New College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants to open in fall
August 18, 2021
The federal government is opening a College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants as it looks to root out immigration fraud and protect the immigration system from exploitation.
The new college is a continuance of Immigration Consultant of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) but will be a fundamentally different organization, with expanded authorities necessary for the regulation of a profession and additional levers for government oversight to ensure strengthened regulatory outcomes.
Opening on Nov. 23, the college will become the official regulator of immigration and citizenship consultants across the country, improving oversight and cracking down on criminals, according to the government.
“Those who wish to come to Canada deserve honest, professional and ethical advice — and we have a responsibility to ensure they’re getting it. Our new College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants is a major milestone in these efforts,” says Marco Mendicino, minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship. “The creation of the new college delivers on our promise to better protect newcomers and bolsters Canada’s immigration system so it can continue to be the envy of the world.”
In February, Mendicino said Canada is well poised to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic by relying more on new immigrants to help alleviate the labour shortage.
The college will have the authorities necessary for the regulation of consultants, including tools to investigate professional misconduct and discipline licensees. This means the power to enter the premises of a consultant for the purpose of gathering information to support an investigation and the power to compel witnesses to appear and testify before its Discipline Committee. The college can also request court injunctions to address unlicensed actors providing immigration or citizenship advice without authorization.
“Fraudulent Canada immigration consultants beware!! The College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants will officially commence on Nov. 23, 2021,” says Ajay Sharma, chairman and managing director, Abhinav Immigration. “Prospective immigrants often fall into the trap of unscrupulous immigration consulting agencies. However, the fraudulent days of immigration scams will soon be over; the new college will begin its operations to regulate the immigration process.”
This is a very significant change as the new regulator “will have significant powers to go after unregulated or unauthorized immigration practitioners located in or out of Canada,” says Kunal Thakur, co-founder of WayAhead Immigration.