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Newsletter June 2012

Matariki

What better way to start Māori New Year than by informing your clients about Māori culture and traditions.

In our February newsletter, we explained that you are required to provide clients with information about the Treaty and Māori culture, on request, in line with competency standards and the code of conduct.

We designed a Treaty and Māori culture web page to get you started and have updated it this month to include information about Matariki.

Matariki is the Māori name for the star constellation, also known as the Seven Sisters, whose rise, alongside the appearance of the new moon, marks the start of traditional Māori New Year. This year Matariki falls from 21 June to 21 July.

Our year ahead

A faster licence renewal process, adviser-only web access and adviser inspections are just some of the projects we’ll be concentrating on in the coming financial year.

Each year at the Authority, we take on board what you, your clients, the Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal, Immigration New Zealand and others have said to us and consider what areas to focus on for the year ahead. Our business plan for 2012-13 has five key initiatives for advisers:

  1. Immigration advice qualification review
    A formal review of the immigration advice qualification will take place after the first semester to gauge its effectiveness and ensure it remains relevant.
  2. Adviser-only web access
    We are currently seeking capital funding to create an adviser-only section of the website. If our bid for funding is approved, you will be able to submit your renewal application, record your CPD and update your contact details online.
  3. Adviser inspections
    We will be rolling out an inspections programme as part our licence renewals process. Find out more below.
  4. Faster renewals
    We will be exploring ways of processing your licence renewal application faster.
  5. Communication
    We will be looking at how we can help you to improve adviser-client communications with a digital checklist to enhance your website, and the development of a written agreement builder and template letters to enhance your business practices.

We are currently part of the Department of Labour, but from 1 July 2012 the Department of Labour together with the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry for Science and Innovation and the Department of Building and Housing will be merged into a new Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Qualification update: Apply now for 2013

The first group of students start the Graduate Certificate in New Zealand Immigration Advice on 16 July 2012.

The Bay of Plenty Polytechnic reports interest in the qualification has been high with a full intake of 60 full-time and 30 part time students enrolled in the first delivery.

The July intake is now full and prospective students are being asked to apply for the February 2013 intake.

As a result of this great uptake however, the offer of individual qualification modules for continuing professional development (CPD) will now only be offered from February 2013.

Developing the qualification

The Polytechnic has been developing the qualification in consultation with the Authority, Immigration New Zealand, and licensed immigration advisers to ensure that the programme involves a strong practical element, remains relevant in a changing climate and meets our licensing requirements.

New Zealand’s first qualification for the immigration advice industry was overseen by a Programme Steering Committee and a Programme Development Team, of which advisers have been an integral part. The Authority’s Licensed Adviser Reference Group has also been involved in providing input on programme material.

Feedback from advisers stressed the need to have learning activities that prepare students for the day to day work of a licensed immigration adviser. Consequently, Polytechnic staff met with advisers and observed them at work to develop practical learning material in collaboration with immigration experts.

Workshops

In early July the Polytechnic will host workshops in Tauranga and Wellington for advisers who have been involved in the development of the qualification to date to discuss selected learning activities to ensure these are of practical relevance and value to the daily work of an adviser. This discussion will assist tutors in planning their delivery of the qualification.

Further workshops involving advisers will be held in December as part of a more detailed review of the programme which will also include student and tutor feedback.

Consultation

Pressure of time and the amount of work involved have prevented wider consultation with the industry during the development of the qualification for first delivery.  However, there will be future opportunities for the industry to contribute to the content and effectiveness of the qualification.   

Next month the Polytechnic will convene a Programme Advisory Committee which will include licensed adviser representation.  This Committee will participate in regular reviews of the qualification, providing advice and feedback to ensure the qualification and the programme of learning continues to meet the licensing requirements of the Authority as well as the practical needs of the industry. 

Programme Steering Committee Members
This Committee will be disbanded in July 2012.


Bay of Plenty Polytechnic
School of Business
David Lyon, Head of School (Convenor)
Lynette Steele, Group Leader Applied Management & Legal Studies
Beppie Holm, Business Development Advisor (Executive Support)
University of Waikato,
 Te Piringa Faculty of Law
Professor Bradford W. Morse, Dean of Law
Victoria University (Melbourne), Faculty of Business and Law Sue Marshall, Business Manager
Professor Rodger Fernandez, Course Director Immigration Law
Immigration Advisers Authority Barry Smedts, The Registrar
Catherine Albiston / Natasha Narayan, Operational Policy Manager
Immigration New Zealand Kimberley Polata, Branch Manager
Jan Clark, Manager Operations Support, Visa Services
Industry Representatives David Cooper, Licensed Immigration Adviser, Malcolm Pacific Ltd
Walter Stone, Licensed Immigration Adviser, Eagle Migration Services Ltd representing NZAMI
Rodger Haines, Queens Counsel and Immigration Lawyer

Programme Development Team Members
This Team will be disbanded in July 2012.


Bay of Plenty Polytechnic,
School of Business
Lynette Steele, Group Leader Applied Management & Legal Studies (Convenor)
Tony Shanahan, Academic Advisor
Jeni Fountain, Academic Staff Member & Programme Coordinator Immigration Advice
Linda Shaw, Flexible Learning Coordinator
University of Waikato,
 Te Piringa Faculty of Law
Doug Tennent, Immigration Law Academic
Victoria University (Melbourne), Faculty of Business and Law Professor Rodger Fernandez, Course Director Immigration Law
Mark Williams, Adjunct Professor and Immigration Lawyer, Partner Lane Neave, Christchurch
Immigration Advisers Authority Catherine Albiston / Natasha Narayan, Operational Policy Manager
Immigration New Zealand Kimberley Polata, Branch Manager
Industry Representatives Karen Justice, Licensed Immigration Adviser, Fragomen Global Pty Ltd, Wellington
Richard Howard, Licensed Immigration Adviser, Pathways to New Zealand Ltd, Hamilton

Programme Advisory Committee Members
This Committee will be convened in July 2012.


Bay of Plenty Polytechnic , School of Business
Lynette Steele, Group Leader Applied Management & Legal Studies (Convenor)
Jeni Fountain, Academic Staff Member & Programme Coordinator Immigration Advice
University of Waikato,
 Te Piringa Faculty of Law
Professor Bradford W. Morse, Dean of Law or his nominee
Victoria University (Melbourne), Faculty of Business and Law Professor Rodger Fernandez, Course Director Immigration Law or his nominee
Immigration Advisers Authority Barry Smedts, The Registrar
Natasha Narayan, Operational Policy Manager
Immigration New Zealand Phillippa Guthrey, Operational Policy Manager
Jan Clark, Manager Operations Support, Visa Services
Industry Representatives NZAMI Chair or nominee
Members of the Licensed Immigration Adviser Reference Group
Immigration Lawyer (to be advised)

Advisers inspections

The Authority is rolling out adviser inspections from next month (July 2012) to enhance our licence renewal process and improve professional standards in the industry.

Advisers will be selected at random for inspections, which will focus on identifying areas for improvement in their professional and business practices to ensure that advisers meet the requirements of the Immigration Adviser Competency Standards, and adhere to the requirements of the Licensed Immigration Advisers Code of Conduct.

Inspections will be carried out either on paper or in person, and their primary purpose will be to inform, educate and improve the performance of advisers.

The Authority is given powers of inspection under Section 56 of The Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007 to “be used for the purpose of administering the licensing regime.”

To find out more look out for articles in coming newsletters. We will update you with further details once the inspection processes is finalised.

Letter of non-engagement

In May’s Tribunal round up, we explained the value of having a non-engagement letter after an adviser received a complaint over an initial telephone consultation.

The call came from an employer enquiring whether his employee would be granted a further work permit.
On the evidence provided, the adviser said it was unlikely.

Neither the employer nor the employee were clients but, as a result of the advice, the employer withdrew his offer of continued employment which provoked his employee to lodge a complaint.

The Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal dismissed the case after finding the adviser was never engaged in a professional capacity and the advice provided was accurate.
To avoid this sort of complaint, we recommend you consider using our online non-engagement letter template. The letter is designed to help you clarify when a potential client becomes a client formally.

Licensing Pathway Requirements in 2013

A new licensing process will apply to first-time applicants next year.

From 1 January 2013, advisers who have never previously held an immigration adviser licence will need to have completed either:

Current provisional and limited licence holders wishing to upgrade must either:

For further detail read The Registrar of Immigration Advisers’ Licensing Pathway Requirements from 1 January 2013.

Value of Licensing Survey 2012 to NZAMI results

We presented the results from our Value of Licensing Survey 2012 to NZAMI on 18 May. View the presentation online.

The Immigration Adviser Competency Standards are changing

The Immigration Adviser Competency Standards are changing from 1 January 2013. View the Immigration Advisers Competency Standards 2013 online.

Residence categories for family members

Find out about INZ’s recent changes to the residence categories for family members.

Job vacancy

The Bay of Plenty Polytechnic is recruiting for the role of Academic Staff Member - Immigration Advice.

The job involves helping the Polytechnic prepare and teach the Graduate Certificate in New Zealand Immigration Advice.

You will need to have a New Zealand degree, preferably in law or a related field, and immigration-related experience.

Applications close on 18 June 2012.

Adviser numbers

Full licence 417
Limited licence 16
Provisional licence 82
Total licences 515
Adviser on/offshore 364/151
TTMRA licensed 96
Refusals decided 23
Appeals decided 4
Complaints to tribunal 102

Feedback

The newsletter exists to help you in your role as a licensed immigration adviser. Here we aim to keep you abreast of tribunal news and industry developments while helping you improve your professional practice. As always, we welcome your feedback. Is there something you would like to see included here? Tell us.