In this article, we will discuss what is ICCRC, CICC, RCIC & CAPIC. It includes their concise history and acquaints the readers with the importance of these regulatory bodies.
The Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants- CAPIC (est. 2004)
The Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants or CAPIC was founded in 2004 through the partnership of AICC (Association of Immigration Counsel of Canada), and the Organization of Professional Immigration Consultants (OPIC). At present, CAPIC is the largest and the only non-profit organization for Immigration Consultants in Canada.
Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council- ICCRC (est. 2011)
In spite of the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC), there were persistent cases of unethical and illegal practices by immigration consultants. Consequently, Jason Kenney, then minister of Immigration and Citizenship, along with the help of CAPIC, and an established committee founded the ICCRC as the regulator of immigration consultants. Thus, the ICCRC or the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council was established under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act along with the Citizenship Act, in the year 2011. Many of the CAPIC former executives were its founding directors. The regulatory council was established with the aim of providing regularized and legal immigration services.
The College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants- CICC (est. 2021)
To further fortify and improve legal immigration and curtail fraud by unauthorized immigration consultants, the ICCRC was replaced by the CICC. The College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants was conceptualized through the passing of the C-97 bill that included the “College Act” or the “College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants Act (Canada)”. The bill was passed in June 2019 and the CICC was officially opened on November 23rd, 2021. The College specifically aims to identify and penalize unauthorized immigration consultants and practitioners. Moreover, the college is conferred with powers and resources for investigation, enforcement, and supervision. The CICC regulates:
- RCICs – Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants, and
- RISIAs – Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors.
It is mandatory to possess a license from the CICC (the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants) to practice as a regulated immigration consultant without being a designated lawyer.
Who is a CICC/ICCRC certified Canada Immigration consultant?
To become a CICC/ICCRC licensed immigration practitioner, you must
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Complete a graduate diploma from Queen’s University in Immigration and Citizenship Law. It is the only English language program that facilitates becoming a licensed immigration consultant, or
- Complete Immigration Practitioner Program within the last three years. However, the IPPs will be phased out by December 2022. Thus, a Graduate diploma from Queen’s University or D.E.S.S will remain the only mandatory requirement.
- Pass the Entry-to-Practice Examination conducted by the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC).
Additionally, the licensed RCICs (Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants) are mandated to undergo constant ongoing educational programs offered by the college. This continuous educational training ensures that they are updated and thorough with immigration laws and are always highly competent.
The ongoing educational programs offered by the college include:
- Practice Management Education: This program by the CICC helps the RCICs utilize the educational tools required for effective practice.
- Specialization Program: This program assesses and assures the competency of the RCICs to practice for the Immigration and Refugee Board. On and post-July 1st 2023, the RCIC-IRB license will become a compulsory requirement to practice before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The fee for this specialization exam is $450
- Continuing Professional Development (CPD): Specially designed to help the RCICs continuously learn and imbibe information on legal immigration and provide the best immigration services to their clients. RCICs are mandated to complete 16 hours of CPD to maintain their CICC/RCCIC license.
How to verify an ICCRC/CICC immigration consultant?
To ensure transparency and discourage unauthorized immigration consultants from exploiting vulnerable immigrants, the CICC/ICCRC has an accessible list of all the licensed RCICs that are legal and active. One can visit https://college-ic.ca/protecting-the-public/find-an-immigration-consultant and verify if their immigration consultant is legal or not. Furthermore, one can also confirm if the RCIC (Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant) is:
- Active, in good standing, and competent to serve the clients
- Active but with restricted practice due to some disciplinary reasons.
- Suspended due to disciplinary causes or failure to maintain their CICC/RCCIC license.
Only consultants with an ‘active’ status besides their name can provide immigration services to their clients. You can easily identify that we are authentic if you search for Rachal Sidhu and her RCIC number R16157.
CAPIC, ICCRC, and CICC were established with the intention to safeguard vulnerable and gullible immigrants from illegal immigration consultants. Being in a regulated profession is a privilege and with privilege comes grave responsibility to satisfy and fulfill the ethical and legal demands of immigration and citizenship consultants. Being a member of CAPIC and ICCRC/CAPIC certified is a testament to a robust and conscientious work ethic and ensures that the immigrant receives much-deserved transparency and premium services.