Notice - New Provisions Related to Information Sharing Regulations: Authorized Representatives
An amendment to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) came into force on April 10, 2012, authorizing Citizenship and Immigration (CIC), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) to disclose information relating to the professional or ethical conduct of representatives, authorized under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), to their respective governing bodies, when it is determined that the conduct of the person is likely to constitute a breach of their professional or ethical obligations.
Bill C-35, An Act to Amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, came into force on June 30, 2011, making it an offence for anyone other than an authorized representative* to advise or represent a person, for a fee or other consideration, in connection with an application or proceeding under the IRPA. A ministerial regulation was also brought into force on the same day, designating the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) as the new regulator of immigration consultants.
This statutory change also enabled the government to make regulations relating to the disclosure of information concerning the professional or ethical conduct of representatives to their respective governing bodies, and to create an oversight mechanism of the governing body designated by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to regulate immigration consultants to ensure that the body is serving the public interest.
The IRB is currently updating its forms to provide notice to parties of this change. In particular, Counsel Contact Information and Notice of Representation Without a Fee or Other Consideration will be updated to provide notice to both the representative and the subject of a proceeding that information may be disclosed to the governing body and that the disclosure is subject to both the Privacy Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.
* Note: While no longer referenced in IRPA and its Regulations, for ease of reading, the term "authorized representatives" is used in this Notice to refer to members in good standing of a Canadian provincial/territorial law society - including paralegals, the Chambre des notaires du Québec, or a body designated by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council). See section 91 of IRPA.