommendations include:

  • Forming a nonpartisan and autonomous organization that keeps the professionals in check.
  • Making it essential for only attorneys and notaries in good standing with the Chambers of Notaries of Quebec as well as consultants recognized by the autonomous body to represent clients as paid consultants.
  • Tasking the new governing body to develop a multilevel licensing system for the consultants. The levels will represent the experience, the education, as well as the abilities of a consultant and, will impact the services it provides to the clients.

This study is a welcome step towards establishing a safer environment for citizens as well as the country.

Raima Sen

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