Canada is opening a College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants “to root out fraud and protect those who wish to come here”.
Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced Tuesday that the college will officially open on November 23.
“Those who wish to come to Canada deserve honest, professional and ethical advice—and we have a responsibility to ensure they’re getting it,” said Mendicino. “Our new College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants is a major milestone in these efforts. The creation of the new College delivers on our promise to better protect newcomers and bolsters Canada’s immigration system so it can continue to be the envy of the world.”
The College will become the official regulator of immigration and citizenship consultants across the country, improving oversight and cracking down on criminals. It will be an arm’s length institution, regulating the profession by protecting both the public and consultants in good standing from those who take advantage of vulnerable people, IRCC said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
The College will regulate immigration and citizenship consultants under a statutory framework put in place by the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants Act. It will have significant new powers and tools to investigate professional misconduct and to discipline its licensees. It will also be subject to appropriate government oversight, the statement read.
The College’s initial board of directors will be composed of 5 public interest directors and 4 members of the College (consultants). Public interest directors will be appointed by the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship prior to the College opening, IRCC stated.
A code of professional conduct for the College is currently in development as part of the regulatory process. The code will play a major role in establishing and maintaining strong ethical and professional standards that all licensees must abide by.
The College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants Act came into force on December 9, 2020, providing a statutory framework to regulate citizenship and immigration consultants.