Unauthorized Immigration consultants and their impact on the integrity of the Immigration System

Unauthorized Immigration consultants and their impact on the integrity of the Immigration System

 March is Fraud Prevention Month and this year Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has partnered with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) and the Federation of Law Societies of Canada (FLSC) to promote awareness of authorized immigration representatives and what services they can provide.

Unscrupulous and unauthorized representatives weaken Canada’s immigration system, cost taxpayers money, and slow down the processing of valid applications. Under Canadian law, only authorized immigration representatives can charge a fee to help someone apply for a visa to come to Canada. If a newcomer uses an unauthorized representative, their application may be refused and they could risk becoming victims of fraud.

Such behavior is also very damaging to the profession of regulated immigration consultants on multiple levels. On one level, unauthorized consultants, also known as ‘ghosts,’ are breaching the criminal code by practicing without a license. Despite the fact that they do not possess the necessary training, they provide services for a fee to individuals that seek advice on their immigration applications.   This in turn, affects the image of immigration consultants overall. When individuals encounter unqualified consultants that charge a fee for their services without being able to provide the adequate services, their opinion of all consultants alike, will be inadvertently affected by their personal experience. But most important of all, is the trust that is destroyed by such cases, trust that is lost from the immigration consultants’ profession, and that could be prevented from happening by impeding such cases from occurring.

This is why we encourage members of the public to report such individuals to CBSA or to file a complaint with ICCRC.

The Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants (CAPIC), an organization comprising the most active and best prepared authorized practitioners, has also joined the Government of Canada and the ICCRC in warning the public about the destructive effects the use of unauthorized representatives has on both the fate of the applicants and the integrity of the Canadian immigration system.

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