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On October 31st, 2003, the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC), was created and announced. This marks a major step forward in cleaning up the currently unregulated industry of immigration consultants and will ultimately lead to having a fully regulated immigration consultant industry.

CSIC (already dubbed “Sea-sick!”), is an independent and self-regulated body for immigration consultants who wish to represent clients for immigration purposes. It is planned to be fully operational by April 2004 and consultants will have to be registered with CSIC in order to continue representing clients.

The body was created in cooperation with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). The current board is represented by a cross section of professionals from within the industry and it represents the diversity of the Canadian population and our clientele so that a variety of concerns will be addressed says Benjamin Trister, the chair of the CSIC Board.

In April, 2004, the immigration regulations will be amended. This will confirm that CIC and the Immigration and Refugee board will conduct business with representatives who charge fees for services ONLY if they are Members in Good Standing with CSIC or a provincial or territorial law society.

As with all changes, there will be some inevitable teething problems. Between now and April 2004, the current Board of Directors will develop membership standards, a code of conduct, complaint and discipline mechanisms, education and training programmes as well as a liability insurance for immigration consultants.

They will also create a compensation mechanism for victims of unscrupulous consultants.

Their mandate will also be to start accepting immigration consultants as members on the understanding that they will be required to pass future examinations as well as complete continuing education programs in order to retain their membership.

CSIC have identified an interim phase between April 2004 and March 2006. During this time, they will become fully operational and have a formal registration process and monitoring of member consultants. Professional development courses will be created and administered.

CSIC is committed to continually reviewing and evaluating its effectiveness and making adjustments as necessary.

It is clear that this is a welcome development in the industry. The Canadian government have finally committed to providing safeguards and protection for applicants who wish to immigrate to Canada. This is good news for all potential migrants as well as for the dedicated immigration professionals helping them attain their dream of living in Canada.

Dennis Brazolot is a Member in Good Standing with the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC) #M041225 and the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants (CAPIC). He can be contacted on +1 450 458 2186 or dennis@brazolotimmigration.com He travels regularly to the UK for consultations. www.BrazolotImmigration.com