New Canadian Regulations Combat Immigration Assistance Fraud, Enhance Reporting Mechanisms
In an effort to protect the public from predatory immigration assistance scams, new regulatory provisions in Canada are making it easier for authorities to report and investigate ethical misconduct by immigration representatives.
The new rules, which went into effect in April, grant authority to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) to report incidents of misconduct to the people or governing agencies investigating that conduct — an authority they previously lacked.
According to the CIC news release, examples of information that can be shared include allegations or evidence 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 client; or
- counseling to obtain or submit false evidence.
The regulatory provisions arrive in the wake of Canada’s Bill C-35 requiring that anyone offering immigration assistance or claiming to be an immigration representative must be a lawyer or a paralegal, a Notary who is a member of the Chambre des notaries du Quebec, or an immigration consultant who is a member of the ICCRC.
“We are concerned about unscrupulous immigration representatives who prey on people wanting to immigrate to or stay in Canada,” said Minister Kenney, in a recent statement. “We want to do everything in our power to crack down on fraud and protect the integrity of Canada’s immigration system.”
Given the significant cross-border workforce, the crackdown against immigration fraud is expected to add an extra layer of security to immigration transactions between the U.S. and Canada, its number one trading partner.