Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants Announces New Initiatives to Combat Ghost Immigration Agents

Toronto – As part of National Immigration Protection Day the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC) announced new initiatives today to protect consumers from ghost immigration agents.

Ghost agents provide immigration services without holding the mandatory CSIC membership. They don’t have to prove their competence and they’re not accountable to anyone.
“Immigrants come to Canada because we have a reputation for protecting the vulnerable. And yet many immigrants arrive here only to be exploited by a ghost agent,” said John Ryan, CSIC Chair and Acting CEO. “Our mandate is to protect consumers of immigration consulting services through the accreditation of our members. Today we’re taking further action to protect consumers from these unscrupulous individuals.”

CSIC is taking ghost agents head-on with its national advertising campaign. The ads feature the image of a shark eating a seal, a startling reminder that ghost agents see consumers as their prey.

The ads promote CSIC’s new toll free referral line, which makes it easier than ever for immigrants to find a fully accredited Certified Canadian Immigration Consultant 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Unfortunately ghost agents have been able to thrive by exploiting legal loopholes. Today, CSIC released detailed recommendations for the Federal government that would help put ghost agents out of business.

“We’re doing our part to fight the ghost agent problem. We look forward to working with the government to put an end to the serious problem of ghost agents,” said Ryan.

The Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants is the professional regulatory body for immigration consultants in Canada. Established in 2004 it currently has more than 1600 members. CSIC’s mandate is to protect consumers of immigration consulting services. Consequently, it is responsible for ensuring the education, competency testing and the discipline of its members. CSIC also requires its members to carry errors and omissions insurance and to contribute to a compensation fund