Legislation targeting immigration consultants coming soon

Immigration consultant legislation receives final approval

Legislation to regulate immigration consultants has received final approval in the House and Commons this week, and just has to pass through the Senate to become official.

The bill, Bill C-35, would make it illegal for people who are unauthorized,to give immigration advice in exchange for a fee. The government would also be able to create a regulatory body to watch over immigration consultants. The government is hosting open casting for positions on this regulatory body, which close at the end of this year.

“In their quest for personal gain, crooked consultants have displayed a wanton disregard for our immigration rules and bilked too many people out of their hard-earned dollars,” said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney in a statement on Tuesday.

Immigration lawyers and immigration consultants: different requirements

In Canada, immigration lawyers are members of the Canadian Bar Association and undergo significantly more education with stricter regulatory bodies than immigration consultants will, even after the legislation passes.

“They are a menace, posing a costly threat not only to their victims, but also to the integrity and fairness of our immigration system. When crooked consultants encourage prospective immigrants to cheat the system, it slows down the immigration system for those following the rules,” said Kenney.The news about the immigration consultants legislation has spread to newspapers around the world, as the law will handle immigration consultants both in Canada and abroad.

Now of course there are very good, hardworking and ethical consultants. I have worked with many of them over the years. And not all lawyers are competent either.  But I welcome the regulations if they do in fact what they promise to do.

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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