Marc Laforce, CCIC, Registers with the New Regulatory Watchdog - ICCRC
July 1, 2011. Dallas. Bill C-35, an act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), has introduced important safeguards to consumers who utilize a representative for a fee to file a visa application before an authorized agency.
One of the changes, which our Dallas-based firm fully endorses, consists of the tightening up of loopholes by unlicensed and unscrupulous agents who prepare an immigration application only to forward the application without declaring themselves - essentially passing off the application as having been exclusively prepared by the consumer (hence the term "ghost consultants").
The new rules also increase the scope by which penalties may be applied when a licensed or unlicensed person circumvents the IRPA.
Lastly, Bill C-35 gives the minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) more authority to appoint and manage a watchdog for regulating immigration consultants.
Until June 30, 2011, the official regulator supervising the activities of immigration consultants, such as the activities of this firm, consisted of the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC). CSIC is an independent federally incorporated body that was responsible for regulating the activities of immigration consultants.
Pursuant to the new bill, the new designated regulator that CIC has appointed is called the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). Effective July 30, 2011, CSIC no longer has any jurisdiction over regulating the activities of immigration consultants.
To allow CSIC members time to register before the new regulator without service interruptions, CIC has unilaterally declared all CSIC members who were in good standing on June 30, 2011 (such as our firm), to be automatically members of ICCRC on a transitional basis until October 29, 2011.
If, however, a CSIC member hasn't formally registered with ICCRC by October 29, 2011, he will cease to have any rights to intervene before the CIC on a consumer's behalf. This means that while a CSIC member may have prepared and filed your federal skilled worker application to the Centralized Intake Office in June 2011, he will not be able to advise you of any official CIC action by the time the application is forwarded to the appropriate visa post if he hasn't since registered with ICCRC. From October 29, 2011, onwards, only ICCRC members shall be recognized as immigration consultants.
As an informed consumer, you will be pleased to know that our firm had no intention of postponing our registration with ICCRC until the last minute. Within a few weeks of the rule changes, our firm had filed a detailed application with ICCRC to become a full-fledged member.
We therefore expect to be a full-fledged ICCRC member within the next 30 days, well within the October 29 deadline. Until that time, rest assured that our transitional membership in ICCRC allows us to provide continued service without interruption.
For due diligence and your peace of mind, we ask that you check ICCRC's web site to locate our leading practitioner's license, under Marc Laforce. By clicking here, you will find Marc Laforce's "temporary I.D." in the "transitional members" link of ICCRC under his last name.
We will make a formal announcement upon becoming a full-fledged ICCRC member.
For a list of transitional ICCRC members, click here:
For information about ICCRC's mandate, click the Citizenship and Immigration Canada link.
For information about who can legally represent a consumer when he is filing an application before the CIC, click here.
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