Are you thinking of moving to Canada and settling in a secured life? Then you must have thought of getting help from immigration consultants. However, in many cases, immigrants have been victims of fraudulent consultants who misguide them.
Immigration frauds by consultants are not new in Canada. Despite multiple actions taken by the government, Canada has been facing these problems for a while now. Canada’s new self-regulatory body for immigration consultants seeks to tackle this issue. On November 23, 2021, the federal government has initiated the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC).
What Is the Need for a New Self-Regulatory Body For Immigration Consultants?
On August 24, a ministerial order recognized the failure of previous bodies that were in charge of regulating immigration consultants. The new college is to replace the previous regulator, Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). The previous body has been accused of not taking action against the ghost consultants who do not have any proper certification to represent immigrant applicants.
The ICCRC was created in 2011 replacing the previous body, the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants, which was established in 2003. However, a parliamentary committee report of 2017 suggested that the federal government should be in charge of regulating the consultants.
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) are well aware of these issues. In 2019, it issued a review of the whole system which eventually led to the formation of the new self-regulatory body. However, the global pandemic as well as other issues delayed the opening of the new college. Though the college has officially opened, the old ICCRC will be forming the basis for the new regulatory body.
Code of Conduct of The College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC)
In a press release, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) said that the new college will be prepared to discipline and investigate any issue regarding immigration consultants. Moreover, it will have powers to punish and take action against immigration consultancy frauds. The new college will be able to call witnesses to appear before the discipline committee. Thus, the new college will ensure that no predatory immigration consultancy can slip through the procedures. The board of directors of the new college will consist of five people selected by the immigration minister and members of the college.
According to the rules of the new college, you must have a bachelor’s degree as well as go through a graduate diploma program to become a licensed immigration consultant. On top of that, the certification will be subjected to an annual assessment.
The new regulatory body will also have a new code of professional conduct to ensure standards. There are sections on client relationships, professional conduct, and how to market immigration consultancy services. It will address situations like sexual harassment as well as problems with fees.
However, the successful implementation of these rules is yet to be seen. Nonetheless, the new college to protect immigrants from consultancy fraud surely brings new hope.