GULAB SINGH, a resident of Panchkula, was assured by the Worldwide Immigration Consultancy Services of getting his immigration on PR (Permanent Residency) to Canada within a year, but nothing was done. The Consumer Forum has penalised the immigration firm of Rs 50,000 and ordered it to refund Rs 1.74 lakh with $5,700, which were paid by Singh during the processing of his immigration file.
Singh, in his complaint to the forum, said he was lured by the firm’s advertisement in various newspapers regarding immigration on PR on the basis of sponsorship and providing jobs abroad, following which the complainant contacted them. The representatives of the immigration firm, after perusing the documents and qualifications and experience/profile of Singh, gave an assurance that they would secure two affidavits of support from the province of Manitoba/sponsorship for him and send him to Manitoba (Canada) on PR basis.
On the assurance given by the immigration firm, the complainant entered into four agreements with the firm, which were executed on September 26, 2012, and according to the firm’s demand, Singh deposited a sum of Rs 1,74,158 by cheque. Then, after a month, the immigration firm again asked Singh to make a further payment of 5,700 US dollars through bank draft in favour of their business associate, M/s Global Strategic Business Consultancy, which was made by him. On the receipt of the bank draft, the firm prepared the file and promised Singh that he would get immigration on PR basis hopefully within a year. But, that did not happen.
Singh then requested the immigration firm for a refund of the amount paid by him, but, to no avail, following which he lodged a complaint with the Consumer Forum. The immigration firm, in reply, denied that any assurance was given to the complainant as alleged by him and the company only provides professional services regarding the preparation and submission of the immigration case on behalf of the complainant and the grant of visa is purely in the domain of the Canadian High Commission and the company had no control over that.
It was also contended that after engaging professional service, the documents provided by Singh were forwarded to M/s GSBC, Dubai, and Singh was under the obligation to complete certain formalities and also submit the visa fee. But, he failed to discharge his duties and so Singh’s case could not be filed before the competent authority and according to the refund clause of the contract of engagements, he was not entitled to any refund.
Meanwhile, the forum said it was the duty of the immigration firm to assess the complainant according to the information provided by him in the assessment form and later to assist him in preparation of the case. But, in the present case, no such effort was made by the firm. Undoubtedly, Singh had hired the services of the immigration firm to process his case to settle abroad, but, it was also a matter of fact that the company retained and used the huge amount deposited by Singh for a long period of time. Even after spending a huge amount, Singh failed in his attempt to settle abroad.
The forum held the immigration firm negligent in handling the case of the complainant in a negligent and careless manner and later on non-refunding, rather retaining, Singh’s money for a long period.