There’s a new regulator of immigration and citizenship consultants. What does this mean?
On November 23, 2021, the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants officially opened.
The College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants is now the official regulator of immigration and citizenship consultants across Canada. This means that if you’re paying or planning to pay for services by an immigration or citizenship consultant, they must be licensed under the College.
The College is an arm’s-length organization from the Government of Canada, and it’s governed by statute to serve the public interest–that is, the interests of clients of licensed immigration and citizenship consultants, as well as the general public. The College has several new authorities that the previous regulator did not have, which will help safeguard the professional compliance of its members and discipline unlicensed people who are not authorized to provide immigration consulting services. The new College will protect immigration and citizenship clients and strengthen the integrity of the consulting industry.
What do immigration and citizenship applicants need to know?
The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Citizenship Act require that individuals who provide paid immigration or citizenship advice or representation be authorized to do so. These Acts make it an offence for anyone to represent or advise for a fee at any stage of an application or proceeding if they are not a member in good standing of one of the following:
- a law society of a province or territory (for lawyers or, in Ontario, paralegals)
- the Chambre des notaires du Qu?bec
- the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants
If you are using or planning to use an immigration or citizenship consultant, you should confirm they are licensed to practise by the College. You can do this by visiting the College’s website and confirming that your consultant is listed as a licensee in good standing of the College. You should also confirm that the contact information they have given you matches what is on the College’s website.
If you have a question or complaint about a licensed consultant, you should contact the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants.