A Filipino student in a designated learning institution in Vancouver had lodged a complaint before the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) and the Canada Border Service Agency against Jay Razon, a British Columbia resident who is president and chief executive officer (CEO) of a Philippine registered travel and consultancy firm.
It was learned that a file has been opened and forwarded to the Criminal Investigation Division. As of press time, however, no results have been made available as to the status of either complaints.
The complainant, Ms. Mildred C. Tordecilla, said she filed the complaint after learning that Mr. Razon is not an accredited immigration consultant. Razon’s company is charging a fee for processing the VISA application for travel purposes.
The lack of an accreditation as a Canadian Immigration Consultant, however, could open a sticky issue that needs to be addressed not only by Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) but by the Canadian government itself since the travel and consultancy firm involved operates under Philippine jurisdiction and is not required to adhere to ICCRC rules.
This is what happened to an aspiring Filipino student who processed her application for a student visa through a Philippine registered company being run by Jay Razon, a British Columbia (BC) resident.
Ms. Tordecilla and her family had a dream for her to come to Canada and eventually become a legal immigrant. Her father is a seaman who works in cargo ships working at sea for 9 months at a time, while her mother operates a small Bridal Shop booth in a local public market. They are considered a hard working middle class family in the Philippines, usually earning just about enough to survive month to month. Mildred is the oldest sibling at 22 years old with two brothers aged 17 and 13.
She did not have the money within her immediate family to finance her dream. They solicited help from family members all over the world who, in turn, chipped in to raise enough funds for her to go to school in Canada.
Through a family friend, Ms. Tordecilla was introduced to a British Columbia resident Jay Razon, who is President and CEO of a Philippine registered company Harvard Travel Consultancy and is doing business as The Harvard Consultants (Harvard). The managing General Partner (MGP) is Jinky Reyes from Marikina City, Philippines.
Tordecilla signed an agreement with Harvard on February 22, 2015 with Option 1 selected. As quoted – “Legal Immigrant/EE Applicant – CANADA bound. Goal: Legal Immigrant Status”.
Coming overseas to a school in Canada is a very expensive venture. Mildred’s agreement with Vancouver Career College showed a total amount payable of $17,365.00 for the tuition and fees. Plus Harvard Consultants’ fee estimated at $8,800.00. The other cost includes air travel expenses, food, lodging and local travel. She could be spending over $30,000.00 or more to complete her schooling commitment for just nine months.
After arriving in Canada, Ms. Tordecilla sought a second opinion on her circumstances and discovered from an immigration consultant that there could be some issues with her current application process.
Harvard recommended a private college. Some private colleges in British Columbia are not registered with the Degree Authorization Act of BC. According to sources, it could be much harder to apply for a postgraduate work permit with a private college which is the most important goal for Mildred.
An immigration consultant recommended that students be enrolled in public schools which fall under British Columbia government rules. This make it easier for a student to obtain post graduate work permits.
Between these two companies there is an $8,700.00 (estimated) difference in consultant fees for what appears to be doing the same work.
Jay Razon thinks that there was still some sort of opportunity even if Vancouver Career College, the designated learning institution, is a private school. Ms. Tordecilla may still be able to move forward with getting a work permit. Razon clarified his company will be using public schools in the future.
Ms. Tordecilla also discovered there are other options from companies in Canada that offer similar services as Harvard Consulting but at a much lesser cost.
Harvard Consultants is charging an estimated PHP300,000 equivalent to roughly C$8,800, at current conversion rate, for their services. It also appears Ms. Tordecilla is their first student in Canada.
City Service Agency, is a large Canadian based company that charges $100 CAD for their services and at the time of publication they are working on six Filipino applicants and have processed over 4,000 International students from Saudi Arabia, Russia, Ukraine, Philippines, India, Iran, Libya, Yemen, Kazakhstan and Brazil over the last five years.
Between these two companies there is an $8,700.00 (estimated) difference in consultant fees for what appears to be doing the same work. Mr. Razon disagrees that we can compare the two companies and feels Harvard offers more.
City Service Agency, receives their revenue directly from the school for up to a government capped 15% commission of the tuition fee of each student they get approved. Private schools could give higher commission payments up to 25%. In the case of Ms. Tordecilla, Harvard could make $11,800.00 on their combined consultant and commission fees. Comparatively, City Service Agency would make $2,350.00.
According to a support letter signed by Jay Razon, he was offering room, food, and utilities for free during Tordecilla’s stay in Canada. After a brief stay and some sort of disagreement, Mildred eventually moved to the house of a church associate where she now resides.
Ms. Tordecilla is deciding what direction she is taking for her future studies.
Jay Razon and his consultancy firm Harvard are still seeking the remaining PHP250, 000 ($7,460 estimated) consultant fee.