November newsletter

Message from Registrar Catherine Albiston

Image of Catherine Albiston, Registrar of Immigration Advisers

This month we are rolling out a suite of major changes, not only to the standards we set for licensed advisers and the online services we offer, but also to the look of our website and visual identity.

The 2015 Competency Standards come into force on 26 November meaning new advisers must hold a provisional licence for two years and the new CPD requirements begin. These are two significant changes reflecting the expectation that licensed advisers are highly skilled professionals.

The Authority also is launching new online services including online initial, TTMRA, inspection renewal and reapply application forms, online levy payments and an online CPD plan and record.

We are taking advantage of the major change to our website to refresh our visual identity in line with the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) of which we are part. This update is also timed to ensure that the latest information is clearly identifiable as there are important differences from 26 November.

I am also pleased to announce that in October I approved the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic’s new Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice for licensing purposes and enrolments opened for 2016. This newsletter tells you about the new qualification and lets you know how to secure an industry placement for 2016.

I would like to thank you all for the contributions you have made to this suite of changes. These changes have been in discussion for a good two years and many of you have been involved.

Please remember to keep your email address current with us as it is our primary way of communicating with you. You can now update your email address online by logging in on our website.

Catherine Albiston,
Registrar of Immigration Advisers

2015 Competency Standards in force from 26 November

The Immigration Advisers Competency Standards 2015 come into force on 26 November 2015.

The key changes are the requirement for new advisers to hold a provisional licence for two years and the new CPD requirements.

Read the 2015 Competency Standards >>

New CPD requirements

Business people sitting around a laptop

Thank you to all of you who provided comment on the draft CPD Toolkit which has been amended and is now live on our website. The Toolkit should answer all of your questions relating to CPD but if it doesn’t please let us know.

We will also be hosting a repeat webinar on the new CPD requirements in the new year.

The new Immigration Adviser Competency Standards 2015 set out the following continuing professional development requirements for all licensed immigration advisers, including Trans-Tasman advisers:

7.1 Advisers must maintain an acceptable continued professional development (CPD) plan and record for each 12 month licensing period. What must be included in an acceptable CPD plan and record is notified on the Immigration Advisers Authority’s website.

7.2 Advisers must complete at least 20 hours of acceptable professional development activities, including any mandatory activities, during each 12 month licensing period. Acceptable and mandatory professional development activities are those notified on the Immigration Advisers Authority’s website.

7.3 Advisers must retain, and produce upon request, their CPD plan and record for each licensing period that commenced after 26 November 2015, up to a maximum of 3 years.

The new CPD Toolkit notifies all CPD requirements. In particular, all activities will be required to:

  • Be related to the Immigration Advisers Competency Standards or the Licensed Immigration Advisers Code of Conduct.
  • Be relevant to an adviser’s identified learning needs as contained in his or her CPD plan and record.
  • Provide advisers with an opportunity for interaction and feedback.
  • Be verifiable by documentation.

The CPD Toolkit also sets out transitional arrangements for the period 26 November 2015 – 25 November 2016.

Read the CPD Toolkit >>


Business people sitting around a table. From 26 November 2015 all new licensed immigration advisers (except those who started studying in or before February 2015), including first-time Trans-Tasman applicants, must enter into a supervision arrangement with a full licence holder and receive supervision for two years.

If you are an experienced full licence holder, we strongly encourage you to consider becoming a supervisor. We have created a Supervision Toolkit and several helpful templates including a model supervision agreement, available on our website.

If you are looking to supervise a new entrant you can contact the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic to advertise your availability. Details on how to do this are in our Supervision Toolkit.

Remember, you can count time spent supervising towards your 20 CPD hours each year.

Read the Supervision Toolkit >>

Read the model supervision agreement >>

New online services

On 26 November 2015 we are rolling out our second wave of online services.

Licensed advisers will be able to lodge an inspection renewal application online, maintain a CPD plan and record online, and make levy payments, in addition to the existing ability to lodge a fast-track application online and to update contact details.

First-time licence applicants, including Trans-Tasman applicants, will be able to lodge their licence application online.

Previously licensed immigration advisers will be able to reapply for a licence online.

All of these services will require a Realme login. The new services build in auto save and session expiry messages to ensure you don’t accidentally lose the information you are working on. You can still post or courier us large or sensitive pieces of information like a client file giving you the best of both worlds.

We will be updating our Licensing Toolkit, and creating short videos to show you how to use the new services.

In the new year we will include the ability to apply to change a supervisor online and an online complaints form in our range of online services.

We are pleased that almost all fast-track renewals and changes of details are already filed online. Transacting business online is easier for all of us and we want you to use our online services whenever possible.

Please note that our website may be unavailable for some time on 25 and 26 November while we roll out these changes.

Immigration Advisers Authority’s new look

New IAA logo.

On 26 November 2015 the Authority will update its visual identity in line with the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE), along with our new online services.

The new identity will be applied to our website, guides, forms and wallet cards. The Trade Mark remains exactly the same, so there is no change required on your part.

The idea behind the refresh was to provide us with a clean, professional, easily recognisable identity that also positions the Authority as part of MBIE.

The Immigration Advisers Authority sits within MBIE’s Consumer Protection and Standards Branch alongside other regulators such as Licensed Building Practitioners and Trading Standards. Being part of MBIE helps the Authority connect to best regulatory practice and also reuse resources such as the technical platform we are using for IAA Online.

The new colour palette is a combination of the former IAA colours (red and khaki green) and the new MBIE palette (teal). This allows us to retain some of the identity consumers have grown to associate with us, while also aligning us with MBIE.

All licensed advisers will be sent a new wallet card in December to ensure that the cards are consistent with the website and to maximise your clients’ confidence in engaging a licensed adviser.

TTMRA advisers

If you are licensed as a New Zealand immigration adviser through the TTMRA, please remember that you are required to understand and adhere to all aspects of the New Zealand Licensed Immigration Advisers Code of Conduct. This includes, for example, maintaining full client files and providing all clients with our Professional Standards leaflet.

Reading Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal decisions will help develop your understanding of the standards expected of New Zealand licensed immigration advisers.

Please note that, from 26 November 2015, registered migration agents who are also licensed in New Zealand will no longer be able to renew their licence through the TTMRA application form. You will need to complete the licence renewal forms that all New Zealand licensed immigration advisers complete.

Two months prior to your licence expiry date we will inform you whether you are required to complete a fast-track or inspection renewal form and this will be available for you to complete online.

You are required to complete New Zealand’s CPD requirements, but transitional arrangements allow you to rely on your Australian CPD for the previous year to renew your New Zealand licence between 26 November 2015 and 26 November 2016.

Read the Code of Conduct >>

Read the Code of Conduct Toolkit >>

Professional Standards leaflet >>

Read Tribunal decisions >>

New Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice

Image showing course cover. The Bay of Plenty Polytechnic’s Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice (Level 7) has now been approved for licensing purposes. Enrolments are open for 2016.

The Graduate Diploma takes one-year of full time study. It is made up of eight courses, but the final course may be taken as a work placement.

The courses are:

  1. Introduction to the Immigration Industry and Professional Responsibilities
  2. Introduction to Immigration Law and Decision-Making
  3. Temporary Entry, Compliance and Unlawful Status
  4. Residence
  5. Professional Practice
  6. Specialist Immigration Areas
  7. Managing Client Cases
  8. Applied Practice (work placement) or Applied Practice (in-house)

Read the Graduate Diploma course descriptions >>

Industry places on the Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice

In 2016, the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic will reserve 25 places in each intake of the Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice for people currently employed within immigration practices. These places can be either full-time or part-time.

To reserve an industry place in semester one 2016, your request must be received by Friday 5 February 2016.

To reserve an industry place, the employer needs to contact David Lyon and confirm that the employee:

  • Has a formal employment relationship with their organisation.
  • Will be required by their organisation to apply for an immigration adviser licence once they graduate.

Once an industry place has been offered to the employer’s organisation, the prospective student will need to apply and meet the academic and entry requirements of the programme before they can enrol and utilise the place reserved in their name.

Semester one of the Graduate Diploma starts on 22 February 2016.

Read more about the Graduate Diploma >>

Did you know that you can maintain most of your details on the register?

question mark.

There were 33,853 visitors to the Authority’s website in October 2015 and most of them were looking for an adviser. This has always been, and remains the most active area on our website. A high proportion of searches are by location and the most popular location is Auckland. A much smaller proportion of searches is by adviser name.

Take a look at your details now and if something isn’t correct, you can login and update them.

Click my profile to change the names you are known by.

Click contact details to change your email, address and business information.

Login here >>

Tribunal decisions

Reading Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal decisions will help develop your understanding of the standards expected of licensed immigration advisers.

Read recent Tribunal decisions here >>

Adviser numbers

Advisers often ask us how many licensed advisers there currently are.

As at 29 October 2015 there were:

  • 833 licensed immigration advisers
  • 571 licensed immigration advisers in New Zealand
  • 262 licensed immigration advisers offshore
  • 800 full licence holders
  • 13 limited licence holders
  • 20 provisional licence holders.

We welcome your feedback

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