Quebec to get tough on Unethical Immigration Consultants

Quebec creating new ways to regulate Immigration Consultants

Quebec may just be the first province to implement regulations in an effort to stop the unethical tactics offered to people wishing to immigrate to Canada. According to the province, it’s far too easy for newcomers to be mislead into believing their immigration paperwork can be fast-tracked or that lies on their applications will get them further.

On Thursday, February 18th, the provincial government announced that immigration consultants will have to pass a test, register with the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants, have a spotless track record as well as demonstrate a knowledge of the French language. Only people registered with the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants, notaries and lawyers will be legally allowed to offer their representation for people wishing to immigrate to Quebec, and fines up up to $50,000 and $100,000 for repeat offenders will be issued.

The public will also be able to see which immigration consultants are recognized by the province, and those whose right to practice has been suspended, all on an accessible public database.

Quebec Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities Yolande James said after the announcement, “We’re sensitive to the fact that there are vulnerable people falling victim to the schemes of some ill-intentioned people. We understand that there are consultants who do their job very well, but for consultants who have poor practices, or others, the message is clear – you must follow Quebec’s guidelines or shut your doors.”

The federal government has applauded the Government of Quebec’s actions and wishes to take similar action itself, but has not mentioned when or how they expect to get that done. In 2004, the Canadian Government began requiring that immigration consultants be registered with the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants, but there is little enforcement of this requirement and many unregistered companies are still operating in Canada.

The federal government has made similar promises about unregistered immigration consultants, but the fact that it’s not known when the government will begin cracking down on these shady companies and individuals makes it glaringly obvious that candidates for immigration to Canada can easily have their applications compromised by these unethical practices.

Bravo to Quebec! Lets hope other provinces follow suit with regulating Immigration Consultants better.

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

2 thoughts on “Quebec to get tough on Unethical Immigration Consultants

  1. kannon

    Minister Kenney said “Our government takes a zero-tolerance approach to immigration consultant fraud. We are continuing to work to expand warnings about fraud against potential applicants and to combat illegal activities related to immigration,” and I am happy about it.

    It is horrible thing that these people had exist, and some of them might be there still.(If they can not do it in Canada, they may do the business in their country) I feel very upset that they just don`t take people`s moneys; they are ruining people`s life at the same time.

    I would like to know how CIC is corresponding to the people who became a victim of the Immigration fraud.

    I believe some of the victims had no idea the Immigration consultants or lawyers were messing up their status and applications.

    It is sad, but truth that some of the victims just gave up and went back to their own country when they found out or commit suicide ; however, some still hoping that they can remain in Canada.

    Because of the Immigration fraud, some people may jump into the marriage of convenience too.

    Would you please tell me what happened to the people who became a victim by Immigration fraud?

    1. Michael Niren

      Immigration Fraud is like any other crime of fraud in Canada. If proved, the accused will be convicted for his or her criminal offense under the Criminal Code of Canada. Immigration fraud is a world wide problem. Just recently in the news I heard that Visas are being obtained by cyber crime.


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