"Canada’s current regulatory body that governs immigration and citizenship consultants and paralegals is unable to serve its purpose. As indicated in the recommendations, the Committee calls for a new regulatory framework governing immigration and citizenship consultants and paralegals that gives the government a stronger oversight role. The Committee also believes that strengthening the education requirements and introducing a tiered licensing system would consolidate the profession of consultants and paralegals. Further, the Committee believes the government should not penalize individuals who have mistakenly hired an unregistered representative or those who would like to lodge a complaint against unscrupulous consultants. Finally, the need for further study on what drives individuals to use third parties when going through the immigration or citizenship processes was made apparent throughout the study. ..
RECOMMENDATION 1 That the Government of Canada create, by statute, an independent public-interest body empowered to regulate and govern the profession of immigration consultants; and that the mandate of the new regulatory body include: protection of the public by maintaining high ethical standards, so as to preserve the integrity of the system; and, protection of applicants from exploitation by maintaining high standards of competence and encouraging reasonable fees for services rendered. To avoid actual or apparent conflicts of interest, this new body should be accountable to a Minister other than the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. This would be a government regulated body.
RECOMMENDATION 2 That the only persons permitted to act as authorized paid representatives of applicants for immigration, or citizenship, or persons claiming refugee status be lawyers who are members in good standing of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society; notaries who are members in good standing of the Chambre des notaires du Québec; and immigration consultants admitted to the profession by the new regulatory body.
RECOMMENDATION 3 That the new regulatory body develop, establish and require high standards for admission including, but not limited to, the areas of training, education and standardized curriculum across the provinces and territories, to membership in the profession, develop a code of conduct and ethical standards, identify the scope of practice and areas of responsibility of immigration consultants, develop a program of errors and omissions insurance coverage and require members of the profession to maintain appropriate coverage. For clarity, registered immigration consultants shall be legally and ethically responsible for all activities undertaken in their name or on their behalf by employees or associates in their work on behalf of clients.
RECOMMENDATION 4 That the new regulatory body set training, education and experience standards, more rigorous than current standards, for those seeking to become immigration consultants; and that the new regulatory body act as an accreditation agency for such programs of education as may be provided by educational institutions; and that the new regulatory body establish, offer and require appropriate continuing education for immigration consultants to maintain their membership in the profession.
RECOMMENDATION 5 That the new regulatory body develop a system of tiered licensing in relation to the categories of services individual consultants are permitted to provide, the highest level restricted to those members of the profession sufficiently capable and experienced to conduct litigation before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. The licensing requirements would be based on education, practical training and experience.
RECOMMENDATION 6 That the new regulatory body be empowered to create mechanisms for investigating and dealing with complaints and disciplinary matters where an immigration consultant may have failed to meet standards of learning, professional competence or conduct; and that the new regulatory body be empowered to investigate and prosecute persons who provide immigration consulting services to the public for payment without having been admitted to the profession by the new regulatory body. For these purposes, the new regulatory body should be provided with investigative and disciplinary powers similar to those exercised by Canadian provincial and territorial law societies. Further, that the new regulatory body shall be authorized and encouraged to engage in public education about the profession."Original Copy from the Parliament