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April newsletter

Message from Registrar Catherine Albiston

Image of Catherine Albiston, Registrar of Immigration AdvisersImmigration Minister Michael Woodhouse has approved the revised Licensed Immigration Adviser Competency Standards. This is a significant milestone that introduces a requirement for new licensed immigration advisers to be supervised for two years.

This change follows wide consultation and clear feedback from advisers that many of you are prepared to take on the supervision of graduates. There are likely to be around 30 graduates in December this year looking for supervisors. Some of them may be looking to organise their supervision arrangement in advance.

I encourage you to consider supervising a provisional licence holder, whether you are a sole practitioner or working in a company. I will also be encouraging students looking for a supervisor to approach it in a highly professional manner as if they were applying for a job. Advisers should expect a professional cover letter and CV and meet them and interview them first.

This year, with assistance from the reference group, we will be developing guidelines to assist both students looking for supervisors, and prospective supervisors.

The new Competency Standards will also introduce changes to continuing professional development requirements. Read more below.

Catherine Albiston, Registrar of Immigration Advisers

Competency Standards now approved

Thank you to those of you who provided feedback both during the consultation period last year and more recently on the draft Competency Standards. The Competency Standards have now been agreed and will come into force on 26 November 2015.

This means that all students who start studying towards the Graduate Certificate in New Zealand Immigration Advice in July 2015 will be required to hold a provisional licence for two years before upgrading to a full licence.

The Competency Standards:

As agreed following consultation in 2014, acceptable CPD activities will be limited to, and must include at least two of the following:

Activities must be verifiable, provide for interaction/feedback, be planned and structured with a stated purpose and outcomes and be related to the adviser’s identified learning requirements.

These new Standards will be required from 26 November 2015 and they are not retrospective. This means you will only have to start following the new Standards from 26 November 2015 and will not be expected to have followed them for the year before 26 November 2015.

Guidelines regarding CPD will be developed this year in consultation with the reference group.

Read the new Competency Standards here >>

Discussions with advisers

Image showing group of people. Last month we had our first Reference Group meeting for the year. The group raised concerns about unlicensed activity offshore, particularly among employers and travel agents. The group also discussed what they wanted to see from the new Graduate Diploma and the introduction of supervision.

We also held our first Qualification Steering Group. The group gave very clear, constructive feedback to the Polytechnic that focused on the new qualification having a much wider range of in depth, realistic scenarios.

Read what was discussed by the Reference Group in March >>

Fast-track renewal changes

As you know, we have announced that we will be rolling out fast-track renewals for all advisers unless they are selected for an inspection. We are also working hard developing an online form for fast-track renewals.

Both the on-line form and the change in eligibility criteria will be launched together later this year.

Until the change is formally implemented, the current standard renewal and fast-track renewal criteria apply.

Industry places on the Graduate Certificate in New Zealand Immigration Advice

Image showing course cover. To reserve an industry place on the Graduate Certificate in New Zealand Immigration Advice in semester two 2015, your request must be received by Friday 1 May 2015.

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 David Lyon david.lyon@boppoly.ac.nz 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 semester two 2015, the Graduate Certificate starts on 6 July. Students who start the Graduate Certificate in July 2015 may study full-time over one academic semester (17 weeks) or part-time over 18 months, up until December 2016.

Tribunal decisions

Image showing scales of justice.

The Ministry of Justice has recently updated its website with the most recent decisions from the Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal.

Reading these decisions will help develop your understanding of the standards expected of licensed immigration advisers.

Read Tribunal decisions here >>

Did you know, under the 2014 Code...?

Question mark image

Clause 25(b)

A licensed immigration adviser must, if taking payment for fees and/or disbursements in advance of being payable and invoiced:

  1. establish and maintain a separate client account for receiving and holding all client funds paid in advance

Read more about managing client funds>>

Out and about

In March the Authority presented to consumers at the Chinese New Settlers Services Trust and presented to NZAMI members in Auckland and Wellington on the topic of complaints.

We welcome your feedback

Feedback image. 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 info@iaa.govt.nz.