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

Jehiel Cabrera

If you need a Immigration Law Firm that you can trust, Borders Law Firm is for you. We retained Devika and her team to work on a misrepresentation case. We asked them to help us in a very short period of time (less than a week) but they did an impeccable, impeccable job. They were willing to work and reply to our questions early and off hours and show their dedication to help out. In 2 weeks, we were able to get our work permit. Immigration issues are scary and its easy to feel hopeless but with the right people and resources, there will be a solution. I strongly recommend Devika, she showed a lot of care, very professional, very technical and very smart. You will not regret hiring her, her work is worth it, more than priceless! Special thanks to Hillen, for going above and beyond, making sure that our response letter is accurate and flawless.

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.

Victor Hernandez

Andres and his team at Borders Law Firm really impressed everyone at Siller Helicopters. We came to Andres with a very complex case for work visas, with a time-sensitive and moving window. Andres was very responsive to all forms of communication which highly contributed to completing the work visa packets in a very short window of time. Their knowledge and attention to detail are impressive and made it a pleasure to work with Andres and his team. Our crews had no issues getting their work visas approved when they arrived in Canada. In fact, the Canadian officials complimented the visa packets they presented, stating they were the most professional and organized packets they had seen in a long time. Thanks to Andres and Borders Law Firm, Siller Helicopters was able to take part in the emergency restoration of power, to towns that were affected by this year's wildfires in Canada. Thank you again Borders Law Firm.

Richa Jain

Our biggest dilemma while researching for an Immigration Consultant was someone we could trust and that could manage our application well. We are so glad to have found Borders Law Firm. Devika gave us exceptional guidance due to which we got ICT Work Permit approval. Big thanks and appreciation for Jenny Mao for such professionalism and dexterity shown while handling our application. Kudos to BLF team for their superb work and simply for the trustworthiness they have ..… Best Wishes !

See more Google Reviews

Copyright © 2024 Borders Law firm
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.