TORONTO - Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC’s) ad campaign about unlicensed ghost agents is misleading, increases consumer confusion and should be stopped immediately, according to the Canadian Migration Institute (CMI).
“The ads portray all immigration consultants as fraudsters or charlatans without drawing the distinction between unlicensed ghost agents and Certified Canadian Immigration Consultants (CCICs),” said Imran Qayyum, CMI Chair. “CCICs are well-educated, responsible professionals who are held to strict professional standards and they deserve better.”
Ghost agents often call themselves immigration consultants to dupe unsuspecting consumers, but they are not accredited, so they are not immigration consultants, just as an individual who has not passed the bar is not a lawyer. CMI has long encouraged CIC to describe only CCICs as immigration consultants.
“The very real differences between ghost agents and professionally educated CCICs should have been the theme of the ad campaign. This would have provided consumers with the context they need to find competent immigration help,” said Qayyum. “These ads are just empty scare tactics and Minister Kenney should halt the campaign immediately.”
The role of the Canadian Migration Institute (www.cmi-icm.ca) is to educate, accredit and advocate on immigration law and policy. CMI represents more than 1,670 authorized immigration representatives and is the largest organization of its kind in North America. CMI has several chapters throughout Canada that provide regional support through accredited educational programs, advocacy on provincial issues and a local network for interaction and connection amongst authorized representatives.