Complaints Process

The complaints process focuses on RCICs’ or RISIAs’ professional conduct

Complaints: An Overview

The College reviews, investigates, and resolves complaints about Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) and Regulated International Student Immigration Advisor (RISIAs) who may have:

The complaints process focuses on RCICs’ or RISIAs’ professional conduct, not on their fees. This is because we address disputes over licensees’ conduct, not disagreements over how much should have been paid by their clients. Only certain cases result in a refund.

Through the complaints process, we protect the public by ensuring that RCICs and RISIAs are competent and act professionally and ethically.

Complaints to the College: How the Complaints Process works

We carefully review and assess complaints we receive about Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) and Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (RISIAs).

To make sure every complaint is handled correctly and fairly, many steps and many people are involved in reviewing each one.

In every case, you will receive an acknowledgment that we have received your complaint, and we will give you a complaint file number. We will also inform you about any key developments in the complaint, and let you know the result of the complaint.

Here is How the Complaints Process Works


Referrals to the Complaints Committee

We screen all complaints we receive.

First, we make sure the complaint is against someone who is licensed by the College—an RCIC or a RISIA. If the complaint is about an unauthorized practitioner (UAP), we may take steps to stop them. Click here for our Unauthorized Practitioner form.

Second, we make sure the complaint is about the licensee’s professionalism or competence. The College does not deal with complaints that are only about a request for a refund or return of fees because an immigration application was refused. If the fees were reasonable and there is no evidence that the licensee acted unprofessionally, we will close the complaint.

Then, we determine if the complaint is appropriate for the complaints process.

3 things may then happen:

  • We will refer it to the Complaints Committee (see below) if the complaint is appropriate for the complaints process.
  • We will close complaints that were filed for an improper purpose or that are connected to issues that have already been addressed by the College.
  • We will refer the complaint to another process—for example, sanction by the Registrar—if that process is more appropriate for the complaint.

About the Complaints Committee

The Complaints Committee is a group of people who have been appointed by the Board of Directors to review complaints.

The Committee meets as panels of 3 people to review and make decisions on every appropriate complaint.

Each panel will comprise at least 1 licensee and 1 non-licensee (i.e. member of the public). This will help ensure that the panel’s decisions are balanced and informed by different views.

After reviewing a complaint and any supporting documentation, the Complaints Committee may:

  • Close the complaint without taking further action.
  • Resolve the complaint with both your participation and that of the RCIC or RISIA.
  • Refer the complaint for investigations. Doing so may lead to disciplinary action taken against the RCIC or RISIA.

Considering and Investigating Complaints

The Complaints Committee reviews each complaint it receives. Based on the evidence it has, it will decide the most appropriate way to handle the complaint.

The Committee will consider:

  • The concerns or requests raised by the complainant (the person making the complaint).
  • The seriousness of the claimed or alleged conduct.
  • The licensee’s history of complaints (if any)

The Committee’s goal is to handle the complaint in a manner that is fair, efficient, and in the public’s interest.

The Dispute Resolution Process

The Dispute Resolution process is a way to quickly resolve complaints.

Using this process, the Committee can refer the matter to an independent third party such as a mediator. This third person will help you and the licensee communicate with each other and resolve your dispute.

More serious complaints may be investigated and brought back to the Complaints Committee. The Committee will then review the evidence gathered from the investigation.

Complaints Committee Decisions

Here is how the Complaints Committee may deal with a complaint:

  • The Committee can close the complaint because the evidence does not support what is claimed or alleged about the licensee.
  • The Committee can caution the licensee with a warning.
  • The Committee may recommend that the licensee take remedial training courses and take other measures, so that the issues that led to the complaint do not happen again.
  • If the complaint is more serious and evidence supports it, the Complaints Committee will refer the complaint to the Tribunal (for example, the Discipline Committee). The Tribunal will then adjudicate the complaint and could sanction the licensee. In other words, the licensee could have their licence suspended or revoked and face financial penalties.