Immigration Consultant

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.

Read: RCIC vs. Immigration Lawyer

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.

Service Lawyer RCIC
Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) Yes Yes
Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Yes Yes
International Mobility Program (IMP) – Visa application under several treaties such as NAFTA, GATS, and CETA or under Canadian Interests, etc. Yes Yes
Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) for Tourists, Business Visitors, Speakers, and Performers Yes Yes
Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) Yes Yes
Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) Yes Yes
Study Permit and Visa Yes Yes
Economic Classes (Federal Immigration) Yes Yes
Sponsorship Applications for Spouses, Children, Adopted Children, Parents, and other Family Members Yes Yes
Refugee Applications/Claims Yes Yes
Detention Hearings (Immigration and Refugee Board – IRB) Yes Yes
Inadmissibility Hearings (IRB) Yes Yes
Immigration Appeal Division Hearings (IRB) Yes Yes
Refugee Protection Division and Appeal Hearings (IRB) Yes Yes
Representing Applicants/Travellers to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Yes Yes
Offering Canadian Immigration, Visa, and Citizenship Advice Yes Yes
Citizenship Applications Yes Yes
Rehabilitation applications Yes Yes
Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC) Yes Yes
Immigration, study permit, and work permit to Quebec Yes Maybe
Judicial Review (Federal Court) Yes No
Offering legal advice Yes No
Immigration to other provinces Maybe Maybe

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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