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Newsletter April 2012

Replying and renewing promptly

Licensing assessors are calling for promptness from advisers after an adviser took more than two months to respond to a query. The Authority aims to respond to enquiries within 24 hours and would like to see advisers aiming to do likewise to speed up the licensing process for everyone.

This includes submitting renewals in good time.

Recently, and in a one-week period, the Authority received six renewal applications one day prior to licence expiry. Had the post been late and these applications not arrived with the Authority, all six would have seen their licences lapse.

You can submit your renewal two months before expiry at the earliest and, we strongly recommend, two weeks before expiry at the latest. The date of your expiry can be found at the bottom of this newsletter, on your wallet card and certificate and on your page of the register.

We do not accept applications for renewal received more than two months before the expiry of the current licence and will return any sent too early.

Allowing a minimum of two weeks gives the licensing administration team enough time to check the application and let you know if there is anything missing. It also gives you enough time to respond with any missing information.

For those who allow their licence to lapse, it’s back to the drawing board to complete the 49-page initial licence application.

Please note, if your application is accepted and lodged by the Authority prior to your expiry date, you can continue giving advice and your licence status will appear on the register as ‘renewal in progress’.

Good practice tip: Check the conditional letter from your last renewal to see whether you are required to provide additional information in this renewal.

Fees for new qualification

The Graduate Certificate in New Zealand Immigration Advice has been approved for Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) funding subsidy for domestic students.    

The qualification consists of four courses each comprising of 2-3 modules. The following categories of people have domestic student status and will pay $520.00 per course in 2012:

All other people are classified as international students and will pay $1,835.00 per course in 2012.

An additional examination fee of $100.00 per course will be charged to all students who sit the final examination in New Zealand.  Students who sit the final examination in other countries will be charged an additional $150.00 per course. 

All fees are inclusive of New Zealand Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Business, service and postal addresses on the register

The online register is only as accurate as advisers allow it to be, so please ensure your addresses are listed correctly, as this is required by law.

Section 26 of the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007 requires licence holders to give written notice to the Registrar of any relevant change in circumstances as soon as is practicable and not later than 10 working days after the change. This includes a change in business and service addresses.

The business address must be where the adviser spends most of his or her working time.  If an adviser works from an office in New Zealand and spends the majority of their working time there but also has a branch located overseas, then the business address on the register should be the New Zealand address.

The business address is where the adviser conducts his or her business.

The service address is where either an adviser or an adviser’s representative can be served documents in person.

The service address will often be the same as the business address.

The business, service and postal addresses must be in the same country. If an adviser splits their time equally between two countries then they will need to choose which country they want to show on the register.

It is important the correct addresses appear on the register to:

In December 2011, the Authority considered allowing advisers to be listed on the online register under multiple business addresses but, on analysis, decided against it.

Therefore, the register only allows for publication of one set of addresses and each adviser is bound by clause 3g of the code of conduct to maintain correct and up to date business contact details.
To update your details, simply complete a change of details form.

Renewal assessment

Renewal assessment is a time where the Authority confirms whether you are compliant with all aspects of the competency standards and code of conduct as they stand today.

Your latest client file may reveal different gaps in compliance or competency from the one you provided the year before. Also, the Authority may change aspects of its policy and procedures to ensure proper administration of the licensing regime and it is important that advisers update their practices accordingly.

Therefore, on occasion, licensing assessors may raise issues with you that have not been raised before.

INZ Tips for Partnership and SMC

Complete applications are fast applications.

This was the message given to advisers at INZ’s seminar where Henderson staff gave a full and thorough presentation on completing partner and skilled migrant applications.

The 9 March presentation, abridged below, included several tips and hints on how to best submit applications and supporting evidence.


Partners of New Zealand citizens or residents must provide acceptable and sufficient evidence they have been living together for a temporary class visa or living together for 12 months for a residence class visa.

INZ considers eight factors when determining partnership (including but not limited to those outlined in F2.20b of the operational manual) and expects to see evidence for each one.

Immigration officers need to see explanations of how evidence meets the requirements and why discrepancies or separation periods have arisen.

Evidence can include tenancy agreements, letters and post stamped envelopes or bank statements but online statements are only acceptable if stamped by the sender e.g the bank or utility company that issued it.

INZ says 90% of temporary entry applications are decided in 24 calendar days and 75% of SMC Residence and Family Residence in six months. However, common causes of delay include:

In total, INZ interviews around one in five couples.

Skilled Migrant Category

INZ recommends advisers take more time over applications and get a second person to double check them since 85-90% arrive incomplete.

Immigration officers say backlogs have been created at INZ due to the amount of time staff spend requesting documents that should have been included in the original application.

Many applications are missing the basics such as:

Skilled employment should be substantiated with a full employment agreement, signed and dated by both parties, a job description and an offer of employment letter if there is one.

Qualifications should be substantiated with the qualification certificate and the NZQA, if required. For Indian qualifications, an actual degree certificate is required containing the signature of the Chancellor/Vice-Chancellor along with a transcript for the years attended.

In cases where custody of a child is involved, the applicant parent will need to prove they have permission to include the child by presenting:

For children over 18, dependency needs to be proved with evidence the child:

Likewise, evidence English Language Ability needs to be provided for partners and dependent children over 16.

Finally, when it comes to the medical it is worth checking that each relevant question has been completed and that a radiology report is attached. If an abnormal blood test has been received, save time by repeating the test and submitting the repea ted results with the application.

Advisers are recommended to refer to the ITA letter and Application for Residence Guide (SMC) INZ 1105 for further assistance.

More user-friendly Policy and Procedures Manual

The Policy and Procedures Manual has been edited to reflect policy changes since September 2011.

Parts on licensing and enforcement have been made more user friendly and we recommend you familiarise yourself with the manual.
Part A: Licensing is designed to assist prospective and current advisers on how to apply for a licence and Part B: Enforcement outlines how the Authority deals with offences and complaints including unlicensed activity.

The remaining parts on Professional Responsibilities and Professional Practice are being developed to help advisers meet their obligations to clients and other stakeholders within New Zealand’s immigration system.

Pacific Quota dates

Registration with Immigration New Zealand for this year’s Samoa Quota (SQ) and Pacific Access Category (PAC) ballots will be open from 2 to 30 April 2012.

Eleven hundred places are available under SQ (Samoan nationals only) and 400 under PAC (Tonga, Tuvalu, Kiribati nationals only).

Registering for SQ is free but there is a NZ$60 registration fee for PAC. This fee is reduced to NZ$25 for those who have registered in a previous year. The PAC fee is not refundable if a registration is unsuccessful in the ballot.

Adviser numbers

Full licence 405
Limited licence 16
Provisional licence 87
Total licences 508
Adviser on/offshore 358/150
TTMRA licensed 84
Refusals decided 23
Appeals decided 4
Complaints to tribunal 93

Easter hours

The Authority will not be open on three public holidays this month. Good Friday 6 April, Easter Monday 9 April and Anzac Day 25 April.