More Bad News for Bad Immigration Consultants

Government to begin regulating Immigration Consultants

In our ongoing coverage of the Canadian government’s efforts to tackle the problem of dealing with unethical immigration consultants, the latest information is that Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney has proposed new measures in an attempt to regulate the immigration consultant industry.

This year, several stories have come to light telling of prospective immigrants who were told to lie in order to stay in Canada or other immigration consultants who merely took the applicant’s money and ran – not filing anything on their behalf as they promised.

According to Kenney’s new measures, a $50,000 fine awaits anyone attempting to engage in immigration fraud and offering immigration advice in exchange for a fee if the “consultant” is unauthorized will be considered a crime.

One move in particular that comes as a surprise is that Kenney is removing any power from the Canadian Society for Immigration Consultants. Normally, this organization is the one who decides who can be an immigration consultant and who cannot. Kenney said that the CSIC does not pay enough attention to the shadier consultants and charges too much for membership.

Kenney said in his announcement that he will be creating a new immigration consultant regulation body instead, one that will be accountable to the government.

“While most immigration consultants working in Canada are legitimate and ethical, it is clear that immigration fraud remains a widespread threat to the integrity of Canada’s immigration system,” Kenney said at a press conference this week.

Metro News told the story today of one prospective immigrant from Chile who paid an immigration consultant US$5,000 to complete and file the necessary paperwork on his behalf, only to discover years later that the paperwork was not legitimate. His entire family was saved from deportation only at the last minute, but his story is unfortunately not unique, as many immigrants only wanting to start a better life in Canada have been denied because of errors on their paperwork, failure to file the paperwork or outright lies and fraud encouraged by the consultants.

For our previous posts on this topic go here, here and here.

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Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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