For years, Canadian politicians have been grappling with the issue of how to end untrained and unregulated people from providing immigration advice, a practice commonly known as “ghost consulting.” There appears to be a general consensus that tens of thousands of people each year are scammed by ghost consultants. As well, even though they are not licensed, ghost consultants harm the reputation of the immigration consulting profession broadly.
The Government of Canada has launched numerous attempts at cracking down on ghost consultants, including, requiring licensing, creating the designated the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council, and creating this video:
As well, in June, 2010, the previous Conservative Government of Canada stepped up Canada’s efforts to regulate immigration consultants by introducing Bill C-35, also known as the Cracking Down on Crooked Consultants Act.
Two days ago I met with an individual who claimed to have received horrible treatment from two separate immigration consultants in Metro Vancouver. The specific alleged deplorable actions included that:
Consultant A refused to give the individual her Visitor Record until she paid him $2,000.00.
Consultant A refused to provide her with a BC PNP refusal letter, and to this day has not provided a copy of the refusal letter.
Consultant B refused to submit a response to a BC PNP fairness letter without receiving a large payment that was not mentioned in the retainer agreement.
Consultant B refused to meet with her once the application was refused.
Both of these consultants are licensed consultants and members of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (“ICCRC“). I recommended that the individual file complaints against both consultants. Unfortunately, my recommendation came with the caveat that to my knowledge the ICCRC has not once yet disciplined a single consultant against whom a complaint was filed.