The government of Canada updated instructions on January 28, 2022, regarding the use of representatives of the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC), which has officially become the regulator of immigration and citizenship consultants throughout Canada.
The new instructions reflect changes in application intake, application processing, and other procedures. They also address who can act as a representative, compensated and uncompensated representatives, as well as guidelines for other stakeholders. The new instructions are applicable to both citizenship and immigration applications and proceedings.
Any person providing citizenship or immigration advice or representation to a client for a fee or other consideration must be an authorized representative. During processing, these functions include intervening on behalf of the applicant and requesting information about the progress of the application.
Individuals who receive compensation for intervening and seeking information on behalf of applicants during application processing must either be:
notary or member in good standing of their respective legal societies or
members in good standing of the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC)
It is important to know that, under the Immigration Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) for immigration matters and paragraph A21.1 of the Citizenship Act for citizenship matters, anyone other than an authorized representative is prohibited from representing or advising clients for the following:
at any stage of an immigration application or proceeding including the period before a proceeding begins or an application is submitted, or
on citizenship matters
An individual who is found guilty of an offence (whether the individual knew about the offence or not, and directly or indirectly committed it) can be fined or imprisoned, or both.