In June 2017 I wrote an article for Policy Options about how I believed that while the existence of the immigration consultant profession in Canada promoted access to justice reforms were needed to strengthen the weeding out of some unethical behaviour.  One of the things that I recommended was that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) temporarily have the power to refuse to process applications submitted by people represented by consultants whom IRCC has previously determined to be unscrupulous, and that IRCC should also be allowed to levy fines against unscrupulous representatives […]

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The following is an article that I wrote for Policy Options. The first paper that I wrote in law school was about legal ethics. I submitted a seven-page essay arguing that restricting the practice of law to graduates of law school was unethical, given the crisis of access to justice that so many face, and that the free market should instead regulate who can and cannot charge fees to provide legal representation. I got my lowest mark in law school. The study and practice of law moderated many of my views, […]

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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 […]

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Many lawyers when they meet with clients often find themselves reviewing rejected applications and/or hearings where it is obvious that an individual’s previous representative was incompetent.  The examples of incompetence range from missed deadlines to not understanding the law.  Some specific scenarios that clients have told me about include: former counsel being told by an Immigration Appeal Division member to “sit down” because they were incompetent; an immigration consultant not knowing the difference between a “conviction” and a “dismissal”; an immigration consultant that the “Prevailing Wage = the wage paid to […]

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As previously indicated in this blog post, the Government of Saskatchewan has taken an increasingly aggressive stance in combating immigration related abuses by consultants, recruiters, and employers.  The Government of Saskatchewan has faced difficulties in doing so (including pushback from the courts), however, because of the lack of a statutory framework.   It is therefore not surprising that on October 11, 2013, the Government of Saskatchewan proclaimed The Foreign Worker Recruitment and Immigration Services Act (the “Act“) and The Foreign Worker Recruitment and Immigration Services Regulations (the “Regulations“). According to this news release by the Province of Saskatchewan, […]

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On October 12, 2011, I wrote about how the Federal Court in Osisanwo had certified the following question: Is a foreign national inadmissible for misrepresenting a material fact if at the time of filing his/her application for permanent residence or at the time of granting permanent residence he/she had no knowledge of the material fact that constituted such misrepresentation?   Ultimately, the Respondent in Osisanwo did not litigate to the Federal Court of Appeal.  However, on April 13, 2012,  the Federal Court issued several judgements in misrepresentation cases that establish a clear rule regarding whether […]

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Addressing Ghost Consultants

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 […]

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