Do You Know Your Immigration Rights?

This month marks the second anniversary of Bill C-35, a landmark amendment to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) that ensures potential new Canadians only receive quality immigration advice and assistance.

The amendment stipulates that only authorized representatives like Canada Citizenship Lawyer have the right to represent international students, foreign workers, and those wishing to immigrate to Canada professionally (for a fee).


Bill C-35 goes a long way in protecting immigration applicants from poor, inaccurate, and even fraudulent assistance. However, it is only effective if clients know their rights under the Bill and are aware of the warning signs of an unauthorized consultant.


Who does Bill C-35 affect?


Bill C-35 has an extensive impact in the education sector, covering a broad spectrum that includes international students, consultants, and a variety of assistance divisions within educational institutions that accept international student registrations.


The Bill’s amendments are not only applicable to academic consultants. Other agencies and programs are also impacted, such as family immigration consultants, adoption and caregiver agencies, employment recruiting firms, and a variety of human resource personnel.


One of the several important changes made as a result of Bill C-35 is that it creates a new offence for unauthorized consultants to provide assistance–or in offering to do so–before, during, or after an application is submitted to the CIC, with strict penalties for offenders.


How does the Bill impact students specifically?

Since Canadian colleges and universities usually offer a wide range of assistance and advice programs to international students, Bill C-35 arguably benefits students most.


As more stories of fraudulent and unauthorized representation arise in the media, the evident concern is for international students to receive proper assistance in preparing their study permit applications and extensions, and immigration advice after completing their program.


The federal government has taken these concerns seriously, and Bill C-35 is an important measure in protecting international students. Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney introduced the Bill as the “Cracking Down on Crooked Consultants” Act—a clear message to consultants that unauthorized representation is not tolerated.


How do I find an authorized immigration representative?

Under Bill C-35, immigration lawyers and immigration consultants must carry certain qualifications in order to offer their immigration services in Canada.


They must be a licensed lawyer with the Law Society of Canada or be registered with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). Members of the Chambre des notaires du Québec and Ontario paralegals in good standing are also authorized.


Canada Citizenship Lawyer is registered with the Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC), and is licensed to practice in Canada specializing in immigration law. For more information on how we are qualified to assist you during your immigration process, contact us today to arrange a consultation.


Canada Citizenship Lawyer is your immigration law firm serving Vancouver Island and region.