Source: Ottawa warns against use of immigration agents in India
“The information campaign is the immigration department’s first paid media campaign, though it does regularly caution applicants and potential applicants to beware of unscrupulous agents through social media and other free communication channels, said department spokesperson Shannon Ker.”
“Immigration agents must be licensed by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council, a self-regulatory body bestowed by Ottawa, in order to offer immigration advice and services at a fee. However, many people, in and outside of Canada, still hang out a shingle as a consultant, charging tens of thousands of dollars for bad advice.
Immigration officials have long recognized this problem in India, one of the major sources of immigrants, foreign students and workers to Canada, attributing the country’s visa refusal rates to unscrupulous consultants and people resubmitting applications based on the same information in their original rejection.”
“Ker said those measures “complement” the India campaign, “which aims to educate applicants who choose to pay for advice or representation on the importance of using an authorized representative and to discourage applicants from using unauthorized, fraudulent consultants.”
Licensed immigration consultants who are members of the existing regulatory body were not happy with the government’s campaign, saying officials should have used the term “unauthorized representative” rather than “unauthorized immigration consultant” in its material. The immigration law stipulates that only licensed lawyers and consultants can offer immigration advice and services at a fee.
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