Immigration regulator supports Federal refugee reforms but suggests cautious

TORONTO, May 21 /CNW/ - The Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC) in its submission to the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration welcomed Immigration Minister Jason Kenney's plan to expedite the refugee process today.

"A refugee process that is quick and efficient is in the best interest of Canadians and refugees alike," said CSIC Chair Nigel Thomson. "CSIC would like to work with the government to introduce greater clarity around how the proposed system is designed."

The government intends to setup an appeals process, but claimants from certain "safe" countries would not be able to access multiple levels of appeal. Further, it's not clear what criteria will be used to designate a country as safe.

Also, decision-making power for refugee claims will be transferred from an independent adjudicator to a civil servant. This will speed up the process: all refugee claimants will have an initial interview within 8 days, and a hearing within 60 days.

CSIC will work with the government's timelines and will ensure its duty list is available to assist claimants with their refugee claims. CSIC has close to 200 duty consultants that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on an urgent basis for refugee claimants.

CSIC has also been effective in protecting consumers of immigration consulting services by holding its members to high professional and ethical standards. Since its creation in 2004, CSIC has revoked the memberships of 800 consultants and disciplined 225 consultants.

"The philosophy behind this reform is sound," said Thomson. "There are some details that need to be refined, and we look forward to working with the government to ensure the new refugee system is fast and fair."

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.


For further information: For further information: Nancy Tibbo, (416) 572-2800, Toll Free: 1-866-308-CSIC (2252),

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