TRUSTED ADVISOR AND ADVOCATE
TRUSTED ADVISOR AND ADVOCATE
The Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (“ICCRC”) is a federal corporation designated by the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship to regulate immigration consultants and international student immigration advisors. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (“IRPA”) requires individuals who provide/offer advice or representation for a fee in connection to an expression of interest or any application under the IRPA to be “members in good standing” with the ICCRC. Such applications include applications for permanent residence and refugee status. Providing advice or representation for a fee without being a member of the ICCRC is an offence under the IRPA carrying a maximum penalty of $100,000 fine and two years imprisonment. Non-members are also prohibited from designating themselves as a “Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant” or a”RCIC”.
Most rules governing the ICCRC’s are outlined in it’s by-laws, regulations, policies, and code of professional ethics.
Burokas Law acts as a ICCRC in representing immigration consultants and international student immigration advisors ("RISIA") with all their dealings with the ICCRC. Services include:
Membership and Registration
Membership with the ICCRC is mandatory if an individual or business wishes to provide immigration advice and representation to applicants of Canada’s immigration system. The ICCRC generally divides individuals into three categories:
Under by-law 10 of the ICCRC’s by-laws, the board of directors of the ICCRC (the “board”) is obligated to admit any individual, sole proprietorship, or firm (not RISIAs) to membership of the ICCRC, if the meet the following criteria:
For individuals RISIA registration, they must:
Good Character and Good Conduct
Much of the ICCRC’s analysis of an individual’s or firm’s ability to the be registered and remain registered to a category outlined above will depend on their opinion about whether the applicant/registrant has good character and good conduct. The ICCRC has a specific regulation dedicated to this concept. As an ongoing obligation of membership/registration, a member or RISIA must demonstrate continuing good character and conduct so as to protect the public interest and maintain confidence in the profession.
Incidents or offences in an individual’s past does not necessarily negate a finding of good character and conduct. The ICCRC will consider past conduct such as criminal record/proceedings, outstanding court orders, complaints/discipline with another professional regulator, and financial issues such as insolvency and bankruptcy. In assessing such incidents, the ICCRC will consider the following elements of good character:
The Registrar Appeal Committee
The Registrar’s decision regarding a membership/registration is not final. It’s decision is subject to review by a “Registrar Appeal Committee” administered by the ICCRC to hear appeals from the following administrative actions:
If the Registrar takes such action against an individual or business, it will provide a Notice of Referral outlining the action and why. The individual or business will have the right to file a Notice of Appeal to challenge the decision within 30 days. The Registrar Appeal Committee can conduct case conference to facilitate settlement or make procedural orders regarding an “oral proceeding” where the committee is empowered determine any question of law or mixed fact and law relevant to conducting the appeal. The committee will either confirm the Registrar’s decision, overturn or vary the Registrar’s decision, or dismiss the appeal.
The ICCRC may employ investigators to investigate complaints from the public regarding a member’s or registrant’s (RISIAs) alleged contravention of the ICCRC by-law, regulations, or code of professional ethics. An investigator must be directed by the Registrar or a committee of the ICCRC to do so. In conducting a directed investigation, investigators may question members, registrants, and firm employees; require the production of documentation; or remove it for examination.
The ICCRC administers a Complaints Committee to review complaints referred to it by the ICCRC to determine if they may reasonably be considered an offence under the Code of Professional Ethics and both the complainant and relevant member/registrant has the opportunity to make written submissions. After reviewing the complaint, investigator report, and any legal opinion it receives, the Complaint Committee may do one or more of the following:
For dispositions other than a referral to the Discipline Committee, a complainant may have the decision of the Complaints Committee reviewed by an Independent Complaints Review Officer.
The ICCRC administers a Discipline Committee to consider every complaint referred to it by the Complaints Committee. Unsettled complaints are heard by the Discipline Committee who will consider relevant evidence, usually in oral or documentary form, to determine whether the member or firm committed an offence by failing to comply with the, By-laws, Regulations, or Code of Professional Ethics. If a majority of a sitting panel of the Discipline Committee finds that a member, RISIA, firm, or sole proprietorship committed an offence, it may:
If the Discipline Committee finds the member or RISIA ungovernable, it may suspend or revoke the membership/registration permanently.
If you an individual or business seeking to gain or retain membership or registration with the ICCRC, or are subject to an administrative action, please contact Burokas Law