Trusting the wrong immigration consultant can cost you your money as well as peace of mind.
Last Updated: October 05, 2021
We all know that the process of immigration can be challenging that is why people require professionals to help guide them through the process. People trust immigration lawyers with their money, their belongings & also their families. Yet, what happens when an immigration consultant decides to take advantage of the trust that you put in them. It not only shatters the other person emotionally yet also impacts on them financially. Recently an immigration lawyer named Abeer Qita who runs an immigration firm named Fast to Canada in Mississauga, Ontario, filed a judicial review application against the decision taken by The Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) that dismissed her license stating that she had breached its Code of Professional Ethics. The Federal Court judge Justice Shirzad Ahmed bluntly stated that in such grave times when refugees of Syria are already having a hard time coping with the difficulties they were already facing, Ms. Abeer Qita saw it as a financial opportunity & made money out of it. Stating this, she straight away dismissed the judicial review application and mentioned that the decision of withdrawing her license taken by ICCRC is justified as she clearly violated the rules of the Private Refugee Sponsorship Program.
Ms. Qita intentionally found such clients that were very well able to arrange sufficient funds for themselves once they enter Canada instead of helping refugees that were stuck in the refugee camps. It is mentioned in the sponsorship rules by IRCC that refugees coming to Canada do not have to pay the settlement funds or pay their sponsor. Even if the refugee has to pay an amount, they cannot pay it directly to the sponsor. It is specified in the policy that the sponsors must not benefit from the sponsorship. This temporary policy came into effect in 2015 when the Syrian war was going on to help refugees migrate safely and lead a better life. CBC penned an article stating Ms. Qita’s company was asking refugees to pay settlement funds. The article caused ICCRC to begin an inquiry against her. After the investigation, it was found out that she not only was making the refugees pay the settlement funds but also was collecting money in the name of donations by making the clients believe that it was obligatory. The investigators found out that she had been committing such frauds over a period of time. She also failed to provide her clients with reasons as to why their applications were rejected. She also refused to refund money to her clients.
In April 2020, ICCRC decided to cancel her permit and also levied a fine of $50,000.
Cases like these are common. There are consultants out there who instead of helping out those people in need see their situation as a way to gain monetary benefits. Is every immigration agency corrupt? No, there are immigration attorneys who understand that after spending years on their extensive education that they are morally obligated to guide people in a professional and ethical manner. Before consulting & trusting any immigration firm, one should do thorough research and check the companies’ credentials with the regulatory authorities.