July newsletter

Acting Registrar Catherine Albiston. Last week Richard Martin was found guilty of 93 immigration-related charges, including providing immigration advice without a licence. He has been remanded in custody pending sentencing on 1 August. A significant amount of work has gone into this case over a long period of time. I would like to thank everyone involved, especially the witnesses. All of our prosecutions depend on witnesses being prepared to come forward.

In our second reference group meeting for 2014 last week the group discussed ideas for improving the qualification and pathways to licensing. The minutes will be available in next month's newsletter. The next steps will depend on the outcomes of the regime review, and be subject to broad consultation.

This week is Maori language week. We have resources on our website that you can refer your clients to for them to learn about Maori culture.

As always, we welcome your feedback about our work. How can we do better? Have we done a good job? Whatever the feedback, compliments and even complaints, we want to hear from you. Email us at info@iaa.govt.nz.

Catherine Albiston, Acting Registrar of Immigration Advisers

 

Act review update

Group of people image. Martin Jenkins is in the process of finalising its review of the regulation of immigration advice. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will provide the review and its own advice to the Minister of Immigration by late July/early August, for his consideration.

 

Did your business notice our Google ads campaign?

NZ Coat of Arms.

We ran a trial Google advertising campaign to raise awareness of licensing and promote the use of licensed immigration advisers in New Zealand, China, India and the Philippines over the course of 12 weeks from 17 March to 1 June.

The campaign targeted migrants using Google to find immigration consultants and led them to the register of licensed immigration advisers. The total cost of the campaign was $2,000.

The purpose of the campaign was to reach consumers in their home country to:

  • inform them of the requirement for licensing before they engaged anyone to help them with their visa
  • make it easier for them to use the register of licensed immigration advisers
  • read our Guide to Licensed Immigration Advisers.

Hits on the register increased significantly over this time.

We'd love to know if you've experienced an increase in traffic from the register. Please email us at info@iaa.govt.nz with your feedback.

 

Who are we at the Authority?

IAA logo.

The Authority is part of the Consumer Protection and Standards branch within the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE). The branch includes other occupational regulators such as Licensed Building Practitioners.

The Authority has 18 positions, including the Registrar of Immigration Advisers, across licensing, investigations and business support. We are continuously working to become more efficient with our online application project and by utilising MBIE's expertise and resources.

Our Licensing team currently has five staff who lodge and process all immigration adviser licensing applications, conduct inspections and provide frontline customer service.

Our Investigations team is made up of seven staff who investigate and process complaints about licensed immigration advisers, investigate offences and take prosecutions under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007. We currently have some additional temporary resource to help us clear the complaints backlog.

Our support team currently has three staff who support projects such as our online applications project and the new Code implementation, maintain our CRM and online register, manage OIA requests, maintain the website content, including the toolkits, maintain our internal procedures, undertake all the Authority's reporting functions, manage the budget and office management functions, and support the Registrar.

 

Our new complaints process

Cover images of the guide to advisers.

We have introduced the following new process for assessing complaints about licensed advisers:

  • On the basis of the information provided to us by the complainant, we make an initial determination. If we decide there are no grounds for complaint, or it is trivial or inconsequential, we will close the complaint immediately.
  • If there appear to be grounds for a complaint, we will require a copy of the full client file from the adviser and will review the initial determination based on the file received. If we decide there are no grounds for complaint, or it is trivial or inconsequential, we will close the complaint at this point.
  • If we determine that there still appear to be grounds for complaint, the adviser will be advised of the specific grounds and given the opportunity to respond. If, based on the adviser's response, we decide there are no grounds for complaint, or it is trivial or inconsequential, we will close the complaint at this point.
  • If we determine that there still appear to be grounds for complaint, a Statement of Complaint will be prepared and filed with the Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal (Tribunal). The adviser will have the opportunity to submit a Statement of Reply to the Tribunal.

This process ensures that the adviser only has to address the specific grounds of complaint capable of being referred to the Tribunal. It should save the adviser time in the long run as they are not being asked to respond to complaints that are not supported by evidence.

 

Richard Martin verdict

Image shows a group of people.

Former lawyer Richard James Martin, of Albany, has been found guilty of 93 immigration-related charges at Auckland District Court.

Charges include: providing immigration advice when neither licensed nor exempt, forgery, and supplying false or misleading information to an immigration officer.

Mr Martin has been remanded in custody pending sentencing on 1 August.

Read the media release online.

 

Reaching Pacific communities

Graduate Certificate in New Zealand Immigration Advice document cover.

The Authority promoted licensing to the Samoan community on Saturday 28 June. Over 30 people were given the Authority's new Guide to Licensed Immigration Advisers in Samoan and shown how to use the register of licensed advisers.

The next Authority presentations will be to the Tongan community and the Fijian community. The Samoan and Fijian meetings are part of a series of immigration presentations organised by Settlement New Zealand in Auckland.

 

Guide to advisers now available in Chinese, Korean, Samoan and Tongan

Cover images of the guide to advisers.

The Guide to Licensed Immigration Advisers is now available in Chinese, Korean, Samoan and Tongan.

Contact us for copies to distribute at your office or download your own from our website using the links below.

 

Did you know, under the 2014 Code...?

question mark image. A provisional licence holder and their supervisor must have a supervision agreement in place that is approved by the Registrar of Immigration Advisers.

A supervisor must:

  • hold a full immigration adviser licence
  • ensure that any fees charged for supervision are fair and reasonable in the circumstances
  • act in accordance with the supervision agreement as approved by the Registrar of Immigration Advisers
  • preserve the confidentiality of the provisional licence holder's clients
  • where there is a close personal relationship with the provisional licence holder, ensure that this does not compromise the supervision agreement between the parties, and
  • inform the Registrar of Immigration Advisers when any notice is given that the supervision agreement is to be terminated.

A provisional licence holder must:

  • act in accordance with the supervision agreement as approved by the Registrar of Immigration Advisers
  • inform the Registrar of Immigration Advisers when any notice is given that the supervision agreement is to be terminated
  • not give immigration advice for any period of time in which they do not have in place a supervision agreement approved by the Registrar of Immigration Advisers, and
  • provide any new supervision agreement to the Registrar of Immigration Advisers for approval.

Read more about
supervision agreements >
supervisor roles and responsibilities>
provisional licence holder roles and responsibilities >

 

IAA logo. Professional Standards poster available on request

A Professional Standards poster is available to hang on your wall, if you wish.

Under the new 2014 Code, advisers are no longer required to display the code at their premises but some advisers have expressed a wish to display the Professional Standards.

If you would like a copy of the poster, email info@iaa.govt.nz with your preferred delivery address.

 

Review of the Immigration Advisers Licencing Act 2007

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