Crackdown on Fake Immigration Lawyers Aims to Protect Newcomers from Scams

No Invoice? Watch Out!

The Montreal Bar is addressing an increase in cases involving individuals posing as immigration lawyers, targeting newcomers and causing potential harm.

The bar reports a rise in investigations related to the illegal practice of law, with immigration law constituting nearly 40% of illegal practices in 2022, up from 13% in 2018. These fraudulent practitioners often approach victims on social media, claiming to be lawyers, and may cost them significant amounts of money.

The bar has launched an awareness campaign to educate newcomers, emphasizing the risks and providing resources to verify lawyers’ credentials. Community groups, such as the Welcome Collective, have observed cases where fake lawyers cause delays or abandonment of immigration claims, with potential consequences like deportation. The campaign urges caution, pointing out red flags and offering guidance on finding qualified representatives.

Your “Lawyer” Wants to Meet at a Coffee Shop? Beware!

Do not meet your immigration lawyer in a coffee shop.

While other bar associations haven’t reported significant increases, the Canadian Bar Association acknowledges the issue, particularly in urban areas with large immigrant populations. Immigration consultants, who are licensed by the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants, play a role in regulating the industry, but limitations exist in holding unauthorized practitioners accountable.

The bar’s campaign includes a link to the directory of lawyers registered with the bar and a guide to help find a qualified representative. Immigration consultants are licensed by the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants. To confirm the legitimacy of a genuine consultant, always check their registration with the College.

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