This past June, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration issued a report called Starting Again: Improving Government Oversight of Immigration Consultants. The report reviews the ways in which immigration consultants are currently regulated and finds several gaps that, in some cases, have allowed abuses of the immigration system and victimization of clients. It goes on to make 21 recommendations for improvement.

On December 4th, the House voted unanimously to adopt the recommendations contained in the Standing Committee’s report. The Hon. Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, responded by stating that IRCC agrees with the “general intent and objectives” of the report, but did not commit to implementing any of the recommendations, citing the need for “careful, thorough and serious consideration” before any action is taken. He did, however, indicate an intention to strengthen regulations and said IRCC would continue to monitor the situation.

Currently, immigration consultants and paralegals are regulated by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council. Only members of ICCRC or lawyers – who are regulated by provincial law societies – are permitted to represent paying clients before IRCC. (NGOs and applicants’ friends and family are also permitted to help, as long as they don’t accept payment for doing so.) If ICCRC receives a complaint about a member then it can investigate and reprimand, but only the Canadian Border Services Agency has the authority to enforce the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (with authority for certain offences like trafficking delegated to the RCMP). That means that cases involving fraud or misrepresentation fall to the CBSA, which has only enough resources to go after the biggest offenders, such as those with multiple complaints against them. And clients who have been wronged by a consultant or someone pretending to be a consultant may not want to file a complaint at all for fear that it will put their immigration status at risk.

The Standing Committee’s report recommends revoking the ICCRC’s designation and forming a new, independent regulatory body that would function more like the provincial law societies, with higher standards for membership and greater authority to investigate and impose penalties when there are complaints. It also recommends that if IRCC suspects that an unauthorized person claiming to be a consultant helped someone to apply for status, that person should be given the opportunity to make corrections without harm to their application.

Whether any or all of the Standing Committee’s recommendations will be put into action remains to be seen. The House of Commons has given its clear and wholehearted endorsement of the report; we now await the Ministry’s “thorough and serious consideration.”

Borders Law firm

Param Tooray

Me and my wife turned to Borders Law Firm when I was trying to migrate to Canada as I am a UK citizen and my wife was born in Canada. They made the process really easy for us guiding us all the way. I am now a permanent resident in Canada thanks to Jenny and Devika. We would definitely recommend this firm to anyone looking to move to Canada you will not be disappointed!!

zay B

Borders Law firm has provided our company with excellent immigration services. Highly recommend for those who need help or any companies that need to apply for LMIA in Canada. Devika Penekepelapati has deep and thorough knowledge of rules and procedures . She got a few LMIAs and WP approved for our Company. We would not hesitate to recommend the law firm to anyone seeking help with immigration services. Thanking you sincerely Devika and entire Borders Law firm Team.

Lalit Kainth

Borders Law Firm did a great job handling my parents H & C application. I definitely recommend to use them!

Charanjit singh

I and my family want to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to Devika, John and the team at Borders Law firm for assisting us with the PRTD application for my mother at a time when most processing was closed due to lockdowns. They also worked proactively with us to establish a good strategy with back up plans which gave us sufficient information and assurance. Very responsive and forthcoming with information. Proactive in processing but at the same time they put enough time in the application and the supporting details to have high quality of the application. As a result our application was processed in 1 go at a time when it was critical and sensitive time for the family. Thank you again.

See more Google Reviews

Copyright © 2023 Borders Law firm
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.