An Immigration Consultant took $110,000 from Syrian, Iraqi refugees
The former consultant, Abeer Qita, misrepresented the rules of the refugee sponsorship program for Syrian and Iraqi refugees. She also took more than $110,000 in prohibited fees from her clients.
According to Law Times, the ex immigration consultant requested a judicial review of the decision by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). However, they found she had breached its Code of Professional Ethics and revoked her license.
Before I continue with this case, let me tell you more about ICCRC and the Code of Professional Ethics.
- ICCRC is the national regulatory body that regulates Canadian immigration, citizenship, and international student advising services.
- The Code sets standards of conduct for Members, the fair and efficient enforcement of which
should protect the public from unethical or incompetent practice by Members.
“At the height of the Syrian refugee crisis, when the world saw a humanitarian catastrophe, Ms. Abeer Qita, a former immigration consultant, saw an economic opportunity,” reads the first line of Federal Court Justice Shirzad Ahmed’s reasons.
About Ms. Qita’s Conduct
We talk with our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant and CEO, Al Parsai, about Ms. Qita’s Conduct. He considers that any activity that compromises the Duty of Good Faith is against the ICCRC values.
“It appears Ms. Qita was in breach of article 2.2.9 (professional misconduct). Unfortunately, her behaviour raised questions about the integrity of licensed immigration consultants.”
There are Immigration lawyers who consider that the government needs to revisit whether consultants should be allowed to operate independently. But, according to Al Parsai, it is important to consider that we can not judge the consultant community based on the actions of other people.
About immigration consultants
According to Al, judging a population based on the conduct of a bad apple is a fallacy. Here are some examples.
The Law Society of Manitoba investigated and eventually disbarred the immigration lawyer Paul Hesse for losing more than $6,000,000 money belonging to his clients, among other issues. The scope of misconduct by Mr. Hesse is probably the same as Ms. Qita. “Shall we question all immigration lawyers because of him? Of course, not!”
Another example is the real estate and immigration lawyer Hong Guo from Richmond, BC, who will probably lose her license because of misconduct.
“Immigration lawyers are human beings, just like immigration consultants. Further, some of them are great, some of them are okay, and some of them are awful. We never judge the whole profession because of a small group of wrongdoers. The same issue is true about immigration consultants.” Al Parsai.
Services offered by the Lawyers and RCICs
The following table shows a brief list of services offered by the Lawyers and RCICs. In this table, “Yes” means the service could be offered by a competent professional. “Maybe” means they may need extra licenses to do the job. In addition, “No” means the service is outside their scope of practice.
About Al Parsai
Al Parsai holds a Master of Laws from York University. He is the author of the bestseller book “88 Tips on Immigration to Canada“. Also, he has ten years of experience as a licensed consultant. In addition, Parsai Immigration Services has clients from more than 50 countries in the world.
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