Immigration regulator highlights work to protect future Canadians

TORONTO, May 27 /CNW/ - The Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC) launched a national ad campaign today to bring its efforts to protect future Canadians into focus.

"CSIC was created to protect consumers of immigration consulting services by holding its members to high educational and ethical standards," said CSIC Chair Nigel Thomson. "The numbers in the ad show that we've been doing our job."

Since 2004, 800 agents have been shut out of CSIC because they didn't meet its standards and 225 consultants have been disciplined for misconduct. As a result, CSIC has ensured that its 1,728 members are providing competent service to immigrants. The ad highlights these figures in today's issues of the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and La Presse.

While CSIC has worked diligently to hold its members to account, it does not have the authority to pursue non-members who hold themselves to be consultants, known as ghost agents. CSIC has taken action on ghost agents by warning consumers about ghost agents in national ad campaigns and making it easier for consumers to find competent help with a toll-free referral service.

However, only the Federal government has the authority to close the legal loopholes that allow ghost agents to operate with impunity. In February, CSIC released detailed recommendations to the government that would enable law enforcement to put ghost agents out of business while allowing CSIC to continue regulating its members.

"By closing legal loopholes the government can ensure that only those consultants that have met CSIC's rigorous standards will be able to practice, which would significantly enhance consumer protection," said Thomson. "We continue to work with the government to make that happen."

The Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants is the professional regulatory body for Certified Canadian Immigration Consultants. Established in 2004 it currently has over 1,700 members. CSIC's mandate is to protect consumers of immigration consulting services. Consequently, it is responsible for ensuring the education, competency testing and the discipline of its members. CSIC also requires its members to carry errors and omissions insurance and to contribute to a compensation fund. The best way to find a CCIC is via CSIC's toll free referral line, 1-877-311-7926.

SOURCE CANADIAN SOCIETY OF IMMIGRATION CONSULTANTS

For further information: For further information: Nancy Tibbo, (416) 572-2800, Toll Free: 1-866-308-CSIC (2252), ntibbo@csic-scci.ca

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CANADIAN SOCIETY OF IMMIGRATION CONSULTANTS

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