Thank you to everyone who participated in our recent consultation on licensing standards. I have given serious consideration to your views, best regulatory practice and the aims of immigration adviser licensing. Over 80 immigration advisers attended consultation meetings and a total of 206 completed responses were received on the survey – 193 from licensed immigration advisers.
Decisions have now been made and are outlined in the article below. There is also a link to the results of the consultation.
This is a significant milestone in the development of licensing standards for immigration advisers. It will see new advisers receiving better support as they gain experience and focus all advisers on high-value CPD activities.
We continue in our efforts to take action against unlicensed activity. Unlicensed immigration adviser Richard Martin was jailed for over three and half years and the Authority has laid 17 charges against an unlicensed South Auckland woman, following a thorough investigation.
I would like to thank you for your support and involvement in what has been a challenging year. I wish you all a very happy holiday season..
Acting Registrar of Immigration Advisers
Over the past year there has been a lot of discussion about what immigration adviser licensing standards should be. MartinJenkins recommended introducing practical experience before an adviser is granted a full licence. The Authority’s reference group discussed the topic throughout the year and over 200 licensed advisers contributed their views in October.
Respondents were generally supportive of the proposal to extend the entry qualification to a one-year graduate diploma, the fast-track renewal proposal and the idea of learner-centred, active CPD. However, there was opposition to the proposal to enable graduates of the graduate diploma to apply for a full licence.
As a result of the consultation, with the endorsement of the Authority’s reference group and the Minister of Immigration’s agreement, the following package of changes has been agreed:
Please note that these changes will not come into effect immediately. The likely programme for implementation is:
Further details on each of these changes will be provided in due course.
Unlicensed immigration adviser and former immigration lawyer Richard Martin has begun a jail sentence of three years and seven months, following his sentencing in the Auckland District Court on the 13th of November.
Mr Martin’s sentence is the heaviest penalty ever handed down to an unlicensed adviser since the IALA came into effect in 2007, reflecting the seriousness of this offending.
Mr Martin, aged 48, had been found guilty by Judge Mary Elizabeth Sharp at a trial in June this year on 93 charges which included:
The offending was committed between May 2009 and September 2010 when Mr Martin provided immigration advice through Richard Martin Immigration Limited and forged lawyer’s signatures on immigration documents.
At sentencing, Judge Sharp talked of Mr Martin’s customers being ‘badly duped by him and were left feeling extremely let down’. She went on to discuss one customer in particular who was in New Zealand legitimately, believing Mr Martin was processing her visa application to remain in the country, but after she contacted Immigration New Zealand, despite numerous failed attempts at contacting Mr Martin, the victim was advised that there was no active visa application for her and she was in New Zealand illegally.
The IAA has laid a total of 17 charges against a South Auckland woman in the Manukau District Court.
The charges relate to alleged offending between October 2011 and October 2013 and include six of providing immigration advice without being licensed or exempt, knowing she was required to be, six of holding herself out as providing immigration advice and five of receiving fees for the provision of immigration advice without being licensed or exempt, knowing she was required to be.
On the 17th of November, the director of Ancheng International Group Ltd Jinyan (Jennie) Zhang was sentenced in the Wellington District Court for her role in the exploitation of migrant workers.
Ms Zhang was involved in applying for visas for Chinese chefs who paid the agency to help them complete work visa applications to come to New Zealand.
Ms Zhang had pleaded guilty to a total of seven charges, including four of aiding and abetting various Chinese nationals to breach their visa conditions, one representative charge of attempting to obstruct the course of justice relating to four victims and two charges of supplying false or misleading information to Immigration New Zealand.
She was ordered to pay reparation of $30,000 to six of the victims and was sentenced to 10 months home detention and 300 hours community work.
Ms Zhang’s immigration adviser licence was cancelled on 11 November 2014.
CORRECTION Limited and provisional licence holders who were licensed under the 2010 Competency Standards have until Monday 5 January 2015 to lodge their upgrade application without completing the qualification. Please note, however, that if your application is not complete, we will not be able to lodge the application that day. If your upgrade application is not lodged by 5 January 2015, you will have to complete the required qualification in order to upgrade your licence.
We are anticipating a high volume of renewal and upgrade applications in December and January and encourage you to get your application in early to avoid delays.
The Authority is closed from 25 December 2014 and reopens on 5 January 2015. Our reception closes at midday on 24 December 2014.
To reserve an industry place on the Graduate Certificate in New Zealand Immigration Advice in semester one 2015, your request must be received by Friday 19 December 2014.
Each semester, the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic reserves 20 places for people currently employed within immigration practices. These places can be either full-time or part-time.
To reserve an industry place, the employer needs to contact firstname.lastname@example.org and confirm that the employee:
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.
In 2015, the Graduate Certificate starts on 2 February and 6 July. The qualification can be studied full-time over one academic semester (17 weeks) or part-time over up to two years.
24. A licensed immigration adviser must:
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