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June newsletter

Message from Registrar Catherine Albiston

Image of Catherine Albiston, Registrar of Immigration AdvisersLast month I spoke about concerns regarding employers, recruitment or HR advisers or people within large companies providing immigration advice unlawfully.

I am delighted that we have worked together with Immigration New Zealand to communicate to a very large audience of employers and education providers in the lead up to the release of “apply on behalf”. The messaging very clearly lets them know that they cannot provide immigration advice. More details below.

Having listened to advisers’ views on the point at which students should be able to apply for a provisional licence I am now of the view that students should be required to complete 50 percent of the qualification. This matter was discussed at our second reference group meeting of the year in May, along with the ongoing development of the Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice and the development of a supervision toolkit. Read more below.

Last week we made some significant “behind the scenes” changes to our technology which has paved the way for the release of our first online application form. More on that next month!

Finally, this month you will receive an email with a link to our annual survey of licensed immigration advisers on the performance of the Immigration Advisers Authority. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey. I would be very grateful for your feedback.

Catherine Albiston, Registrar of Immigration Advisers

Migrant exploitation hotline

There is currently a lot of concern regarding migrant exploitation in the workplace. Information for migrants, including a pamphlet, is available here. If you become aware of situations you are concerned about you can call 0800 20 90 20.

Immigration New Zealand message to unlicensed third parties

image of people standing in a line.

Some advisers have expressed concern that the new “apply on behalf” function on INZ’s website means unlicensed third parties such as employers and education providers will be able to submit visa applications online for their clients.

You’ll be aware that other third parties are already helping applicants submit paper-based applications, and they are legally allowed to do so – provided they don’t provide immigration advice.

We are concerned to make sure that these third parties understand the boundaries around the type of assistance they can provide – i.e. clerical help only.

The following messaging is being sent to a wide group of employers and education providers before the “apply on behalf” function goes live.

You can record information given to you – but not advise!

Employers will be able to submit online applications on behalf of their employees. They can also give applicants clerical help to complete online forms, as they can currently with paper application forms.

But it’s important to stress that employers cannot, by law, offer immigration advice to applicants.

Under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act, only licensed immigration advisers or a specified list of exempt advisers, such as lawyers, are allowed to provide immigration advice. Breaches can incur substantial penalties.

In practice, this means that you can complete an applicant’s form under their direction, but you can’t use your knowledge or experience to give them advice about any immigration matter, such as:

If you are completing an applicant’s form under their direction and are asked for immigration advice, you should refer the applicant to a licensed immigration adviser or exempt adviser. More information about this, including a list of licensed advisers, is available on the Immigration Advisers Authority website: www.iaa.govt.nz

Helping an employee complete a form

If, as an employer, you are filling out the online form for an employee, you need to:

Want to be a supervisor? Looking to employ a graduate?

Image of a couple standing back ot back. If you are looking for a student or a graduate to either supervise or employ, you can advertise directly to the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic’s students.

If you are a potential supervisor looking for someone to supervise please ensure your advertisement contains the following information:

If you wish to place a job advertisement please ensure it contains the following information:

Both types of advertisements will be posted on the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic’s student programme page with a disclaimer to the effect that the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and members of the Immigration teaching team take no responsibility for the details contained in the advertisements and will not act in any way for either the student or the employers.

To place an advertisement email: catherine.demonchy@boppoly.ac.nz>>

Provisional licence entry point

image of lady signing a form. Last month we asked for your views on when a student of the Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice should be able to apply for a provisional licence.

Only 12 advisers provided a response – 8 in favour of completing 50 percent of the course and 4 in favour of completing 25 percent of the course. The reference group also discussed the topic with most of the members strongly in favour of students completing 50 percent of the course on the basis that they should have a basic grounding in both temporary entry and residence matters before being granted a provisional licence.

When a student has completed half the qualification they will have completed an introduction to professional standards and immigration decision-making, and the basic fundamentals of temporary entry and residence.

Some advisers are of the view that those who are employed should be able to apply for a provisional licence at an earlier point. However, it appears that a student will not have covered enough material to satisfy the competency standards for a provisional licence until they have completed 50 percent of the qualification.

Approval of the entry courses that are acceptable for provisional licence purposes will be made at the point of approval of the new Graduate Diploma for licensing purposes. The Bay of Plenty Polytechnic is currently developing documentation for approval purposes which is likely to be finalised mid-year.

Read May 2015 reference group minutes here >>

Reaching migrants

We are currently running a series of online Google adverts to raise awareness of licensing and promote the use of licensed immigration advisers.

The campaign targets migrants in New Zealand, India and the Philippines who are using Google to find immigration consultants and leads them to the register of licensed immigration advisers.

Image of a family. This follows on from a successful trial we ran over several weeks last year which saw hits on the register increasing significantly over the 12 week period. We expect the same result with our latest campaign so please let us know if you experience an increase in traffic from the IAA website. Feedback can be given via email to info@iaa.govt.nz

We are also out and about and have recently spoken to Pacific community leaders at seminars in West Auckland and Mangere, and to migrant employers and service providers in Three Kings, about the importance of using a licensed immigration adviser or someone who is exempt.

Did you know, under the 2014 Code…?

question mark. Clause 26(a)(iii)

A licensed immigration adviser must maintain a hard copy and/or electronic file for each client, which must include copies of all written communications (including any file notes recording material oral communications and any electronic communications) between the adviser, the client and any other person or organisation.

Read more about file management>>

Tribunal decisions

Reading Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal decisions will help develop your understanding of the standards expected of licensed immigration advisers.

Read recent Tribunal decisions here>>

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.