Quebec Regulates Immigration Consultants

Fresh off the heals of the Federal Government introducing new regulations for immigration consultants, the Quebec government has announced similar regulations that will come into force effective November 4, 2010.

The regulations, which are outlined in the Gazette, contain the following provisions of interest:

  • The regulations do not apply to members of the Quebec bar, or members of another bar who are authorized to practice in Quebec.
  • All immigration consultants must pass a test on Quebec immigration consultants.
  • All immigration consultants must be proficient in French, the standards of which are specified in the regulations.
  • An immigration consultant must pay $1000 every two years to keep his/her license.
  • There must be a “mandate” (which sounds like a retainer) with each client.

Requiring that immigration consultants be proficient in French is an interesting development. An individual will be proficient if he/she can show that he/she has:

  • passed an examination recognized by the Minister;
  • received, on a full-time basis, no less than 3 years of secondary or post-secondary instruction provided in French;
  • passed the fourth or fifth year secondary level examinations in French as the first language; or
  • obtained a secondary school certificate in Québec from and after the school year 1985-1986.

What do you think? Is it fair to require that immigration consultants be proficient in French (or English for the rest of Canada for that matter) even if their individual lack of proficiency does not prevent their firm from completing applications?