Professionals should not go up against their regulator alone
The College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (“CICC”) is the regulator for Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC) and Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (RISIA) in Ontario. They:
- decide who has a certificate to practice as a RCIC and RISIA
- handle complaints against RCIC’s and RISIA’s
But your College does not work for you. In fact, the College can:
- deny applicant’s applications for a certificate to practice or
- suspend, revoke or place terms, conditions, or limitations on immigration and citizenship consultant’s certificate to practice
If you plan to apply to the College or have received notice of complaint it is important that you have representation to protect your interests and defend your rights.
Our team of experienced lawyers can assist immigration and citizenship consultants with matters including:
- Advising RCICs and RISIAs on compliance with relevant legislation and standards
- Responding to complaints and investigations at the College
- Representing RCICs and RISIAs at the Fitness to Practise Committee
- Defending RCICs and RISIAs in hearings before the CICC’s Discipline Committee
- Advocating for RCICs and RISIAs to resolve matters through the College’s complaint resolution process
- Representing RCICs and RISIAs in appeals before the Divisional Court of Ontario
Applying for a license at the CICC can be a rather complex process.
The College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants offers two types of licenses:
(1) Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC) – professionals who help and support individuals who want to study, work, or live in Canada on matters pertaining to citizenship applications, family sponsorship applications, visitor visas, etc.
(2) Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (RISIA)- professionals who provide immigration advice to international students and their dependents about study permits, temporary resident visas and other permits available in Canada
To become an RCIC, you must:
- Have completed an accredited Graduate Diploma Program within the last 3 years
- Pass the Entry-to-Practice Exam
- Achieve at least the minimum required score on a College-approved English or French language ability test
- Complete mandatory Practice Management Education (PME) courses
To become an RISIA, you must:
- Be an International Student Adviser (ISA) or work in the educational sector with responsibilities that include offering immigration advice for students
- Have completed the International Students and Immigration Education Program (ISIEP) or have completed the Immigration Practitioner Program (IPP) within the last 3 years
- Pass the Entry-to-Practice Exam
Our office can help you navigate the registration process and offer legal advice on concerns you may have. If you are planning to apply for a licence from the CICC, contact us today.
The College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (“CICC”) receives complaints from:
- Members of the public
- Clients of RCICs and RISIAs
- Employers of RCICs and RISIAs
- Other RCICs and RISIAs
Complaints against RCICs and RISIAs are first dealt with by the Complaints Committee. While a complaint is at the Committee you may be offered an opportunity for early resolution – in these cases it is important to obtain legal advice so that that your rights are protected.
The Complaints Committee is a written process – the complainant, the College and the member exchange a series of documents:
- A complaint against a member is made
- The College provides the member with an official acknowledgement of the complaint
- The member is asked to respond to the complaint
- The Complaints Committee will issue a decision
The potential outcomes of a decision include:
- A decision to take no further action
- Require the member to complete an education program or remediation
- Caution the Member
- Refer a matter to the Discipline or Fitness to Practise Committee
These outcomes can have very serious financial and personal impacts on members. If you have received a complaint from the CICC, please contact us today.
The Discipline Committee is one of three committees of the College’s Tribunal, and it handles complaints containing serious allegations involving professionalism or competence.
Before a matter progresses to a hearing at the Discipline Committee a pre-hearing may occur. A pre-hearing is an opportunity for the College and the member to present their case in an informal manner.
In our experience a pre-hearing at a college can be used to:
- Reduce the allegations against a member
- Reduce the penalty being sought by a member
- Raise important legal issues before trial
At the Discipline Committee, a trial may take place where witnesses are called, and evidence is heard.
Outcomes at the Discipline Committee can include:
- Imposing terms, conditions, or restrictions on a licensee’s practice
- Suspending a licensee’s license to practice which may happen before a hearing begins or after a hearing has concluded
- Revoking a licensee’s license to practice
These are extremely serious public outcomes. If your matter has or could be referred to the Discipline Committee, please contact us today.
Fitness to Practise Committee
The Fitness to Practice Committee handles complaints involving “incapacity” which is the inability to practice due to an ongoing physical or mental health condition.
In our experience, a referral to the Fitness to Practise Committee can offer a number of benefits to members, because:
- Complaints are generally resolved in a more private manner
- The goal of the process is ensuring the health of a member
However, it is unusual for members to be referred to Fitness to Practise Committees without legal representation because the Complaints Committee seeks the presentation of detailed evidence to consider a referral. It is important to have experienced representation to support you in these matters, contact us today to see how we can help.
Decisions of the Tribunal including the College’s:
- Complaint’s Committee
- Discipline Committe
- Fitness to Practise Committee
can be judicially reviewed by the Federal Court.
Unfortunately, self-represented individuals are very rarely successful in appeals. We have unique expertise in appeals from regulatory colleges. If you are considering an appeal, please contact us today.