New beginning in regulation of Canada’s immigration consulting profession

REGULATION of Canada’s immigration consulting profession is changing significantly with the launch of the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants. This new regulatory college has enhanced powers for licensing, oversight, investigation and enforcement of immigration and citizenship consultants in Canada and abroad.

“It is the dawn of a new era in regulation of the immigration consulting profession,” said John Murray, President and CEO of the College. “This is the culmination of months of research, consultation and preparation in addition to an Act of Parliament.”

The college’s federal mandate stems from the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants Act. As a regulatory college, it sets educational, professional practice and ethical standards for its licensees. This ensures competent, ethical advice and service for immigrants and citizenship applicants to Canada and demonstrates that licensed immigration consultants are worthy of their trust.

The regulator will uphold their mandate by:

  • Licensing immigration and citizenship consultants providing services for immigration to Canada or for Canadian citizenship.
  • Providing resources, ongoing education and development for Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) and Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (RISIAs).
  • Ensuring simple access for immigrants and citizenship applicants to RCICs and RISIAs around the world, through an up-to-date Public Register of licensees.
  • Disciplining RCICs and RISIAs who breach their Code of Professional Conduct.
  • Undertaking public awareness to promote their role and the regulation of the profession to the public, the media and to stakeholder organizations across Canada and abroad.
  • Working with the federal government to continually strengthen regulation in the public interest.

Existing RCICs and RISIAs will immediately become licensees of the new college. College licensees will be required to complete annual Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements and an annual practice assessment.

College entry-to-practice requirements include the successful completion of a new Graduate Diploma Program being offered by the Faculties of Law at Queen’s University and the Université de Montréal.

In addition, anyone wishing to represent clients at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) tribunals will be required to have the RCIC-IRB class of licence, as of July 2022.

“The Government of Canada works to protect the integrity of our immigration system. Part of this means ensuring consultants are properly licensed, so that applicants who use their services can count on high quality advice,” said Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. “The opening of this College is an important milestone, and I look forward to its success in supporting the renewal of Canada’s population and workforce.”

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