Vancouver immigration consultant charged for allegedly using forged documents

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A Vancouver immigration consultant is facing charges under both the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for allegedly using forged documents.

Carlos Alberto Alaniz is accused of either misrepresenting or withholding material facts in relation to visitor extension applications relating to more than two dozen people.

Alaniz, the owner of Fast Track Immigration Services Inc., faces four criminal counts of using a forged bank statement, as well as 20 violations of the federal immigration legislation.

The charges were sworn this summer, though they relate to incidents that allegedly occurred from 2013 to 2017.

"The allegations against my client are just that, allegations," Alaniz's lawyer, Matthew Nathanson, said in an email. 

"My client is presumed innocent, and we look forward to defending this case in court."

'Raises a concern'

The situation underscores ongoing concerns about the regulation of immigration consultants, which have led to plans for a new Canadian regulatory body.

Alaniz was charged in June, but the Canada Border Services Agency did not inform the current Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). It learned about the charges from CBC News.

ICCRC oversees how thousands of immigration consultants in Canada conduct themselves, providing education, licensing and discipline. But the creation of a new professional college would put consultants on the same regulatory footing as lawyers or doctors, providing a strengthened disciplinary process.

Alaniz has no disciplinary history with the current council.