What We Do
The College regulates immigration and citizenship consultants in the public interest and protects the public by:
- Establishing and administering qualification standards, standards of practice, and continuing education requirements for licensees;
- Establishing and providing training and development programs for licensees;
- Ensuring compliance with the Code of Professional Conduct; and
- Undertaking public awareness activities.
The College licenses RCICs and RISIAs, ensuring they meet and follow high standards of education, competence and professional ethics.
The College supports the lifelong learning needs of licensees. All RCICs and RISIAs must participate in ongoing learning opportunities every year to maintain their licence.
Complaints and Discipline
Licensees must comply with the College’s Code of Professional Conduct (the Code).
The College investigates complaints about RCICs and RISIAs whose conduct fails to meet the standards of the profession.
The College also maintains a professional discipline process to sanction licensees (when appropriate to do so) who do not comply with the Code.
Public Awareness Activities
The College promotes its role and the regulation of the profession to the public, the media and to stakeholder organizations across Canada and abroad.
The Federal Government will set out regulations for the establishment of a Compensation Fund that will be operated by the College. The purpose of the fund is to help people who have been adversely affected by the activities of a licensee.
Once the Fund is operational, the College will release more details about who will be eligible to apply and how they can make a claim.
We do not give immigration advice
The College regulates Canadian immigration and citizenship consultants in the public interest. We do not provide immigration advice, process immigration applications, or influence any decision related to immigration.
If you need immigration or citizenship advice, contact an RCIC or RISIA using the contact information on our Public Register.
What is a regulatory college?
In Canada, a regulatory college is a self-regulatory organization (SRO) that regulates its own profession in the public interest.
SROs are already common in healthcare, education, and professional services.
SROs are granted specific powers and responsibilities by acts of Parliament. They are charged with:
- Setting standards for who can become a member or licensee of the regulated profession,
- Protecting the public by investigating incidents of misconduct by licensees,
- Sanctioning licensees who engage in misconduct, and
- Improving their licensees’ skills and competencies.
Self-regulation is a privilege granted to professions that show they can put the interests of the public ahead of their own.
The College’s role as a regulator
The College was created as an SRO because it is understood that:
- Immigration and citizenship consultants have specialized knowledge and expertise, and
- Immigration and citizenship consulting can be trusted as a regulated profession.
As a regulator, the College sets standards of education, professional practice and ethics for its licensees. By doing so, we can
- Ensure the fairest outcomes for people who want to immigrate to Canada, and
- Demonstrate that licensed immigration and citizenship consultants are trustworthy and ethical.
We achieve this by:
- Providing resources, education, training, professional development and licensing for RCICs, RISIAs, and people who want to become licensed.
- Requiring that anyone who wants to provide immigration and citizenship consultant services must be licensed.
- Ensuring that people worldwide can easily find an RCIC or a RISIA using our up-to-date Public Register of licensees.
- Disciplining RCICs and RISIAs who breach the Code of Professional Conduct.
- Talking about our role as an SRO with the public, the media, and stakeholder organizations.
- Working with the federal government to continually strengthen regulation in the public interest.
Why trust a licensed immigration and citizenship consultant?
RCICs and RISIAs are licensed professionals who meet educational, professional and ethical standards. As professionals who help people come to Canada, they understand the responsibility they have to their clients.
As a regulator, we mandate and enforce the standards that RCICs and RISIAs must meet and hold licensees accountable for meeting them.
If a member of the public or the College has concerns about a licensee’s conduct or competency, we have the full legal authority to launch an investigation. If we find an RCIC or a RISIA has breached the Code, they will be subject to rehabilitation or discipline. At our discretion, we may also involve law enforcement, where necessary.
This oversight and enforcement help build trust and confidence in the profession and its role as part of Canada’s immigration system.
Why regulation matters to the public
Regulation protects the interests of Canadians and newcomers to Canada by ensuring that Canadian immigration and citizenship consultants operate ethically and competently.
Regulation also helps Canada facilitate immigration and provide protection to refugees. This, in turn, enhances the country’s reputation around the world.
Why regulation matters to newcomers
For people looking to immigrate to Canada or become Canadian citizens, we mandate competent and ethical behaviour by RCICs and RISIAs.
Our licensees must adhere to the College’s strict Code of Professional Conduct and maintain high standards of education.
We also work with offshore partners to ensure that people around the world know how to use our up-to-date online Public Register of licensed RCICs and RISIAs as well as the dangers of using unauthorized practitioners.
These measures help people gain access to quality Canadian immigration and citizenship advice.
Why regulation matters to licensees (RCICs and RISIAs)
Effective regulation builds public trust. It also strengthens the profession by ensuring that licensees meet the educational, ethical and professional standards required of trusted, regulated professionals.
Finally, our authority to discipline sub-standard licensees protects the reputation of other RCICs and RISIAs.