CILA 2023 Year In Review: A Letter to Our Members


The following letter was sent to CILA’s membership on January 8, 2024.


Dear CILA Members,

As we begin the New Year, CILA’s Board of Directors wishes to express heartfelt gratitude to our Members and community partners for their engagement, collaboration and steadfast support.

In 2023, our non-profit organization and Member volunteers accomplished a great deal as highlighted below.


Our Members made numerous, timely appearances and statements in the media. Most recently, we commented on Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan for 2024-2026 soon after its release.


Meeting with the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. CILA met with The Honourable Marc Miller to discuss client service, communication with immigration lawyers and access to legal counsel. This meeting resulted in a positive commitment to continued dialogue between CILA and the Minister’s Office.

Meeting with Assistant Deputy Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. CILA engaged with Deputy Minister Christiane Fox to discuss tech support for users of IRCC’s multiple online platforms, increased Call Centre capacity, and the need for concurrent processing of temporary residence documents, including work permits for spouses of Canadian citizens and permanent residents. CILA has been invited to make submissions on legislative reform and has constituted a committee for this purpose.

Meeting with Member of the National Assembly of Québec. CILA had an introductory meeting with Guillaume Cliche Rivard, a former immigration lawyer and President of AQAADI to identify CILA’s priorities and issues related to Québec immigration program changes and MIFI operations. in Québec.

NAFTA 2.0 Free Trade Professionals Conference. CILA participated as a sponsor and presenter at this inaugural conference in Mexico City, attended by lawyers and government officials from Mexico, the United States and Canada. CILA signed a Cooperation and Understanding Agreement to promote collaboration with the Mexican Bar Association (La Barra Mexicana, Colegio de Abogados, A.C.).


Publications. CILA Members and guest writers contributed to 25+ articles on immigration topics on our website. We are grateful to our Members and guest contributors for demonstrating the wealth of knowledge within our community of immigration lawyers.

Committee Appearances. CILA appeared before The Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology in relation to its study of Bill C-47, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 28, 2023, which would grant immunity to directors and others acting for the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants.

Submissions. CILA made a submission to Global Affairs Canada concerning Canada’s international education strategy. CILA also participated in a joint submission critically analyzing Bill C-20: An Act establishing the Public Complaints and Review Commission and amending certain Acts and statutory instruments in relation to the accountability of Canada Border Services Agency and the RCMP.


In 2023, several volunteer committees were established to address key topics and issues relevant to our Members. We encourage your participation by contacting to express interest in one or more committees.

Access to Counsel. We struck a committee to review the law in this area and develop our strategy for advocacy to promote recognition of the role of immigration lawyers and the benefits of client access to legal counsel. Access to counsel remains a top issue for CILA and we encourage you to collaborate with us to effect change.

Editorial. An editorial committee was formed to review, edit, and create insightful articles for CILA’s readership. We welcome strong writers and editors to join and contribute to this committee.

Legislative Reform. One of CILA’s key initiatives is to prepare submissions on “Cleaning Up the Act”, by repealing, amending or adding to existing provisions of IRPA and the Regulations. We have a committee engaged in drafting submissions to IRCC for March 2024.

Unauthorized Representatives: This committee has produced templates and correspondence currently under review for transmittal to the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants.


Committed to empowering our Members through education and mentorship, CILA hosted 11 Workshops and 4 Ask Me Anything Sessions in 2023, fostering an environment of shared expertise in immigration law and practice.


CILA hosted networking events in Ottawa and Montreal which were well-attended by Members of diverse backgrounds and experience levels, including many young lawyers and law students.

CILA also sponsored the Law Society of Ontario’s 31st Immigration Law Summit Reception in Toronto and hosted a reception attended by representatives of the Department of Justice and the Federal Court. In 2024, we are planning for Members to socialize in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Toronto.


We look forward to working together in 2024 to continue our mandate with a particular focus on access to counsel, legislative reform and resources for our Members. Stay tuned for the rollout of our redeveloped website with a new Lawyer Directory and other great features!

We will be providing more information on our key priorities for 2024 and opportunities for you to volunteer on a committee, project or event. Our Board of Directors wishes you the best of health and professional fulfillment in 2024!


Very sincerely,

CILA Board of Directors

Barbara Jo Caruso

Lou Janssen Dangzalan

Samuel Escobar

Randolph Hahn

Ho Sung Kim

Vance Langford

Jonathan Leebosh

Nicolas Simard-Lafontaine

Administrative & Membership Coordinator

Dinah Singh

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