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Getting accurate information on immigration matters

Posted on: May 1, 2020

Dear Concordia Faculty, Staff and Students:

Any question regarding any immigration matter at Concordia University of Edmonton should be brought to Amanda Thorson, Manager of International Relations, International Office. Amanda is designated as a Regulated International Student Immigration Advisor (RISIA) and is the only person at CUE who is qualified to give immigration advice to students within the scope of her RISIA designation. 

Anyone in the CUE community who comes across information regarding an immigration matter, or who has an immigration concern of any kind relating to students, is asked to either refer the student or bring the concern directly to Amanda. 

According to Bill C-35 (an amendment to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act), it is illegal for any staff or faculty member of a post- secondary institution who is not designated as a RISIA, or as a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC), to offer immigration advice to international students. 

As such, staff and faculty who do not hold one of the above mentioned designations should not:

  • offer any information or advice related to immigration

  • try to interpret immigration related rules or regulations

  • advise students based on their own experience

  • direct students to resources other than the International Office.

The penalty associated with the offence of representing or advising a person without an appropriate designation is: 

  • on conviction on indictment, a maximum fine of $100,000 or a maximum term of imprisonment of two years, or both; or
  • on summary conviction, a maximum fine of $20,000 or a maximum term of imprisonment of six months, or both.
In addition the the penalties outlined above, providing immigration advice as a non-designated immigration professional can result in devastating impacts for the student and could potentially jeopardize their status in Canada. This is the case even when the advice is provided with the best of intentions. 

Please be assured that any students referred to Amanda will receive the appropriate assistance or referral.