In recent years, misinformation has become something of a hot-button issue in illegal immigration consultation services . Sadly, the immigration industry is not immune .
In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Minister Hussen addressed necessary changes to the existing regulatory framework: "We will be taking further steps to enforce the rules, provide more oversight and provide more recourse and mechanisms to ... deal with [improving the regulator]."
In an official statement from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the minister also stated: "Our government is taking decisive action to hold immigration and citizenship consultants to a much higher standard as we do with other professions, such as lawyers and doctors."
on April 9, 2019, the Government of Canada tabled/introduced the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants Act as part of the Federal Budget implementation bill. This new draft legislation would see the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) transition into the “College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants”. The specific provisions guiding this transition are set out in sections 83 to 85 of the Act.
Under the new College, we will continue to be the national self-regulatory organization for Canadian immigration and citizenship consultants and international student immigration advisors but will finally be provided with enhanced powers and tools for oversight, enforcement and investigation, and expanded authority to identify unauthorized (ghost) immigration and citizenship consultants and hold them responsible for their actions. This is a very important development and one that ICCRC has been working very closely with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) over the last few months to achieve.
Division 15 of Part 4 enacts the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants Act. That Act creates a new self-regulatory regime governing immigration and citizenship consultants. It provides that the purpose of the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants is to regulate immigration and citizenship consultants in the public interest and protect the public. That Act, among other things,
(a) creates a licensing regime for immigration and citizenship consultants and requires that licensees comply with a code of professional conduct, initially established by the responsible Minister;
(b) authorizes the College’s Complaints Committee to conduct investigations into a licensee’s conduct and activities;
(c) authorizes the College’s Discipline Committee to take or require action if it determines that a licensee has committed professional misconduct or was incompetent;
(d) prohibits persons who are not licensees from using certain titles and representing themselves to be licensees and provides that the College may seek an injunction for the contravention of those prohibitions;
(e) provides the responsible Minister with the authority to determine the number of directors on the board of directors and to require the Board to do anything that is advisable to carry out the purposes of that Act; and
(f) contains transitional provisions allowing the existing regulator — the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council — to be continued as the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants or, if the existing regulator is not continued, allowing the establishment of the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants, a new corporation without share capital.
The Division also makes related amendments to the Citizenship Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to double the existing maximum fines applicable to the offence of contravening section 21.1 of the Citizenship Act or section 91 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
In addition, it amends those Acts to provide the authority to make regulations establishing a system of administrative penalties and consequences, including of administrative monetary penalties, applicable to certain violations by persons who provide representation or advice for consideration — or offer to do so — in immigration or citizenship matters.