CAPIC, the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants was founded in 2004 through the amalgamation of AICC (the Association of Immigration Counsel of Canada) and OPIC (the Organization of Professional Immigration Consultants). The association was founded on the four pillars of Education, Information, Lobbying and Recognition. With an immigration industry history dating back to 1986, there are undoubtedly many important milestones that are worthwhile to recall. These milestones have had a tremendous influence on immigration industry changes, and led to the regulation of the Immigration consulting industry and the creation of the title of 'Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant'!
A Brief Timeline
1986 AICC (Association of Immigration Counsel of Canada) was established as a federally chartered, non-profit immigration practitioner organization. The charter included the right to issue the designation of Licensed Member - L.M.A.I.C. In 2000, AICC becomes an integral part of NHQ and Bar Association meetings, and contributes to policy & procedural development. Members essential in driving membership campaigns and developing AICC into a respected practitioners’ association include James and Miri Chalk, in addition to Bruce Perreault, Camilla Jones, Praveen Shrwastava, Julia Brodyanski and Berto Volpentesta. Gerd Damitz also served an instrumental role in uniting AICC with OPIC and forming CAPIC.
Early 1990 OPIC (the Organization of Professional Immigration Consultants) is established by former Immigration officers, Paul Billings, Harry Goslett, Frank Marrocco and Garry Moore. The founding members believed regulation was essential for Immigration Consultants. The association grows to over 250 members, becomes an integral part of NHQ and Bar Association meetings, and contributes to policy & procedural development. Alli Amlani played a significant role in providing members with the education needed, encouraging the exchange of information and recruiting sponsors for educational seminars. Frank Marrocco lobbied the Federal Government; Paul Billings, Harry Goslett and Charles Pley devoted many hours to ensuring the organization was well represented across all platforms and Warren Lloyd was instrumental in uniting the organization with AICC and forming CAPIC.
2000 In partnership, OPIC and AICC founded the College of Immigration Practitioners of Canada (CIPC), with the purpose of serving the role of a regulatory body.
2000 Intervener status for the Mangat case at the Supreme Court of Canada is obtained by AICC. Attendance is confirmed at CICIP meetings, and the AICC BC Chapter is established.
2001 OPIC and AICC executives attend the Supreme Court Mangat hearing, resulting in the historic industry court decision on October 18th, 2001, which serves as a catalyst in reaching the self- regulation goals of Immigration Consultants.
2002 The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Dennis Coderre established an Advisory Committee to help identify problems in the immigration consulting industry and propose solutions. In May 2003, the Advisory Committee (including AICC and OPIC), presented its final report, recommending that the government creates a self-regulatory body for immigration consultants.
2003 Following the Advisory Committee report, the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (“CSIC”) was established in 2003 as an “independent, federally incorporated not-for-profit body, responsible for regulating the activities of immigration consultant members, providing immigration advice for a fee.”(4)
2004 OPIC unites with AICC to form CAPIC-ACCPI. Directors who were an integral part of this decision include: Alan Davies, Alli Amlani, Gerd Damitz, Bruce Ferreira-Wells, Daniel Mallet, Dave Benning, Jim Humphries, Peter Ferreira, Ron McKay, Tad Kawecki, Max Chaudhary, Tim Morson and Warren Lloyd. CIPC is considered void in its purpose, and thus changes its name to CAPIC. Warren Lloyd and Gerd Damitz become the founding presidents of the new regulatory body.
2004 CAPIC is initiated in November 2003, at a CICIP meeting in the National Club in Toronto. The goal is to have a stronger lobbying representation with the Government and the Regulatory body, and a more efficient use of membership resources. Both the OPIC and AICC presidents receive the Board of Directors approval, and members to commence the logistic and organizational preparation to form CAPIC-ACCPI. For the incorporation itself, CAPIC-ACCPI used and replaced the existing College of Immigration Practitioners of Canada (CIPC), which was now deemed void.
2004 The 2 founding presidents of CAPIC-ACCPI were Gerd Damitz (AICC) and Warren Lloyd (OPIC), who directly lead the amalgamation process. AICC and OPIC directors who were an integral part of this decision include: Alli Amlani, Alan Davies, Bruce Ferreira-Wells, Daniel Mallet, Dave Benning, Jim Humphries, Peter Ferreira, Ron McKay, Tad Kawecki, Max Chaudhary, and Tim Morson.
2004 In December the inauguration ceremony at the Royal York hotel marks the official establishment of CAPIC-ACCPI. Following the elections, Ron McKay becomes CAPIC’s first elected president. The designated administrator is Monica Poon - the previous administrator with OPIC. CAPIC-ACPPI becomes Canada's largest organization for immigration practitioners with over 500 members. (A video from this historic event can be ordered by members.)
2005 CAPIC establishes its official headquarters in North York, Ontario.
2007 Phil Mooney follows as the next president of CAPIC. During his mandate, CAPIC introduced gold memberships, and offered Lexbase. Another industry first initiative introduced, is the Ethical Recruiting work model for safe and effective relationships between employers, foreign workers and consultants.
2008 CAPIC introduces the IMMeForum - an industry tool enhancing the immigration information availability and online information exchange between consultants
2008 Despite the establishment of CSIC, complaints continue to be heard from the public and practitioners, regarding the unacceptable practices of immigration consultants. In April 2008, the Parliamentary Committee for Citizenship & Immigration re-examined the subject, travelling from coast to coast and hearing witnesses. Based on the testimonies provided, the Committee makes the recommendation ‘to introduce a stand-alone legislation to re-establish the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants as a non-share capital corporation. Such an “Immigration Consultants Society Act” should ensure the same types of matters are covered, as with the statutes of provincial law societies, which includes functions of the corporation, member licensing and conduct, professional competence, among others. Once the regulator is re-established as a corporation under a federal statute, the existing body incorporated under the Canada Corporations Act may be deemed terminated. In light of the Canada-Québec Immigration Accord, the Committee is of the opinion that the Quebec government should be solely responsible for regulating immigration consultants within its borders.
2009 In February, Phil Mooney becomes re-elected as the president of CAPIC. During his second term, he leads CAPIC-ACCPI successfully though a turbulent regulator transition time, which results in severe critiques against CSIC.The IMMeCentre, an industry first searchable database is introduced, alongside Lexbase and Casealert, significantly enhancing the availability of information for immigration consultants.
2010 In April, Peter Bernier becomes the CAPIC president. However, a few months later he is elected as a director for the regulatory body of that time.In July, Jeff Hemlin becomes the acting president.
2010 In August, the Minister of Immigration and Citizenship Jason Kenney, requests submissions from candidates interested in becoming the regulator for immigration consultants, and establishes a committee for selecting the regulator, based on the requirements addressing the public’s concerns. CAPIC assists and supports the substantial bid of ICCIP, later renamed as the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC).
2011 The Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC), is chosen as the new regulator. Many of the founding ICCRC directors were former CAPIC executive directors, using their business, industry and governance expertise, they help establish the new regulator.
2011 In April, Jeff Hemlin becomes elected as National President.
2013 In May, Dory Jade becomes elected as CAPIC president. During his mandate he restructures CAPIC and implements governance principles requested by the government and public. The focus of the board shifts from an acting Board of Directors to an oversight Board.
2014 Strategic Plan Development process leading to a CAPIC Balanced Score Card continuing CAPIC’s restructure.
2015 In May, Dory Jade becomes re-elected as CAPIC president for his second term.
2015 The Strategic Balanced Score Card process is implemented, thereby leading to the final restructuring phase of CAPIC
Today With more than 1100 members, CAPIC is not only the largest, but also the only existing non-profit association for Canadian immigration consultants. We continue to grow and evolve as a direct response to dynamic changes within the immigration consulting industry.