Making CIC better

The business of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) can be improved in a number of ways. Although progress has been made in certain areas, still more can be done, such as:

  • Now that the new regulations, rules, penalties and constraints have been placed on professional immigration consultants, the Minister, CIC, and the government in general should be actively encouraging the use of RCIC’s. The professional administrative attributes of an ICCRC member firm would help to reduce the time spent on the receipt and subsequent refusal or return of incomplete, inaccurate, ineligible, illegible, misspelled and misdirected applications. While still allowing the option for direct application to CIC, the efficiencies (and cost-savings for the taxpayer) resulting in more applications streamed through RCIC’s is obvious.
  • More focus should be directed towards creating a system that better enables ICCRC members and their employees to directly deal with CIC staff in a secure and well-organized manner.

    A good example of bureaucratic efficiency would be to create a system not dissimilar from how the Canada Revenue Agency deals with its client representatives. The CRA configuration is designed for secure access to pre-qualified client reps. These tax-return specialists can access and submit their clients information via their secure passwords. When electronically submitted, the tax returns are computer analyzed at CRA’s end for accuracy and are either “received” or “rejected” immediately. Each rejection includes a code for reason of refusal. These codes (if designed for CIC) would include: incomplete areas, inconsistent spelling of names, ineligibility for a chosen (or any) stream, etc. Access to client files for progress reports, modifications, retractions, or other reasons would also be available through those same secure means.
  • Software programs should be developed that could smoothly integrate with CIC (as CRA does with programs such as DTMax, TurboTax, and others). These government approved programs would allow all data to be harmonized in a fashion that would result in the best stream being chosen by the file management system. There would be available within the software: over-ride options, memo/note attachment capability, and print-out (paper-file) abilities, as well as automatic updates for when regulations and administrative changes arise.

    The computer data system would facilitate the attachment of employers, sponsors, families and consultants to each individual client number and would result in a “tree” of information on all involved so that CIC can easily audit an ICCRC member firm’s files. The ability of the RCIC to easily access and research their own client files within that tree would also be a tremendous time saver.

    Once the application is deemed by the ICCRC office employee to be complete and acceptable to the client, the RCIC reviews and enters his/her secure pass-code for final submission to CIC. This pass-code would, in effect, be the authorized signature of the ICCRC member.
  • CIC should be readily prepared to suspend the license of a RCIC if they discover, in their ongoing audits, red flags (negative anomalies) that seem to have a tendency to attach themselves to certain ICCRC members. These red flags would include a variety of infractions incurred by their clients, including: criminal activity, over-stay, disappearance, fraudulent marriage, and other situations that are deemed by CIC to require investigation. Appeals of suspension would be available to the RCIC but the onus would be on the licensee to explain why they should be able to continue their practice when CIC has demonstrated that their client list contains an inordinate number of “unsavoury” situations.
  • CIC can develop more policies that streamline the influx of those with arranged employment. For example, this can become a standard procedure:
    • Security and health pre-clearances: Current requirements would need to be met for any applicant in any stream. These clearances allow the client to proceed further under standard (not involving criminal or medical appeal) procedures. The candidate can take those accredited documents with them to an authorized agent for iris and/or finger prints and photos.
    • Language requirements are verified via IELTS or CELPIP test results (if required).
    • The ICCRC member authorizes and electronically sends the application for an entry permit to CIC. If the RCIC member is of “preferred” status (meaning has little or no record of impropriety amongst his clients and their sponsors, employers, etc.) then the permit is immediately sent to the ICCRC firm with the appropriate security features.
    • Client reports to CBSA with their passport and authorization permit from CIC.
    • CIC reviews the clients file at a later date in order to confirm or deny permanent residency. In other words, if this administrative (probationary) period and initial application is without fault or concerns, official PR status is offered.
  • Increased onus should be placed on the employer and ICCRC member to show that the client has met all requirements for immigration, temporary status, or other situations. For instance:
    • If a client is fast-tracked into a job in Canada, the ICCRC member must file with CIC the letter from the employer that states the reasons why they find it advantageous to hire a non-resident as opposed to locally. This would replace a LMO but would need to follow the presumptions listed in the guidelines supplied by CIC. If issues arise from a CIC review, they will be noted and the RCIC and employer would be given the opportunity to respond. If the negative issue is upheld, it could result in detrimental notations and penalties imposed against the ICCRC member and employer and a possible removal order against the client. The hiring of those that do not meet with the presumptions required could result in the exclusion of a company and/or business owner from further opportunities to hire from outside of Canada.
    • If a sponsored client (subject to pre-clearance on security and medical) does not live up to their requirements (such as not burdening the social welfare system) their file will be reviewed by those authorities at CIC that are responsible for notations and penalties against ICCRC members and the pertinent sponsors/employers. The RCIC will be notified that changes and/or additions have been made to their secure account information at which time they should access and learn of the decisions and notations and may investigate or appeal.
  • Egregious forms of negligence, collusion, or client involvement in serious criminal activity should more easily result in jail time for the consultant if they are found guilty of knowingly assisting or colluding in said activities.

These proposals and streamlining processes could help to facilitate the rapid and efficient intake of qualified clients while at the same time reduce the bureaucracy at CIC by revamping some of the approval procedures.

William Howie
Immigration Program Student at Ashton College
under the tutelage of Jose Godoy Toku

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