Industry News

New regulations governing Immigration Consultants in Quebec

More than six years after the federal government cracked down on rogue immigration consultants, the Quebec government is following suit and published the new regulations that will allow only lawyers, notaries and immigration consultants certified by the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC) to represent clients in provincial immigration cases.

Under the new regulations, which will come in force by February 2nd 2011, consultants will have to:

  • be members in good standing of the CSIC,
  • function fluently in French,
  • have an office in Quebec,
  • pass an exam on Quebec’s immigration rules, and
  • have not breached the province’s immigration laws in the previous three years.

In a bid to thwart so-called unlicensed ghost agents, immigrants will be required to divulge the name of their immigration consultant during their application process.

Members of the Barreau and the Chambre des notaires du Québec are exempted from the new requirements.

The Barreau may provide out-of-province lawyers, on a temporary basis, special authorization to practice law in Quebec for a specific case, if they meet certain conditions, namely, if they provide a certificate of good standing from the bar of which the lawyer is a member and provide proof of professional liability insurance showing that the lawyer is insured for services provided in Quebec.

MICC agents will enforce the new regulations as follows:

  • All files submitted before February 2nd 2011
    No change will happen to the file with regards to the consultant however, if the consultant in the file does not satisfy the new regulation, MICC will communicate directly with the client (and not with the representative in the file).
  • All files who have interview before the 2nd of February 2011
    There should not be any change.

Furthermore, CIC and RCMP will be enforcing the new measures and fraudulent immigration consultants will be prosecuted.

On Thursday, January 6th, 2010, the RCMP arrested one such consultant, as reported by the National Post.

“It is important to note that while over 300 files were implicated, we can confirm only five people had obtained Canadian citizenship,”

“Other cases are being reviewed in terms of their continued status of permanent residence, which is the last step before citizenship. In the case of the five, all appropriate action will be taken to ensure that people do not obtain benefits they aren’t entitled to.

“In cases where CIC determines that residence requirements have not been met, Canadian citizenship will be refused or may be revoked and appropriate enforcement measures may be initiated that could lead to loss of permanent resident status and eventual removal from Canada.”, said Melanie Carkner, a CIC spokeswoman.

Any partner who requires assistance in this regard will be offered one from our lawyers in order to represent his past and new clients. We therefore invite you to communicate with us, if you wish to have one of our lawyers taking representation of your case.

 


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