Monday, March 19, 2012
How New Canadian Immigration Rules Affect Travel Agents
Over the past few months, many changes have been made to how various groups can conduct business with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
This Interpretation Bulletin has been created to explain clearly what these new rules mean to Travel Agents.
How does Bill C-35 affect Travel Agents:
Bill C-35 made it an offence for anyone other than an Authorized Representative to offer immigration services for a fee or other consideration, at any stage of an application or proceeding. Authorized Representatives include: members in good standing of ICCRC (known as Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants – RCICs), lawyers in good standing with a provincial or territorial law society and notaries who are members in good standing of the Chambre des notaires du Québec.
For a list of RCICs, please visit this link - http://www.iccrc-crcic.ca/public/membershiplistFull.cfm.
What are the penalties?
Bill C-35 doubled the penalties from $50,000 to $100,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 2 years for conviction by indictment. Bill C-35 doubled the penalties from $10,000 to $20,000 and/or imprisonment for up to six months on summary conviction.
What Travel Agents may do without being an Authorized Representative:
Make travel arrangements; provide translation services; provide courier services; provide medical services.
What Travel Agents may not do unless they are an Authorized Representative:
Explain/provide immigration advice; complete immigration forms; communicate with CIC/CBSA on a client’s behalf; advertise that they can provide immigration advice for compensation; represent clients in an immigration application or proceeding.
How does ICCRC handle complaints?
ICCRC takes all complaints seriously. If we receive a complaint that a Travel Agent is contravening these rules, ICCRC will collect further evidence, build a case, and submit it to the CBSA or the RCMP.
For more information, please review:
Bill C-35 - http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/backgrounders/2011/2011-06-28a.asp
IP9 – Use of Representatives - http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/manuals/ip/ip09-eng.pdf