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Survey of New Zealand Visa Applicants Who Have Used an Immigration Adviser 2012

Conducted for the Immigration Advisers Authority By Premium Research


In 2009 the Immigration Advisors Authority (the Authority) conducted a benchmark survey to assess immigration adviser performance from the perspective of their clients. This survey has been repeated annually at the same time each year to provide an up to date measure of the perception of adviser performance and to identify any change in perceptions over time.

The overall aim of the research is:

The survey of visa applicants who used an adviser was undertaken using an online methodology.  Applicants who had received a decision on their application and were recorded by Immigration New Zealand as having used an immigration adviser (between 4 September to 4 May 2012) with a personal email addresses on record, were invited to participate in this survey. The questionnaire was provided in English and Simplified Chinese.

A total of 875 applicants completed a survey.  According to the Immigration New Zealand database, 598 of these respondents had used a licensed adviser, 274 had used an exempt adviser and 3 had used an unlicensed adviser.  This document gives a brief summary of the survey findings, focusing on results for licensed advisers.

Overall Satisfaction

Following a plateau in 2011, satisfaction with the overall of service provided by licensed advisers has increased in 2012 to 87% (up from 75% in 2011).  This and the other 2012 survey results indicate there has been considerable improvement in the service provided by licensed advisers compared to 12 months ago.

Adviser Performance

Applicants were asked to rate their adviser on the following areas: client service, communication, provision of information, timeliness, written agreements and cost.  Ratings ranged from a high of 95% to a low of 55%.

Areas where licensed advisers were rated the highest were:

Areas where performance was rated the lowest (and the only attributes to be rated below 80%) were:

Licensed advisers’ performance in all service areas (with the exception of two: ‘confirming changes to agreements in writing’ and ‘being honest/truthful’) shows a statistically significant improvement compared to the 2011 survey.  Areas of service showing the greatest improvement were:

Recommend Adviser

Nine in ten (90%) of applicants who used a licensed adviser said they would be likely to recommend their adviser to friends or family.  This result is up from 82% in 2011 and continues to show an increasing trend over time.

Reasons for Satisfaction

The main reasons for being satisfied overall with the service received have not changed over time.  The top three reasons given by clients who used a licensed adviser in 2012 were:

Reasons for Dissatisfaction

The main reasons for being dissatisfied were the same as in previous surveys, but with fewer clients mentioning these negative aspects of the service:

Service Improvement

All applicants were asked what the one thing advisers could do to improve their service was.  The main suggested improvements from clients using licensed advisers were similar to those suggested in previous years:


Among clients who used a licensed adviser, 67% received a copy of the code of conduct.  This result is unchanged from 2011.

85% of clients who used a licensed adviser said they had received a written agreement.  This result is up from 80% in 2011.

Finding an Adviser

As in previous years, the most common way to hear about licensed advisers was via friends or family (51%) followed by the client’s work/employer (16%) and then the internet (14%).  Just under one in ten (7%) of clients heard about their licensed adviser via the online IAA register (similar to 8% in 2011).