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Canadian immigration consultants should be held accountable for their actions

Immigration consultant agencies are opening up every day in Canada and overseas to assist with the immigration process correctly and the effective stream to enter Canada. Many individuals and companies rely on the expertise of immigration consultants in Canada to assist with the process and are willingly to pay a pretty penny to ensure all the paperwork and guidance is presented well.

So the recent news concerning Melissa Holman and the scandal surrounding the immigration assistance provided by her company and the advice that was given by her is coming into question. Even though she has been charged for fraud and theft the whole story has not come out but brings into question the true validity of agencies and immigration consultants.

In June 2011, the Canadian government announced the crackdown of crooked and shady immigration consultants with the implementation of Bill C-35. Bill C-35 strengthens the rules governing those who charge their clients for Canadian immigration advice or Canadian immigration representation, making it an offence for anyone other than an accredited immigration representative to conduct business, for a fee or other consideration, at any stage of an application or proceeding. It also increases penalties and fines for unauthorized representation and allows for more government oversight in order to improve the way in which immigration consultants are regulated.

Something more needs to be done by the government so these agencies cannot take advantage of overseas immigrates migrating to Canada to work, study or visit. Agencies and private immigration representatives should be regulated by the governments so there is more control and less exploitation of the unknowing. Many individuals use their life savings to immigrate to Canada and trust that they are in good hands.

When an individual uses an agency or representative the paperwork should have to be presented to the port of entry authorities so when an individual is being issued the appropriate work permit border services can ensure an ethnical agency is being used. No outstanding warranties or criminal charges or flags come up against the agency or individual representing Canada. By doing this, any unethical activities can be investigated or if many complaints have arose previously the appropriate steps can be taken to shut down the business to ensure people are not being taken advantage of financial or personally.

Canadian immigration consultants should be held accountable for their actions and follow a code of conduct which outlines responsibilities of proper professional practices. The code of conduct should also outline the consequences for fraud and negligence.

Canada should not be placed in a negative light due to a few bad apples. Canada is a great country with many opportunities and the abilities to make dreams come true. With the labour shortage in Canada for skilled and low skilled worker the government needs to take action so we continue to attract qualified individuals to help grow the economy.

Monica Kaura
Immigration Program Student at Ashton College
under the tutelage of Jose Godoy Toku


References:

Woman bilked immigrant out of $2M, police say
Tougher rules governing immigration consultants enacted and new regulator announced

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