- In 2019, the Canadian government took steps to bolster regulations for immigration and citizenship consultants via the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants Act (also known as the College Act).
- Specifically, this legislation was designed to protect the public and potential immigrants from fraudulent consultant practices. Any consultant providing immigration and/or citizenship advice faces stringent disciplinary measures if misrepresentation or fraud occurs.
- On May 15, 2021, the Canadian government released plans for an updated code of conduct under subsection 43(1) of the College Act. The updated Code of Professional Conduct for College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants Licensees will clarify ethical and professional standards for consultants and their clients.
The updated Code of Conduct will be divided into 6 parts:
- General Standards
- Relationship to Clients
- Office Administration and Management
- Relationship to the College and Other Persons
- Marketing of Immigration or Citizenship Consulting Services
Please find detailed breakdowns of these sections here.
While the College began this initiative in December 2020, the new implementation process will happen incrementally. The College will work with all stakeholders to ensure compliance. Regulations in this Code are specifically related to immigration and citizenship consulting, but many will apply to other services and industries.
What are the Changes?
Updates to the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants Act will carry forward the efforts of the Immigration Consults of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). The former organization expanded governmental oversight of immigration consultants, but the new College will further advance professional and ethical conduct standards. Once the College finalizes all professional conduct standards, it will present regulations for both consultants and clients alike. There will be standards for both paid and pro bono client situations.
The Canadian government is prioritizing regulatory protections for the public, potential immigrants, and consultants alike. Procedural updates to the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants Licensees parallel several new pathway programs for Canadian immigrants; as Canada grows its immigration programs, it hopes to strengthen security for all stakeholders. Employers with Canada-bound talent should check in with any Canadian immigration partners and consultants, to ensure compliance.