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Improving the Government Oversight of Immigration Consultants

December 2017, 15
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Immigrants to Canada are facing trouble in placement, after paying a heavy amount to immigration consultants to help in completing their live-in caregiver applications. As a result, they feel, humiliated, neglected and scared upon arrival in Canada. They experience shocked after being scammed.

Such a situation is not an isolated case and many fraudulent activities are taking place. The federal government has taken up an initiative to Start Again and Improve the Government Oversight of Immigration Consultants, through a Standing Committee on Immigration and Citizenship. It has come out in support of the recommendations summarized by the Standing Committee.

Ahmed Hussen Minister of Immigration said that his ministry is undertaking a wide-ranging analysis of the recommendations made by the committee and will determine the best methods to strengthen measures which will protect the people from unscrupulous consulting practices in the future.

Recommendations of Immigration Consultants

The committee has made 21 suggestions in the report, and has called on the government to regard them:

Formulation of an independent body to govern and regulate activities of Immigration Consultants

Taking measures to Allow lawyers and notaries of superior status with the Chambre des notaries du Quebec, and consultants preapproved by the regulatory organization to serve as paid representatives for the immigrants

Ordering the new regulatory organization to develop a multi-stage licensing system meant for immigration consultants, which will be based on the education of the consultant and impact on the services provided by them.

All the recommendations have an aim of addressing the issues of the present regulatory structure followed by the immigration consultants and also for creating a framework that will protect the newcomers against scamming and mistreatment.

The political parties have extended support to the suggestions of the initiative of Starting Again; the opposition has expressed their discontentment with the government for delay in taking action.  The report had shown that the government was aware of the presence of unscrupulous consultants for many years. Michelle Rempel, MP of Conservative Party said that the government must take a decision and eventually go for implementing it. Presently the non-implementation suggests a paralysis of the government which is detrimental to the people who continue to be exploited.

As a response Minister Hussen said that such matters take time to get addressed. They are complex and impact on public confidence, as well as on immigration applicants and consultants, and require plenty of time for cautious, systematic and serious consideration.

IRCC remains strongly committed to protecting the people from unethical practices in the immigration consultant category he added.

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