On November 23, 2021 – Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, hon’ble Sean Fraser officially announced opening of the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC). This new CICC replaces previously regulatory body ICCRC (Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council). Moving forward, the College will be official regulator of immigration and citizenship consultants known as RCICs (Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants). These immigration consultants must be licensed by the College to work with IRCC.
College will be responsible for issuing licenses and investigating professional misconduct of existing licensed immigration consultants. As per the news release, College has new powers and tools to investigate and discipline consultants. Now College will also be able to protect people from unlicensed consultants by
- entering a consultant’s premises to gather information for an investigation
- compelling witnesses to appear and testify before its Discipline Committee
- requesting court injunctions to address unlicensed actors providing immigration or citizenship advice without authorization
Furthermore, College has set higher standards for RCICs as following:
- New competency-based graduate diploma program will be only way to become RCIC.
- Also, individuals who want to become an RCIC, must hold a bachelor’s degree to be eligible for above mentioned graduate diploma program.
- Existing RCICs must complete annual continuing professional development requirements and an annual practice assessment.
This regulatory body is important step by Canadian government to ensure that RCICs are working with honesty and stay competent with new changing rules of IRCC. However, there are many unauthorized immigration consultants outside Canada, around the globe who do not meet these hefty requirements. Most of these unauthorized consultants are not even competent enough to handle immigration applications. As a result, price is paid by the Canada aspirants with visa refusal or in some cases ban due to misrepresentation suggested by these unauthorized immigration consultants.
It’s important that people who are planning immigration to Canada either for studies, work, tourism, or settling permanently, should understand the need of hiring an RCIC. Hiring an RCIC to get their application prepared for immigration to Canada ensure that their case is handled by an individual who has extensive knowledge of immigration. On top of this, applicants can have a peace of mind against being victim of fraud. Furthermore, if an RCIC is not following work ethics or doing professional misconduct, then applicants can complain to CICC of that consultant’s activities.