MARCO E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, on Tuesday announced that the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants will officially open on November 23.
The College will become the official regulator of immigration and citizenship consultants across the country, improving oversight and cracking down on criminals. It will be an arm’s-length institution, regulating the profession by protecting both the public and consultants in good standing from those who take advantage of vulnerable people.
The college will regulate immigration and citizenship consultants under a statutory framework put in place by the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants Act. It will have significant new powers and tools to investigate professional misconduct and to discipline its licensees. It will also be subject to appropriate government oversight.
The government says that the creation of the college is a key part of its efforts to fight fraud in the immigration system. It builds on its significant action over the past few years, including an investment of $50 million to fight fraud and new educational tools to help applicants identify fraudulent activity. It also fulfills a mandate commitment to strengthen oversight, uphold the integrity of Canada’s immigration system and protect all those who wish to come here.
Mendicino said: “Those who wish to come to Canada deserve honest, professional and ethical advice—and we have a responsibility to ensure they’re getting it. Our new College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants is a major milestone in these efforts. The creation of the new College delivers on our promise to better protect newcomers and bolsters Canada’s immigration system so it can continue to be the envy of the world.”
- The College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants Act came into force on December 9, 2020, providing a statutory framework to regulate citizenship and immigration consultants.
- The college will have the authorities necessary for the regulation of consultants, in particular tools to investigate professional misconduct and discipline its licensees. This includes the power to enter the premises of a consultant for the purpose of gathering information to support an investigation and the power to compel witnesses to appear and testify before its Discipline Committee.
- The college will have the ability to request court injunctions to address unlicensed actors providing immigration or citizenship advice without authorization.
- The college’s initial board of directors will be comprised of five public interest directors and four members of the college (consultants). Public interest directors will be appointed by the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship prior to the college opening.
- A code of professional conduct for the college is currently in development as part of the regulatory process. The code will play a major role in establishing and maintaining strong ethical and professional standards that all licensees must abide by.