Will you order an RCIC or RISIA to give me a refund of the money I paid?
Our complaints process focuses on the conduct of RCICs and RISIAs—not the fees they charge.
If you have a dispute that is only about fees, you should address it in a local court that has the authority to resolve your dispute.
How can I file a complaint with the College?
An acceptable complaint is a written and signed document that explains your concern about an RCIC’s or RISIA’s possible professional misconduct, incompetence, or incapacity.
The complaint should be supported by relevant evidence such as recordings, emails, text messages, or documents.
If you've already submitted a complaint, you can use the portal to check the status of a complaint OR submit a different complaint by using our Online Complaints Portal.
If you have trouble with the portal or if you have questions about the complaint process, email firstname.lastname@example.org for help
Along with your complaint, you should attach copies of any relevant documents, as well as the names of people who can support what you are alleging.
How can I refer information to the College as a government or agency?
We also accept referrals of relevant information from government, specifically:
- Federal, provincial, or municipal government departments or agencies, or
- Police, law enforcement agencies, or other reliable sources.
Government or agency officials can contact us at email@example.com
Can I make an anonymous complaint?
No. We need to know who you are to properly investigate the complaint and verify the information you provided.
We may ask you to provide a copy of government-issued identification (for example, your passport, birth certificate, driver’s licence, permanent resident card, or similar) to prove who you are. This way we will know we can discuss confidential information about the complaint with you.
Will you share the complaint information with the RCIC or RISIA I am complaining about?
An RCIC or RISIA that is the subject of a complaint must be able to respond to it. This means they will need to know the details about your complaint, including your name.
If you are worried about sharing your information with the RCIC or RISIA, please let us know and we will work with you to protect your privacy.
Will you share my complaint information with government authorities?
We will only share your complaint information with the authorities if you give us consent to do so.
When you submit your complaint, you will be asked to sign the Acknowledgement and Consent section of the form. This gives us permission to share information we receive from you.
If necessary, we may share information in the complaint with:
- The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
- The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
- The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), or
- A provincial law society that regulates lawyers (and, in some provinces, paralegals).
If you do not want your information shared with government authorities, please contact us.
What happens to my complaint once you have received it?
We carefully review and assess every complaint we receive.
When we receive your complaint, we will determine whether the complaint is against someone who:
- Is licensed with the College.
- Is licensed as a lawyer or paralegal or is a Member of the Chambre des notaires du Québec.
- Is no longer licensed by the College or ICCRC (the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council, the organization that regulated authorized immigration consultants before the College), or
- Is unauthorized to practice immigration consulting in Canada.
If the complaint is against an RCIC or a RISIA
We will review the complaint and supporting documentation. We may close the complaint without taking further action, refer the complaint to Dispute Resolution, or refer the complaint for investigation and possible disciplinary action.
No matter what we do, we will acknowledge your complaint and send you the file number we assigned it. We will also tell you whether the complaint will be closed, assigned to Dispute Resolution, or assigned to an investigator.
If the complaint is against a lawyer, paralegal, or Member of the Chambre des notaires du Québec
The College does not regulate these professionals. Please make a complaint with the proper regulatory body.
If the complaint is against someone who was once licensed but is not now
The College can discipline former RCICs or RISIAs for violating the Code while they were licensed by the College or were a member of the former Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council.
If the alleged violations are minor, we will keep the complaint in our permanent files. If the person applies to become licensed, we will reopen and address the complaint before their application can be approved.
If your complaint alleges serious violations of the Code, we will process the complaint immediately.
If we receive a complaint about a former RCIC or RISIA who allegedly violated the Code after the they lost their licence, we will treat the complaint as a complaint against an unauthorized practitioner (see below).
If the complaint is against an unauthorized person
We are concerned about people and companies that illegally practice immigration consulting—unauthorized practitioners (UAPs). These people and companies who are not licensed to provide immigration services and advice are not accountable to the relevant regulatory bodies. When you rely on these people and companies, you are putting yourself and your application at risk.
UAPs and their actions damage the public’s confidence in immigration consultancy services and in the RCICs, RISIAs, lawyers, and notaires who provide a high standard of service with integrity.
The College’s legal authority over UAPs is limited. We can request that the Canadian courts use their powers to stop these people. We can also work with other government departments and agencies to address the harmful conduct of these UAPs when further actions or penalties are required.
You can report an unauthorized practitioner by filling out the Unauthorized Practitioner form.
Can the College decline to process a complaint?
Yes. Upon receipt and review of the complaint, the College may decide to close the complaint and take no further action if the complaint:
- is about a matter outside of the College’s authority.
- appears to be an abuse of process or is made for an improper purpose.
- raises concerns about prior conduct that has already been addressed by the College.
- is against someone who was once licensed but is no longer an RCIC or RISIA.
- is about an issue that can be addressed by the Registrar.
How long does the complaints process take?
There are various steps involved in properly handling a complaint. These steps ensure that complaints are processed appropriately, and that everyone involved in the process is protected and treated fairly.
As you will see in the question below regarding complaints screening and on our Complaints Process page, the College will determine what the appropriate complaints process would be depending on the context, history and seriousness of the allegations. Some complaints may be processed through early resolution which would be resolved in a relatively short period of time (e.g., approximatively 3 months). On the other hand, some complaints may take longer (e.g., up to 3 years) if the allegations are serious and the matter proceeds to a disciplinary hearing.
How do you update Complainants, RCICs, and RISIAs on the process?
When you complete the complaint form, you will be asked to give us your contact information and tell us your preferred method of communication.
We will use your information to update you in the way you prefer. We also provide updates to RCICs and RISIAs who are the subject of a complaint.
Let us know right away if any of your contact information changes so you can continue to receive updates on your complaint.
We suggest you add @college-ic.ca to your Safe Senders list in your email to ensure that you always receive our correspondence. We also ask that you check your spam or junk folders in case our emails get re-routed to those folders.
How does the College screen complaints?
After a complaint has been made, we will review it. Then, based on the allegations and evidence in the complaint, we will determine how to best process it.
We will consider:
- The seriousness of the complaint.
- The RCIC’s or RISIA’s conduct and complaint and disciplinary history with the College.
- Your concerns and what you are asking for.
Our goal is to handle your complaint efficiently and effectively. For example, the Dispute Resolution process is a way to quickly resolve complaints.
Using this process, the Committee can either
- Resolve the complaint by proposing specific tasks that the licensee agrees to complete, or
- Refer the matter to a mediator. This third person will help you and the licensee communicate with each other and resolve your dispute.
If your complaint is more serious, we will investigate it. If that investigation finds evidence supporting the complaint, the complaint may be referred to the Tribunal.
Complaints against RISIAs should be dealt with first by the educational institution where the RISIA works. After the complaint is handled by that institution, we will determine if we need to take any further action.
We take our responsibility to protect the public very seriously. If we have reason to believe that an RCIC or RISIA may pose a serious risk of harm to the public, we will ask the Discipline Committee to take immediate action to limit their harmful activities.
What decisions can the Complaints Committee make?
The Complaints Committee screens all complaints. It can decide to close a complaint because not enough evidence was provided.
It may also recommend that an RCIC or a RISIA take remedial training courses so the issue that caused the complaint does not happen again.
If your complaint is more serious and is supported by evidence, the Complaints Committee will refer it to the Discipline Committee.
What if I am not satisfied with the outcome of the complaints process?
We work hard to handle complaints in a fair and balanced manner. However, we understand that the outcome may not always meet your expectations.
You cannot appeal or ask us to reconsider the outcome. However, if you believe that there were errors in the way your complaint was processed, you can request a review.
For complaints that were not referred to the Tribunal (for example the Discipline Committee), complainants can ask the Independent Complainants Review Officer (ICRO) to review the way we handled a complaint.
The ICRO can only review the fairness of the procedure used by the College or the Complaints Committee to handle the complaint and determine whether there were any errors in fact or in law. The ICRO reviews the process to make sure it was conducted fairly.
The ICRO review is not a full reconsideration or appeal.
For more information, please email the Office of the ICRO at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What does the Discipline Committee do?
The Discipline Committee adjudicates the complaints referred to it by the Complaints Committee, in accordance with the Tribunal Rules of Procedure.
Only serious complaints supported by evidence are referred to the Discipline Committee.
What happens when a complaint is referred to the Discipline Committee?
When a complaint comes before the Discipline Committee, it is first reviewed by a lawyer acting on behalf of the College.
Once a complaint has been handed over to the lawyer it is no longer considered “your” complaint. Instead, it becomes the College’s case against an RCIC or a RISIA. This means that the disciplinary case will continue even if you withdraw the complaint. You may be called as a witness to give evidence at a hearing, but you will no longer be involved in the final decision about what happens to the RCIC or RISIA.
Determining whether an RCIC or a RISIA engaged in professional misconduct is important for the protection of the public—regardless of whether you have changed your mind about your original complaint.
How does the Discipline Committee conduct a Disciplinary Proceeding?
Disciplinary Proceedings are conducted by written submissions, by telephone, or by video conference call.
What types of decisions can the Discipline Committee make?
If the Discipline Committee finds that the RCIC or RISIA has committed an offence, it may:
- Issue a reprimand.
- Suspend the RCIC’s or RISIA’s licence for a specific period (for example, 3 months, 2 years).
- Impose restrictions on how a RISIA, RCIC, or firm can practise.
- Revoke an RCIC’s or a RISIA’s licence and decide when they can ask to be reinstated (if ever).
- Make any other order it considers necessary, given the circumstances.
If either the College or the licensee disagrees with the Discipline Committee’s decision or process, they can ask it to be reviewed by the Federal Court.
What information does the Discipline Committee publish?
We publish the Discipline Committee’s decisions, and the reasons it gives with each decision, on our website. These decisions and reasons are listed with the RCIC’s or RISIA’s full name.
The Discipline Committee may also order that this information be published in the newspaper where the RCIC or RISIA lives or practices (or both).