New rules for visa applicants to Canada
June 23, 2004
Individuals who apply for visas to Canada must follow new rules if they pay a representative to act on their behalf, according to a press release on Monday from the Canadian High Commission in Georgetown.
And a paid representative, the release stated, is anyone who charges a fee to represent, advise or consult in immigration matters.
The new regulations stipulate that a paid representative must be authorised. In addition, authorised, paid representatives may only be immigration consultants who are members in good standing of the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants; or lawyers who are members in good standing of a Canadian law society and students-at-law under their supervision; or notaries who are members in good standing of the Chambre des notaires du Quebec and students-at-law under their supervision.
Applicants will also be required to disclose the name and membership information of their representative when they apply.
The release said that anyone who has an application or proceeding already underway as of April 13, 2004, may continue to use the services of the paid representative until April 13, 2008. However, after April 13, 2008, if the paid representative is not a member of one of the specified organisations, the applicant may choose to continue un-represented or hire an authorised representative.
Applicants may also be represented by family members, friends, and members of non-governmental or religious organisations as long as no fees are charged for their services.
The Government of Canada, the release added, can share information about an applicant with a non-charging representative so long as the representative has been authorised by the applicant and is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada.
No one is obliged to hire a representative for immigration and refugee matters, the release stated, as the Government of Canada treats everyone equally, whether they use the services of a representative or not.
For further information on authorised representatives, interested persons may go to www.cic.gc.ca. Persons seeking more information may also contact the Canadian High Commission at High & Young Streets, Kingston, via telephone number 592-227-2081-5, or www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/latinamerica/guyana-en.asp [ please note: link provided by LOSP web site ]