Friday, April 30, 2010

Campaign against ghost immigration agents

Registered immigration consultants have rolled up their sleeves to combat ghost agents from exploiting consumers, the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants announced Feb. 3.
“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,” says 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.”

As part of National Immigration Protection Day the CSIC announced new initiatives, including a $1 million national advertising campaign. The ads feature the image of a shark eating a seal, a reminder that ghost agents see consumers as their prey.

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, points out the regulatory body, which has more than 1600 members.

The CSIC also released recommendations for the federal government to address. “We look forward to working with the government to put an end to the serious problem of ghost agents," says Ryan.