September newsletter

Message from the Acting Registrar Catherine Albiston

Kia ora

Image of Catherine Albiston, Acting Registrar to Immigration AdvisersMartin Jenkins' review has recommended continuing government regulation of immigration advice along with a number of operational and legislative changes, including a greater role for advisers in setting standards. I am looking forward to working with licensed advisers over the coming months to agree on what operational changes need to be made to licensing standards including the qualification, licence type after graduation, ongoing CPD requirements and licence renewal requirements.

I will continue to act as the Registrar of Immigration Advisers until an organisational review of the Authority is complete during 2014/15.

Our annual migrant survey results are now available. Again, your clients are telling us you are doing a great job. Congratulations!

We are seeking your views on the Trade Mark requirements. Please let us know if you agree with what is proposed below.

Finally, welcome to new advisers who were awarded with a Graduate Certificate in New Zealand Immigration Advice in July. This newsletter includes some top tips for those new to the profession.

Catherine Albiston,
Acting Registrar of Immigration Advisers

Martin Jenkins review announced

Martin Jenkins logoEarlier this year, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment contracted Martin Jenkins to carry out a review of the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007, to ensure that it continues to protect consumers and enhance New Zealand's reputation as a migration destination. Martin Jenkins recently completed this review and their report has now been made available on the Ministry's website.

Martin Jenkins considers that there is still a case for a specialised regulatory regime for immigration advice. They have made 14 specific operational and legislative recommendations to improve the regime, covering:

  • The definition of immigration advice.
  • Exemptions from the requirement to be licensed (including coverage of offshore advisers).
  • Raising awareness of the regulatory regime.
  • Defining competency, licence types, licence renewal processes and continuing professional development.
  • Clarifying individual and organisational responsibilities.
  • Expanding the role of the immigration adviser profession in the regulatory regime.
  • Providing a larger set of regulatory tools.
  • Making organisational efficiencies across regulators within the Ministry.

The Ministry has begun work on some operational changes. The Authority has been discussing issues around competency, licensing and renewals, and continuing professional development with its reference group and plans to consult more widely in the coming months. The Ministry will also be conducting an organisational review of the Authority during 2014/15.

The Ministry will be doing further policy work on the legislative recommendations, with a view to Cabinet making decisions during 2014/15.

Read the report

2013/2014 migrant survey results

Image of a familyVisa applicants who use licensed advisers have again reported high levels of satisfaction.

87 per cent of applicants who used a licensed adviser said they would be likely to recommend their adviser to family and friends. Just over eight in ten applicants (83 per cent) were satisfied with the overall quality of service they received from their licensed adviser.

Read the survey results

Read the media release

Should we change the Trade Mark requirements?

A group of people, with a thinking bubble above their headsThe Authority has received feedback that the current Trade Mark requirements are onerous for those of you with long legal names and/or preferred names.

Currently you are required to:

  • Display your legal name as it appears on the register of immigration advisers next to the Trade Mark.
  • Advisers who wish to use a preferred name must display this name in brackets below or next to their legal name.

We propose that the requirement should be changed to:

  • Display your name next to the Trade Mark.
  • Advisers may use a legal first name and surname, or a full legal name, or a preferred name.
  • Whatever name is used must be on the register of licensed immigration advisers.

This would mean that you could use your preferred name next to the Trade Mark as long it is showing in brackets on the register. Anyone who wished to continue to use their full legal name could do so.

All other Trade Mark requirements, including also displaying your licence number, would continue.

Let us know what you think using the voting buttons below or email us at

<< Yes, please change the requirements as outlined above >>

<< No, the requirement to list our full legal name should remain >>

Changes to our call centre

An image of a call center team memberFrom 18 September 2014, calls to our 0508 422422 number and emails to will be handled in the first instance by the Ministry's Business Service Centre in Christchurch.

The Business Service Centre has very high service standards and competent people who are currently being trained to deal with the Authority's most common enquiries.

All other enquiries will be forwarded through to the most appropriate Authority staff member to deal with.

This change will allow our administration officers to focus on processing your licence applications faster.

Tips for new licensed advisers

Group of professionals

The purpose of immigration adviser licensing is to set a standard of professionalism so that consumers who choose to get advice will get good advice.  Here are our top tips for those entering the profession for the first time:

  • Be professional and respectful at all times, whoever you are dealing with.
  • Work within the limits of your knowledge and skills. This means you are likely to need to start with simple work and gain experience before tackling more complex cases.
  • Start planning and undertaking your continuing professional development right from the beginning.
  • Even if you hold a full licence, think about getting regular supervision or mentoring.
  • Keep good records.

Judicial decisions page up-to-date

The Authority's judicial and tribunal decisions website page has been updated with all District and High Court decisions to date.

See all judicial decisions >>

Did you know, under the 2014 Code…?

26. A licensed immigration adviser must:

  • maintain a hard copy and/or electronic file for each client, which must include:
    • a full copy of the client's application or other immigration matter
    • copies of all written agreements and any changes to them
    • copies of all written communications (including any file notes recording material oral communications and any electronic communications) between the adviser, the client and any other person or organisation
    • copies of all invoices and receipts relating to the client
    • copies of all personal documents relating to the client supplied to the adviser, and
    • evidence of the safe return of the client's original documents
  • confirm in writing to the client when applications have been lodged, and make on-going timely updates
  • confirm in writing to the client the details of all material discussions with the client
  • maintain a well-managed filing system
  • maintain each client file for a period of no less than 7 years from closing the file, and make those records available for inspection on request by the Immigration Advisers Authority, and
  • when requested by the client or their new licensed or exempt immigration adviser, release a copy of all applications lodged on behalf of the client and all correspondence relating to the client.

Read more about file management >>

CPD through the qualification

You can take individual modules of the Graduate Certificate in New Zealand Immigration Advice as CPD. You won't be required to complete exams and will receive a certificate of completion. The following CPD courses are starting in the next few weeks.

From 22 September:

  • Module 6: Residence – general
  • Module 7: Residence – skilled and business

From 28 October:

  • Module 8: Refugee and Protection Status
  • Module 9: Reviews and Appeals
  • Module 10: Professional Practice

Visit the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic website for more information or contact 0800 BOPPOLY (0800 267 7659) for a CPD application form.

We welcome your feedback

How can we do better? Have we done a good job? Whatever the feedback, compliments or complaints, we want to hear from you.

Email us at