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October newsletter

Message from Registrar Catherine Albiston

Image of Catherine Albiston, Registrar of Immigration Advisers

The Bay of Plenty Polytechnic has received formal approval for the new Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. The Polytechnic is working hard to finalise detailed teaching plans for my approval and aims to have enrolments for 2016 open by 1 November 2015.

This year our Qualification Steering Group: Richard Howard, Rachel Lishman, Anuradha Grover, Sanjeev Singh and Graydon Sharratt, have provided regular feedback on the development of the new Graduate Diploma. I wish to sincerely thank them for their time and contributions. I am confident that the Graduate Diploma will offer students an in-depth and practical education in providing New Zealand immigration advice.

We have now had 322 logins to IAA Online, 150 of you have updated your details and we have received 45 online fast-track renewals. The feedback continues to be positive with comments such as “Excellent piece of work by the IAA” and “Great to see IAA doing things online to match INZ online environment”.

If you haven’t already logged in, please do check it out using the activation code we emailed you. In late November we will be introducing a range of new online services including initial and inspection renewal applications.

Finally, please do take some time to consider the new CPD requirements and the draft Toolkit which is open for comments until 9 October 2015.

Catherine Albiston,
Registrar of Immigration Advisers

Our short videos introducing IAA Online: Getting started >>
and Renew your licence >>

Our short IAA Online survey >>

Considering being a supervisor?

Business people sitting around a table. From 26 November 2015 all new licensed immigration advisers (except those who started studying in or before February 2015), including first time Trans-Tasman applicants, must enter into a supervision arrangement with a full licence holder and receive supervision for two years.

We consulted with all licensed advisers on this topic in late 2014. Licensed advisers gave us the clear message that supervision should be a key part of a new adviser’s education. Over 150 licensed advisers (76 percent of those who responded to us) said they would be willing to mentor new licensed advisers.

To help you understand your role as a supervisor we have created a Supervision Toolkit and several helpful templates including a model supervision agreement, available on our website.

If you are looking to supervise a new entrant you can contact the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic to advertise your availability. Details on how to do this are in our Supervision Toolkit.

Remember, you can count time spent supervising towards your 20 CPD hours each year.

Read the Supervision Toolkit >>

Read the model supervision agreement >>

New CPD requirements from November

Business people sitting around a laptop

Thank you to all those who have provided feedback on our CPD Toolkit that was emailed to you recently. You may provide feedback on these documents up until Friday 9 October 2015.

We will be running a webinar to talk through these proposed changes and answer your questions on Thursday 8 October 3-4pm. To register for this webinar please click here.

All feedback received will be considered and the CPD Toolkit will be published by early November 2015.

The new Immigration Adviser Competency Standards 2015 come into force on 26 November 2015 and set out the following continuing professional development requirements for all licensed immigration advisers, including Trans-Tasman advisers:

7.1 Advisers must maintain an acceptable continued professional development (CPD) plan and record for each 12 month licensing period. What must be included in an acceptable CPD plan and record is notified on the Immigration Advisers Authority’s website.

7.2 Advisers must complete at least 20 hours of acceptable professional development activities, including any mandatory activities, during each 12 month licensing period. Acceptable and mandatory professional development activities are those notified on the Immigration Advisers Authority’s website.

7.3 Advisers must retain, and produce upon request, their CPD plan and record for each licensing period that commenced after 26 November 2015, up to a maximum of 3 years.

To be acceptable, all activities will be required to:

Any activity that does not meet these requirements will not be able to be counted towards your CPD hours each year.

The CPD Toolkit sets out transitional arrangements for the period 26 November 2015 – 25 November 2016.

We are seeking your comments on the following draft documents by Friday 9 October 2015:

Draft CPD Toolkit >>

Draft CPD Plan and Record >>

Draft Study Group Facilitator’s Guide >>

Draft Guidance for CPD providers >>

Changes for Australian agents renewing their New Zealand immigration adviser licence

Currently, Registered Migration Agents (RMAs) who have become Licensed Immigration Advisers under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement (TTMRA) also renew their licence through this process each year. This allows RMAs to apply for and renew a New Zealand licence on the basis of their Australian registration.

We have recently identified that the Immigration Advisers Authority approaches the renewal of licences for those who initially registered through the TTMRA differently to other occupational regulators in New Zealand.

To ensure that we are applying the TTMRA in line with its intent and the general interpretation in New Zealand, we will require RMAs to renew their New Zealand licence in accordance with New Zealand law, provided that law applies equally to all applicants and does not impose any particular qualifications.

When is the change being introduced?

From 26 November 2015 you will no longer be able to apply to renew your licence through the TTMRA application form.

You will need to complete the renewal application forms that all New Zealand licensed immigration advisers must complete.

How do New Zealand advisers renew their licence?

There are two renewal streams, fast-track and inspection. Both forms will be available to complete online from 26 November 2015.

Most advisers will renew through the fast-track stream. This requires you to answer questions relating to your fitness for licensing and to declare that you meet New Zealand Immigration Adviser Competency Standards.

For most advisers completing a fast-track renewal form will be easier than completing a TTMRA application form.

You will be informed if you are required to complete an inspection renewal form. If you are to be inspected, you will be asked to attach a copy of a specific client file for inspection and your CPD records.

Will I have to complete New Zealand’s CPD requirements?

Yes. All New Zealand licensed immigration adviser must complete 20 hours of acceptable CPD activities. New Zealand is introducing new CPD requirements for everyone on 26 November 2015. The CPD requirements are explained in our CPD Toolkit (see above article).

You may count your Australian CPD towards your New Zealand CPD whenever it meets New Zealand’s requirements.

As with all New Zealand licensed immigration advisers, you will be required to develop and maintain a CPD plan and record from the time you renew your licence between 26 November 2015 and 26 November 2016. This may be inspected at any renewal after 26 November 2016.

Transitional arrangements
You may rely on your Australian CPD for the previous year to renew your licence between 26 November 2015 and 26 November 2016.

Raising awareness with education providers

Business people sitting at a desk. We have been working on a communications campaign to raise awareness and understanding of immigration adviser licensing among education providers. 

In August and September we proactively contacted the universities and polytechnics across New Zealand to see if they could help us spread the word amongst their staff and international students.

A good proportion of the institutions that we contacted were keen to speak with us and find out more information. 

The staff we spoke with mainly wanted to hear about what the IAA actually does; where the line is drawn between staff giving students assistance and giving them advice; where to direct students to if they want immigration advice; and what to do if their students or staff have concerns about immigration advice received. 

All of the people we spoke with were pleased to hear from us and happy to have a link to the register of licensed advisers to direct students to when they were seeking immigration advice.

Read our factsheet for education providers here >>

2015 Migrant Survey Results

Family group. Did you miss our last newsletter?

Don’t miss out on reading the results from our survey of visa applicants who use licensed immigration advisers. Again this year, your clients have reported high levels of satisfaction.

More than eight in ten clients were satisfied with the overall service they received and were willing to recommend their adviser. 

Positively, over the past three years small improvements have been made in seven adviser performance measures – primarily relating to written agreements and information provision.

The main reasons for satisfaction were that the service was helpful, professional and timely.

Just under one in ten clients were dissatisfied with the service.  Primary reasons for dissatisfaction were because the service was too slow, an unhelpful service was provided and the adviser did not explain things clearly. 

As per the 2013/14 survey, the main suggested service improvements related to improved communication - for advisers to give clearer and more detailed explanations and to provide clients with ongoing and regular updates on progress.

Read the survey results >>

Read the press release >>

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

question mark.

Clause 17:

Before entering into a written agreement with the client, a licensed immigration adviser must:

Did you know that the summary of licensed immigration advisers’ professional responsibilities is available at iaa.govt.nz in:

Find the summary of licensed immigration advisers’ professional responsibilities here >>

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.