Code of Professional Conduct for College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants Licensees (SOR/2022-128)
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Regulations are current to 2023-03-06
Relationship to Clients (continued)
29 A licensee must promptly respond to any complaints made to the licensee by a client in respect of the immigration or citizenship consulting services provided or in respect of any person assisting the licensee in the provision of those services.
Marginal note:Errors or omissions
30 (1) If a licensee is responsible for an error or omission, in respect of a client’s case, that results or may result in prejudice to the client and that cannot be readily corrected, the licensee must
(a) promptly and fully inform the client, the licensee’s professional liability insurer and the Registrar of the error or omission;
(b) promptly recommend that the client obtain legal advice concerning any rights that the client may have arising from the error or omission;
(c) promptly provide confirmation to the Registrar that the licensee’s professional liability insurer has been informed of the error or omission; and
(d) determine if it is appropriate to continue providing immigration or citizenship consulting services to the client.
Marginal note:Interpretation — liability insurance
(2) If a licensee is covered by an employer’s liability insurance in respect of the error or omission, the reference in paragraph (1)(a) and (c) to the licensee’s professional liability insurer is to be read as a reference to the employer’s liability insurer.
31 (1) All fees charged to a client by a licensee for immigration or citizenship consulting services must be fair and reasonable in the circumstances.
(2) Any disbursements charged to a client by a licensee for immigration or citizenship consulting services must not exceed the actual amount of the disbursement.
Marginal note:Additional fees or disbursements
(3) If any fees or disbursements will exceed the estimates or fixed amounts agreed to in the service agreement, or if any new disbursements arise, a licensee must
(a) inform the client of the additional fees or disbursements; and
(b) obtain the client’s agreement in writing.
Marginal note:Unnecessary increases — fees or disbursements
(4) A licensee must not undertake work that unnecessarily increases fees or disbursements.
Marginal note:Advance payments
32 A licensee who receives an advance payment from a client for immigration or citizenship consulting services must
(a) hold the funds in trust in a client account, opened by the licensee, at a financial institution that is approved by the College;
(b) on receipt of an advance payment, provide the client with a receipt that clearly indicates the amount of the advance payment and deposit the funds into the client account;
(c) refrain from depositing any funds not belonging to a client into the client account;
(d) maintain separate records of deposits and withdrawals for each client;
(e) use the funds held in the client account only for the purpose for which they were paid to the licensee;
(f) before withdrawing funds from the client account, invoice the client in accordance with subsection 33(1); and
(g) not later than 30 days after the day on which the client is invoiced under paragraph (f), withdraw the invoiced amount from the client account.
33 (1) A licensee may invoice a client only once they have provided immigration or citizenship consulting services to the client or have made disbursements on the client’s behalf.
Marginal note:Description of services and disbursements
(2) Every invoice issued by the licensee must contain a full description of the services and disbursements to which the invoice relates.
(3) When a payment is received from a client, the licensee must provide the client with a receipt that clearly indicates the invoice to which the payment relates.
Marginal note:Termination of service agreement
34 Subject to section 35, a licensee may terminate a service agreement before its completion only if reasonable notice is provided to the client and the termination
(a) is done for good reason, such as the client having
(i) deceived the licensee,
(ii) failed to give adequate instructions to the licensee,
(iii) failed to follow the licensee’s advice on a significant point, or
(iv) failed to pay the licensee’s fees or disbursements as agreed; and
(b) will not result in serious prejudice to the client.
Marginal note:Mandatory termination of service agreement
35 (1) A licensee must terminate a service agreement before its completion if
(a) the client no longer wishes to receive the services from the licensee;
(b) the client, despite advice provided in accordance with subsection (2), asks the licensee to act in a manner that is dishonest, fraudulent or illegal or that would not meet the standards of professional conduct and competence that are established by this Code or would contravene a provision of a regulation or a by-law made under the Act;
(c) the continued provision of the services would place the licensee in a conflict of interest, unless the licensee obtains the client’s consent in accordance with section 15; or
(d) the licensee lacks the competence to continue serving the client and fulfilling their professional obligations and does not obtain assistance from another individual in accordance with paragraph 20(1)(b).
Marginal note:Dishonest or illegal conduct
(2) If a client asks the licensee to act in a manner that is dishonest, fraudulent or illegal or that would not meet the standards of professional conduct and competence that are established by this Code or would contravene a provision of a regulation or a by-law made under the Act, the licensee must advise the client of that fact and that the conduct should not be pursued.
Marginal note:Referral to other licensee
(3) If a service agreement is terminated in accordance with paragraph (1)(c) or (d), the licensee must, if possible, refer the client to another individual who is authorized to provide representation or advice under section 91 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act or section 21.1 of the Citizenship Act and who is competent to provide the immigration or citizenship consulting services.
Marginal note:Actions required — completion or termination
36 (1) When a service agreement is completed or terminated before its completion a licensee must, not later than 30 days after the day on which the service agreement is completed or terminated,
(a) if the licensee is in possession of any of the client’s documents or anything else that belongs to the client, return them to the client;
(b) provide an accounting of all funds received from the client;
(c) issue a final invoice to the client for any amounts owed by the client for services rendered and disbursements made; and
(d) refund to the client any funds held in trust on the client’s behalf that are in excess of the invoiced amount.
Marginal note:Actions required — termination
(2) If the service agreement is terminated before its completion, the licensee must also
(a) provide the client with all information in the licensee’s possession that may be required in connection with the client’s file;
(b) cooperate with a successor representative, if any, to minimize expense and avoid prejudice to the client; and
(c) if the licensee is listed as the client’s representative with any department or agency of the government of Canada or of a province, provide notice that they are no longer representing the client to that department or agency
(i) in accordance with the department or agency’s procedures, or
(ii) if no procedures exist, in writing within 10 days after the day on which the service agreement is terminated.
Marginal note:Transfer of file
(3) If a client requests that their file be transferred to another representative, the licensee must, even if there are payments outstanding, deliver all documents relating to the client’s file to that representative not later than 10 business days after the day on which the transfer request is made.
(4) If it is, for reasons beyond the licensee’s control, not feasible to deliver the documents within the time frame referred to in subsection (3), the licensee must advise the client and the other representative of the delay and deliver the documents not later than 30 days after the day on which the transfer request is made.
Office Administration and Management
Marginal note:Record keeping
37 A licensee must maintain a reliable system of office administration in relation to the immigration or citizenship consulting services that they provide and keep and preserve records in accordance with the by-laws made under the Act.
Marginal note:Compliance with Code
38 (1) A licensee must ensure that a person who assists in the provision of immigration or citizenship consulting services
(a) is of good character;
(b) is provided with a copy of this Code and is familiar with its contents; and
(c) does not carry out any acts that, if carried out by the licensee, would contravene this Code.
Marginal note:Professional responsibility
(2) A licensee must supervise and assume professional responsibility for any work done by a person who assists in the provision of immigration or citizenship consulting services and ensure that the level of supervision is adequate for the type of work in question.
(3) For greater certainty, a licensee may delegate certain aspects of their work to a person who is not a licensee but must ensure that the person does not provide representation or advice in contravention of section 91 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act or section 21.1 of the Citizenship Act.
Relationship to the College and Other Persons
Marginal note:Mandatory reporting to College
39 If any of the following circumstances arise, a licensee must report the circumstances to the Registrar not later than 30 days after the day on which they arise:
(a) the licensee becomes bankrupt or insolvent;
(b) the licensee is suffering from a physical or mental health problem or an addiction, verified by a health care professional, that limits the licensee’s capacity to practise;
(c) the licensee is charged with or found guilty of an offence under an Act of Parliament;
(d) the licensee is subject to disciplinary or remedial measures — imposed by a tribunal, a regulatory body, an employment or human rights board or a similar body — in relation to any aspect of their professional affairs;
(e) the licensee is named as a defendant in a civil action arising from or relating to the licensee’s professional affairs;
(f) the licensee has discovered that an error was made with respect to the use or attribution of funds held in trust in a client account; or
(g) the licensee is subject to a formal complaint or a disciplinary or remedial measure by an employer in relation to the provision of immigration or citizenship consulting services.
Marginal note:Response to College
40 A licensee must respond fully to any communication from the College in which a response is specifically requested and must do so promptly or, if a time for responding is specified in the communication from the College, within that time.
Marginal note:Communications with complainant
41 (1) A licensee must not communicate directly or indirectly with a person who has made a complaint to the College about the licensee, or with the superior of such a person, unless
(a) the College has consented to the communication in writing; and
(b) the licensee complies with any terms stipulated by the College.
Marginal note:Current clients
(2) If the complainant is a current client and steps have not been taken to terminate the service agreement with that client, the licensee must continue to fulfill their obligations to the client but must only communicate with the client as permitted under subsection (1).
Marginal note:Conduct of fellow licensee
42 (1) If a licensee suspects on reasonable grounds that a fellow licensee has engaged in conduct that is more than trivially inconsistent with this Code or obtains any information that raises a material concern as to the competence, integrity or capacity to practise of a fellow licensee, the licensee must promptly report the conduct or information to the College.
Marginal note:Reportable conduct
(2) Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), information regarding any of the following occurrences must be reported to the College:
(a) a fellow licensee misappropriates or misapplies funds belonging to a client;
(b) a fellow licensee fails to comply with an order of a court or a decision made under subsection 68(1) or 69(3) of the Act;
(c) a client files a civil claim against a fellow licensee in relation to conduct that is likely to discredit the profession or jeopardize the public’s confidence and trust in the profession;
(d) a fellow licensee abandons their immigration or citizenship consulting services practice;
(e) a fellow licensee participates in serious criminal activity related to their practice; and
(f) any situation in which a fellow licensee’s clients are likely to be severely prejudiced.
(3) A licensee is not required to report conduct or information to the College under subsection (1) if
(a) doing so would result in the breach of a duty of confidentiality that is imposed by or under an Act of Parliament or of the legislature of a province; or
(b) the licensee knows that the matter has already been reported to the College.
Marginal note:False, misleading or inaccurate public statement
43 A licensee must not make a false, misleading or inaccurate public statement about another licensee, the College or any staff or person whose services are retained by the College.
Marketing of Immigration or Citizenship Consulting Services
Marginal note:Marketing of services
44 (1) A licensee who markets immigration or citizenship consulting services must ensure that
(a) their name, as registered with the College, is prominently displayed or announced at or near the beginning of any advertisement for the services, in the language used in the advertisement;
(b) any written advertisement for the services includes the Internet address of the College’s online public register of licensees; and
(c) the marketing is in the best interests of the public and is consistent with a high standard of professionalism.
Marginal note:False, misleading or inaccurate representations
(2) In marketing immigration or citizenship consulting services, a licensee must not
(a) make false, misleading or inaccurate representations;
(b) guarantee the success of an application, expression of interest or proceeding; or
(c) imply that the licensee has a relationship with the Government of Canada or a provincial government.
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