New Rules to Crack Down on Crooked Representatives
TORONTO, ONTARIO, May 25, 2012 (Menafn - MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) --New rules making it easier to investigate the professional orethical misconduct of an immigration representative are now ineffect, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and MulticulturalismJason Kenney announced today.
Until recently, when Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) becameaware of misconduct by an immigration representative-either animmigration consultant, a lawyer, a paralegal or a notary-theDepartment did not have the authority to share this information withthe appropriate governing body.
"Sharing information on the misconduct of an immigrationrepresentative with the regulatory body will help protect theintegrity of our immigration system, and immigrants themselves," saidthe Minister.
These regulatory provisions allow officials from CIC, the CanadaBorder Services Agency (CBSA) and the Immigration and Refugee Board(IRB) to provide information regarding an immigrationrepresentative's professional or ethical conduct to people governingor investigating that conduct.
When CIC, CBSA or the IRB believes that immigration representativeshave contravened their professional or ethical obligations, it canshare this information with the governing body, in a mannerconsistent with the Privacy Act.
The information-sharing provisions were published in the CanadaGazette (Part II) and came into force on April 10, 2012. Recently,CIC officials shared with the Immigration Consultants of CanadaRegulatory Council (ICCRC)-the governing body for immigrationconsultants-credible information that the Department received on oneof its members.
Phil Mooney, Chief Executive Officer of the ICCRC, joined MinisterKenney at today's announcement. Earlier in the day, the Minister andMr. Mooney met to discuss how cooperation on information sharing willhelp the ICCRC and other governing bodies better regulate theirmembership.
"My department regularly receives tips from the public about crookedrepresentatives," added the Minister. "Now we can finally ask theregulatory body to investigate these tips."
"We are pleased with these initiatives as they help us fight thosewho prey on the unsuspecting and vulnerable," said Phil Mooney."Since the government brought in Bill C-35, we now have tremendoussupport in our joint efforts to fight alleged criminals."
Examples of information that can be shared are allegations orevidence of:
--Making false promises to an applicant;
--Providing false information about Canada's immigration processes;
--Failing to provide services agreed to between the representative and the
--counselling to obtain or submit false evidence.
New regulatory provisions following the adoption of Bill C-35 alsoinclude an oversight mechanism requiring that the ICCRC provideinformation to the government to ensure it is governing its membersin the public interest.
Bill C-35, an Act to Amend the Immigration and Refugee ProtectionRegulations, came into force on June 30, 2011. At the heart of theAct are changes that require an immigration representative used atany stage of an immigration application or a proceeding to be alawyer or a paralegal who is a member in good standing of a Canadianprovincial or territorial law society; a notary who is a member ingood standing of the Chambre des notaires du Quebec; or animmigration consultant who is a member in good standing of the ICCRC.
"We are concerned about unscrupulous immigration representatives whoprey on people wanting to immigrate to or stay in Canada," addedMinister Kenney. "We want to do everything in our power to crack downon fraud and protect the integrity of Canada's immigration system."
Information on how to find an accredited immigration consultant,lawyer or other representative, and tips on avoiding unscrupulousrepresentatives, are available on CIC's website atwww.cic.gc.ca/antifraud.
Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CitImmCanada.
Photo of Minister Kenney will be available later today at:www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/photos/high-res/index.asp.
Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)strengthens Canada's economic, social and cultural prosperity,helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of thelargest and most generous immigration programs in the world.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
SOURCE: Citizenship and Immigration Canada
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