Legislation to crack down on crooked immigration consultants received final approval today in the House of Commons.
“I am pleased that C-35, our tough measures to crack down on crooked consultants, is now moving to the Senate for its consideration,” said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.
The legislation, introduced in the House of Commons on June 8, aims to crack down on crooked immigration consultants who exploit prospective immigrants and undermine the integrity of Canada’s immigration system.
“In their quest for personal gain, crooked consultants have displayed a wanton disregard for our immigration rules and bilked too many people out of their hard-earned dollars,” said Minister Kenney. “They are a menace, posing a costly threat not only to their victims, but also to the integrity and fairness of our immigration system. When crooked consultants encourage prospective immigrants to cheat the system, it slows down the immigration system for those following the rules.”
The legislation would make it a crime for unauthorized individuals to provide immigration advice or representation for a fee. This includes services offered or performed before an application is submitted or a proceeding begins, thus closing a loophole in the current framework. It would also give the Minister the authority to designate a body to govern immigration consultants and authorize the Governor in Council to make regulations to enhance the government’s oversight of this body.
A public call for submissions from candidate entities interested in becoming the governing body was published in the Canada Gazette in August. Interested parties have until 4 p.m. (EST) on December 29, 2010, to deliver their submissions.
In addition, the legislation would authorize the disclosure of information on the ethical or professional conduct of an immigration consultant to those responsible for governing or investigating that conduct.