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Isn’t it time that immigration consultants registered and licensed by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) get some credit for what they do? With the new regulations demanded of immigration consultants now, the government and CIC should be encouraging potential immigrants to use a qualified consultant at every stage of their application process.

For one thing, the ability for the civil servants processing all those applications would be improved by the fact that a professional consultant would more likely provide the proper paperwork to CIC and therefore, the return of applications and the re-review of them would be reduced. This is another way that the Minister can reduce costs to the taxpayer. Having a consultant be there in the interview process would also be of great assistance to the government worker in that his “authority” to represent the client would mean that questions can be answered more succinctly and fluently in one of the official languages.

This would very often allow the interviewer to process the application more effectively because they wouldn’t have to try to understand broken English or French from a potential immigrant who would very likely be in a nervous state considering the importance of such a meeting. The interviewers would also be less inclined themselves to be stressed out and frustrated by trying to deal with an emotional client with a language barrier. The time saved using a consultant in this process is money saved to the taxpayer. More government agencies that deal with the subject of immigration should be actively encouraging their use through advertising and referrals.

Perhaps the government should be supplying posters (or allow for an official stamp of approval) for registered consultants to hang in their offices that state:

“The Government of Canada encourages potential immigrants to use an immigration consultant licensed by the ICCRC in order to process their claim more effectively.”

This would be a common-sense policy and be welcome support to the regulated members in this industry. The New Brunswick PNP site states:

If you hire an immigration representative who is not a member of one of the designated bodies (should read ICCRC)… your application will be returned to you.”

This type of statement, perhaps with some additional encouraging information, should be used in all PNP and CIC information websites, pamphlets, and other means of communication. This statement encourages the use of licensed consultants that expedite an application, with a subtle intimation that by not using a member of ICCRC, you risk throwing away your money.

The CIC should take a page from the Supreme Court of Canada website that states:

We always recommend that you get a lawyer. A lawyer is in the best position to give you advice about the process and the likelihood of success.”

All CIC, CBSA, and similar organizations’ sites should replace “lawyer” with “ICCRC Member”.

In the name of consumer protection, the government usually encourages the use of “licensed” and “qualified” professionals to perform work that does not demand a professional to perform. Why should licensed members of ICCRC be denied the same common-sense treatment of their profession?

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

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