In this edition:
Save the Date – Inaugural General Meeting (IGM)
In accordance with the By-laws, the Board of Directors approved the Inaugural General Meeting (IGM) of licensees to be held on December 1, 2022, at 1 p.m., ET, at the Holiday Inn Toronto International Airport, 970 Dixon Road, Toronto, M9W 1J9.
Only licensees (RCICs and RISIAs) in good standing on November 1, 2022 are eligible to attend or vote at the IGM.
Before the Meeting, a “meet the Board” buffet lunch with licensees will take place, and a licensee education session on the new Code of Professional Conduct will follow the Meeting. The day will close with a reception for Directors and licensees.
Additional information will be provided to licensees in the upcoming weeks, with important information on how to attend the meeting.
RCIC New-Licensee Mentoring Program
A period of mandatory mentoring for new licensees is intended to provide practical experience which will help standardize the quality of practice and help new licensees succeed in their careers.
The New-Licensee Mentoring Program (Supervised Practice Stream) is mandatory for new licensees who received their Letter of Authority on or after July 1, 2022.
This Stream provides supervised practice guidance to new licensees through the completion of simulated case-based assessments that include Entrustable Performance Activities. Entrustable Performance Activities (EPAs) are competency-based activities that align with Key Performance Indicators within the College’s Essential Competencies framework.
The New-Licensee Mentoring Program uses the College’s mentoring software, MentorCity, and will take a group format. Group approaches to mentoring help broaden the appeal of mentoring among diverse populations. It also provides opportunities for experiential learning, shared development of competencies, and practitioner professional preparedness.
Through group mentoring an experienced licensee (mentor) gives practice experience guidance to multiple new licensees (mentees) within a group. This group approach meets Mentoring Program outcomes by:
- Co-constructing communities of practice in real-time
- Facilitating Mentee-Mentee supported learning and development
- Collaborative approaches to practice experience activities
- Leveraging diversity of experiences
- Building leadership skills
- Developing Mentor skills
- Building a Mentor community
Participants will help each other learn and develop RCIC Essential Competencies within the framework of the New-Licensee Mentoring Program.
Tharp, R. G. and Gallimore, R. (1989) Rousing Minds to Life: Teaching, Learning, and Schooling in Social Context. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Mullen, C. A. (2017). Critical Issues on Democracy and Mentoring in Education: A Debate in the Literature. In D. A. Clutterbuck, F. K. Kochan, L. Lunsford, N. Dominguez & J. Haddock-Millar The SAGE Handbook of Mentoring (pp. 34-51). SAGE Publications Ltd.
Launch of the Program Pilot
When will the pilot program start?
The RCIC New-Licensee Mentoring Program pilot is 6 months in duration, and will run from November 30, 2022 to May 30, 2023.
Who is required to enroll in the pilot?
RCICs who received their Letter of Authority between July 1 and September 30, 2022 are required to enrol in the New-Licensee Mentoring Program Pilot. Enrolment is mandatory and there are no exceptions.
What are the consequences for not enrolling in the program?
As per By-law 2021-2, the Registrar may suspend the licence of any Class L1 licensee who fails to complete the New-Licensee Mentoring Program within 12 months of becoming licensed.
As Per the Supervised Practice Program Policy (s.6.0), failure to complete may result to any one of the following actions:
- Required to re-register in the New-Licensee Mentoring Program; or
- Suspension of licence.
How can required licensees enrol?
Required RCIC licensees will receive an email invitation to complete an application to enrol by November 14, 2022.
Pilot Program fees
Each mentee in the program pilot is required to pay the $665 non-refundable program fee (plus applicable taxes), immediately following the program invoice being issued, pursuant to section 5.1 of the Supervised Practice Program Policy.
Please note that an administrative service fee of $150 will be applied to licensees who fail to complete a profile in MentorCity within 14 days of receiving the MentorCity invitation (Supervised Practice Program Policy s. 5.0).
Orientation sessions for selected mentors – Program Pilot
We are delighted by the number of applications submitted earlier this year by experienced licensees who answered our call to become mentors for the pilot of the RCIC New-Licensee Mentoring Program (Supervised Practice Stream). We will contact all successful licensees directly via email@example.com.
We will be holding orientation sessions for licensees selected as mentors for the pilot. Please check your inbox for more information regarding next steps.
Again, thanks to all licensees for helping us advance professional standards and foster communities of practice within the profession!
RCICs and RISIAs must meet their ongoing professional obligations to maintain their licence In Good Standing. This article sets out these obligations and provides clarification to assist licensees with compliance.
Every year in June, licensees must complete the Annual Renewal. This ensures that the College has accurate contact and compliance information to keep the Public Register up to date. Maintaining an up-to-date public register is a requirement of the College Act.
Annual fees finance the College’s programs that help licensees meet required standards and protect the public. They are payable at the time of Annual Renewal. Annual fees may be paid all at once or in quarterly instalments.
Licensees must maintain their competence and currency in immigration law and processes throughout their careers. Each year, RCICs must complete 16 hours and RISIAs must complete 6 hours of qualifying Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and attest to completion as part of the Annual Renewal process.
Practice Management Education courses (PME) are provided by the College at no cost to licensees. PME provides RCICs with the competency-based education, tools and resources they need to maintain a competent practice and ensure public protection.
RCICs must complete at least 1 PME course within 3 months of becoming a licensee and the balance of all other mandatory courses within 12 months of obtaining their licence. Failure to complete required PME courses results in suspension of licence.
Professional liability insurance
For the protection of the public, all licensees must maintain professional liability insurance. RCICs must participate in the College’s Professional Liability Insurance program unless exempted under the regulations. This requirement remains in effect even when a licensee is on an approved Leave of Absence. RISIAs must also provide proof of professional liability insurance, which may be provided by the employing educational institution.
- Licensees who received their Letter of Authority on or after July 1, 2022 must complete the New-Licensee Mentoring Program (Supervised Practice Stream).
- Licensees that represent clients before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) or wish to do so must complete the Specialization Program, successfully pass the Specialization Exam and obtain the RCIC-IRB class of licence before July 1, 2023. Licensees who fail to do so will not be permitted to appear before IRB tribunals after that date.
What if I am not currently practising?
Applications for Leave of Absence must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the quarterly billing cycle.
Licensees that wish to apply for a Leave of Absence or resign In Good Standing must be up to date with all annual fees, other fees, fines and penalties owing to the College.
What if I cannot pay my annual fees?
As per the Annual fees, other fees, fines and penalties Regulation, a licensee experiencing temporary financial hardship may apply to the Registrar in writing for consideration of a time-limited payment plan in order to meet financial obligations to the College.
What are the implications of non-compliance?
Failing to comply with professional obligations can result in fines, suspension, and revocation of licence. Suspension for non-compliance with professional obligations carries the same consequences as a disciplinary suspension. Licensees under suspension are not permitted to practise or to use the designations RCIC or RISIA. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the IRB are informed of suspended licensees promptly and will not accept or process applications submitted by suspended licensees or permit them to appear on behalf of clients. The Public Register will also show you as “suspended.”
What are the consequences of being suspended?
Pursuant to the By-laws and regulations, if you are a suspended licensee, you must immediately:
- Remove from public view, and return to the College, your licensing certificate and photo identification (if one has also been issued to you).
- Not accept any new clients.
- Notify your existing clients that you cannot continue to represent them and EITHER
o return any outstanding work to your clients, together with any unearned money on deposit in your client account, so each client may seek a new qualified and authorized representative; or
o after seeking the clients’ permission, transfer their files to another authorized representative who will represent them.
- Stop using your designation including distributing any business cards, advertising or promotional materials that state or imply that you are a College licensee until you have been reinstated by the College to “Active” status.
Can I be reinstated after being suspended?
Suspended licensees are given a deadline to address the reason for suspension in the Notice of Suspension. Suspended licensees who fail to do so will receive a subsequent warning of pending revocation with a deadline for response. Failure to respond adequately results in automatic Revocation of Licence without further warning.
What are the consequences if my licence is revoked?
The consequences of revocation are serious. Revocation of licence means that you are no longer a licensee of the College and no longer authorized to provide or offer to provide Canadian immigration or citizenship advice or services to the public. You are also no longer entitled to call yourself an RCIC or RISIA. IRCC and the IRB are informed of revoked licensees promptly and will not accept or process applications submitted by such former licensees or permit them to appear on behalf of clients. The Public Register will also show you as “revoked.” Revocation is a permanent status. Revoked former licensees may apply to become licensed. However, such applications are subject to the licensing requirements applicable to new licensees, including completion of the Graduate Diploma Program.
Any former licensee who continues to practise after revocation contravenes Canadian law and is subject to prosecution as an unauthorized practitioner.
Updating personal information
Please note that updating your personal information in your Online Profile (found in the Login section of our website) does not automatically trigger a modification in the Public Register.
As specified in sections 5.1 and 5.2 of the Changes in Information Regulation, a licensee must submit all information changes in writing by e-mail to email@example.com. A change/update of information is not considered received until the College acknowledges its receipt by return e-mail to the licensee. As such, an update of information in the Online Profile, but not submitted to the College by e-mail, is not considered received and is not automatically displayed in the Public Register.
Staff from the College recently participated in an outreach several outreach events.
Canadian Immigrant Fair (Calgary) – August 26
The fair welcomed recent immigrants to Canada seeking employment opportunities, education opportunities, and settlement information. Newcomers connected with potential employers, service providers, and various immigration stakeholders. Chris May, Director of Public Affairs and Communications, and Sabrina Cigana, Public Affairs Coordinator spoke with immigrants about the College’s public register and the importance of using authorized representation. Individuals who visited the College’s booth picked up College pens, posters, and Consumer Guides. Immigrants seeking immigration advice were encouraged to speak to RCICs exhibiting at the MyConsultant.ca booth.
The College will be attending the next Canadian Immigrant Fair in Vancouver on November 3, 2022.
International Metropolis Conference Berlin 2022 (Berlin) – September 4-9
The International Metropolis Conference held in Berlin, Germany, hosted a global network of stakeholders to exchange knowledge about migration and mobility. Chris May attended on behalf of the College to join policymakers, researchers, and business leaders to discuss insights and evidence concerning migration. It provided a unique opportunity to engage with key Canadian stakeholders such as Senator Ratna Omidvar, Senator Tony Loffreda and Associate Deputy Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Scott Harris, along with other officials at IRCC serving as conference presenters. The conference facilitated discussions on 4 key themes: the impact of multiple crises on migration and mobility, along with technological developments and the future of work, climate change and the implications for migration, and the conditions which are essential for fair migration.
CLEAR 2022 Annual Educational Conference (Louisville) – September 14-17
The Council on Licensure, Enforcement & Regulation (CLEAR) 2022 Annual Educational Conference promotes regulatory excellence by hosting educational programs and an exhibitor program for members in attendance.
Chris May, Sabrina Cigana and Cathy Pappas, Director, Registration, attended the conference which welcomed members of the regulatory community from North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Conference sessions focused on 4 areas:
- Regulatory Administration and Governance
- Compliance, Discipline, and Enforcement
- Entry-to-Practice Standards and Continuing Competence
- Administration, legislation and policy
The conference provided an opportunity to connect and share information with other regulatory organizations and stakeholders from various jurisdictions. Members who visited the College’s booth learned about the College’s regulatory role and authority in Canada to regulate RCICs and RISIAs. Attendees took College pens, brochures, and FAQ sheets available.
The College will be attending several events in the upcoming months. To learn more, be sure to look out for articles on our outreach activities in the upcoming bulletins.
Registration Department Update
The Registration Department has reorganized to ensure the College can continue to deliver on its mandate. To assist in this, there are now 3 functional units (sub-departments):
1. Entry-to-Practice (exam applications processing, exam administration and results release)
2. Licensing Applications (applications processing, business name review and approval, good character screenings, Letters of Authority issuance, logo infractions, licensee reinstatement, and agent registration)
3. Professional Compliance (licensee compliance regarding annual fees, PME, CPD, professional liability insurance and annual renewal; issuance of notices; processing of status changes; and CPD Audit)
You can continue to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Licensees were required to submit their Annual Renewal Form between June 1, 2022 and June 30, 2022. The Department received 96% RCIC and 93% RISIA submissions.
Licensees that submitted after the deadline were assessed a late fee. Those who did not comply received a Final Warning Notice to submit before September 1, 2022 or face suspension without further warning.
In the past months, the College launched a 2020 CPD Audit (January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021) in which 2% of RCICs were selected to be audited for compliance with the CPD Regulation for RCICs. Review of submissions is under way. Licensees that did not respond may be subject to suspension.
The College is looking for some talented professionals to join our team.
Do you or someone you know want to be part of a team that protects the public by overseeing regulated immigration and citizenship consultants and international student advisors?
Interested in any of these opportunities? Submit your resume and a brief cover letter indicating why you feel you are a fit for the role.
For more information on these positions and the most up-to-date College career postings, visit the College's Career page
The College’s Tribunal Committee is an independent adjudicative committee that hears and decides regulatory cases about an RCIC in accordance with the College’s core values of fairness, transparency, and public protection.
Below are summaries of the most recent decisions of the Tribunal Committee. Full decisions are available, without charge, on the Canadian Legal Information Institute’s (CanLII) website at:
https://www.canlii.org/en/ (please enter “ICCRC” or “College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants” in the “Document text” field).
Discipline Committee Decision
Rajwinder Singh Bhambi, R422479
|Bhambi & Associates Immigration Consultants
|Written Disciplinary Hearing
The Clients in this matter were Indian nationals who had retained the licensee to assist with a refugee application. The Complainant is a lawyer practising in Quebec, and he had previously represented the Clients.
The licensee faxed letters to the Canadian Border Services Agency, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and to the Complainant. The letters contained a number of unproven allegations, including that the Complainant was intimidating the Clients and threatening to have them deported to India if they did not re-engage the Complainant as counsel.
The licensee repeatedly indicated that they were acting on the Clients’ strict instructions. However, the licensee failed to exercise professional judgment, failed to take appropriate steps to independently verify the serious allegations that were asserted, and failed to assess whether it was necessary to assert unproven, serious and inflammatory allegations against the Complainant in order to advance the Clients’ interests.
The licensee shall submit an appropriate letter of apology addressed to the Complainant and file the letter with the College’s Compliance Department by September 5, 2022, as well as complete the College’s Practice Management Education (PME) course on Ethical Practice by March 5, 2023.
| Discipline Committee Decision
Depinder Deep Singh, R419415
Vision Immigration & Settlement Abroad Canada Inc.
|Written Disciplinary Hearing
This individual’s licence was administratively revoked in 2015 for failure to pay dues. The College brought an application to revoke the former RCIC’s licence on the grounds of misconduct and ungovernability while the individual was an active licensee.
The former RCIC failed to respond to 2 of the 3 complaints when asked to do so by the College investigator. In addition, the former RCIC failed to ensure that themselves or their employees had submitted a Federal Skilled Worker application to CIC, mislead the Client about the status of the application, failed to return the Client’s documents when requested to do so, and obstructed the College’s investigation by holding direct discussions with the Client to resolve their complaint without the College’s knowledge or consent and failed to cooperate with the College’s investigation. The former RCIC did not participate in the disciplinary adjudication process.
The former RCIC’s licence was revoked effective July 7, 2022.
The former RCIC is to pay costs to the College in the amount of $14,350 by September 5, 2022.
| Discipline Committee Decision
Columbio (Jon) Salvador, R418335
NuERA Immigration and Consulting Services
|Written Disciplinary Hearing
|The licensee was retained to submit permanent residence applications for 6 employees of the client, obtained payment for these services totalling $30,000, and had a duty to fulfill this agreement to the 6 clients. The licensee submitted that 3 of the 6 applications were completed and approved by CIC; however, the remaining 3 applicants failed to provide the licensee with the necessary documents for completion.
The licensee breached their obligations with respect to providing proper immigration services and failed to withdraw from representation when withdrawal was obligatory. Additionally, the licensee failed to minimize expense and to avoid prejudice to the client while transferring the matter to a successor.
The Licensee breached the following Articles and Sections of the 2012 Code of Professional Ethics: 3.1, 6.1, 6.1.1, 6.1.2, 6.1.3, 6.1.5, 14.1 and 14.5.
The licensee is to complete 10 hours of practice management Education (PME) courses on client file management and ethical practice and pay a monetary penalty of $3000 by January 11, 2023.