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February newsletter

Message from Registrar Catherine Albiston

Image of Catherine Albiston, Registrar of Immigration Advisers

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2016 for the Immigration Advisers Authority. I hope you have enjoyed a refreshing summer break.

Here at the Authority, we are working on ensuring all aspects of our new online application processing are working well, and introducing a number of enhancements. We are committed to providing you with an excellent online experience and customer service. I acknowledge that there have been some delays in sending licence certificates and wallet cards and am pleased to let you know that the new system now allows us to automate this process.

I hope you are finding our new website useful and as always, I welcome feedback and suggestions for improvements. As a result of feedback, we are improving the speed of the website, and have made an amendment to the CPD Toolkit. You can read more about this below. This newsletter also includes some tips on using our online services.

What’s happening in 2016?

The Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment (MBIE) is making progress on reviewing the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007 and will be seeking adviser input at our first reference group meeting this year.

The Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice is being taught for the first time. Some licensed advisers along with the Qualification Steering Group are continuing to contribute to the development of the content throughout the first half of the year.

I have received great feedback from advisers who are setting up study groups around the world and I am encouraged with the response to the new CPD requirements. I am looking forward to running several free webinars on topics including the new CPD requirements, an introduction to the Code of Conduct for TTMRA advisers, and supervision.

Our 2016 Licensed Adviser Reference Group will be discussing these and other issues. Now is the time to put your name forward for this year’s Reference Group and I encourage you to do so.

I wish you all the very best for the year ahead and look forward to meeting with many of you.

Catherine Albiston,
Registrar of Immigration Advisers

Join the 2016 Reference Group!

Group of people image. We are calling for expressions of interest to join the Authority’s 2016 Reference Group, held in Auckland.

We will select 10 licensed immigration advisers from around New Zealand and the world, including an NZAMI representative and an NZAIP representative. We aim to have one at least one offshore adviser. The Authority will cover the travel costs for New Zealand-based advisers and the offshore adviser(s) will join by phone or webinar.

An INZ representative will also attend the meetings.

Reference group members may raise any issues they wish to discuss in this forum.

Based on the success of last year’s format, we will have five meetings again this year – every second month from March.

You need to be available for each of the five meetings on the following Wednesdays. Depending on the agenda, these may be reduced to half-day meetings, however you need to be able to commit to full-day meetings from 10.15am – 3pm.

To register your interest, please email us at info@iaa.govt.nz by 12 February 2016 outlining what you would bring to the group.

Read what was discussed by the 2015 group >>

Using IAA online services

Using our new online services you can:

First time licence applicants can also apply for their licence online.

We encourage you to login and check out all the new features. If you haven’t logged in to our website before, you will need your unique identification code that we emailed you last August. Contact us if you can’t locate that number.

You can login as an adviser from several different places on our website (eg Home page, update profile, log CPD). When you login for the very first time, you will automatically find yourself back on the home page. Anytime you login after that, you will go directly to the place you logged in from.

Our new For Advisers section includes:

Code of conduct webinar for Trans-Tasman advisers

In 2016, we are planning to run several free webinars to assist advisers. Our first webinar for 2016 is:

Thursday 25 February 2016 1 – 3pm

Code of Conduct requirements for Trans-Tasman advisers

This webinar will talk through the Licensed Immigration Advisers Code of Conduct. It is designed for TTMRA advisers who have not had the benefit of completing the Graduate Certificate in New Zealand Immigration Advice. However, anyone is welcome to attend.

To register click here https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4910743657899206658.

Future webinars will be run on:

CPD Toolkit update

Business people sitting around a laptop

We have updated the CPD Toolkit to allow you to count watching recordings of live seminars that involved interaction and feedback.

“You may count watching a recording of a seminar or other training session where that session includes interaction such as questions and answers. However, we do recommend that to get the most value from this activity you get together with at least one other adviser so that you can discuss the content.”

The change allows advisers to count towards their CPD hours watching a recording of a seminar that involved interaction or feedback. Previously the Toolkit stated that you must get together with another adviser and discuss it with them to count this activity. However, now you may count watching the recording alone (as long as the seminar itself includes interaction or feedback).

We do still strongly encourage you to get together and discuss the topic with another adviser if possible.

This change acknowledges that not all people who attend a live seminar ask questions but still benefit from the interaction, and that it is not always easy for advisers to travel to seminars.

Remember that you need to start following the new CPD requirements as soon as you renew your licence after 26 November 2015.

To renew your licence anytime before 25 November 2016, you can rely on completing 20 hours of relevant CPD that must include active learning and may include self-directed learning.

Once you have renewed your licence, you will need to prepare a CPD plan for your licensing year ahead.

As you complete acceptable CPD activities, you will need to log them in your CPD record and keep records of your participation.

If you are selected for an inspection renewal you will be required to show us your CPD Plan and Record for the past year.

You can now create a CPD plan and update your records online at iaa.govt.nz. You are not required to keep your records online. This tool is available for those who find it helpful. If you do use this tool it will be very easy to attach your records to an inspection renewal application. If you don’t use this tool you will still be able to upload your own CPD plan and record.

To find out what activities are acceptable and what must be kept in your CPD plan and record, read our CPD Toolkit which sets out the requirements and gives helpful guidance.

Read the CPD Toolkit >>

Are you recently licensed through the TTMRA?

If you are licensed as a New Zealand immigration adviser through the TTMRA, please remember that you are required to understand and adhere to all aspects of the New Zealand Licensed Immigration Advisers Code of Conduct. This includes, for example, maintaining full client files and providing all clients with our Professional Standards leaflet.

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

Please note that, since 26 November 2015, registered migration agents who are also licensed in New Zealand can no longer renew their licence through the TTMRA. You will need to complete the licence renewal forms that all New Zealand licensed immigration advisers complete.

Two months prior to your licence expiry date we will inform you whether you are required to complete a fast-track or inspection renewal form and this will be available for you to complete online.

You are required to complete New Zealand’s CPD requirements, but transitional arrangements allow you to rely on your Australian CPD for the previous year to renew your New Zealand licence between 26 November 2015 and 26 November 2016.

Read the Code of Conduct >>

Read the Code of Conduct Toolkit >>

Professional Standards leaflet >>

Last chance for industry places on the Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice

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In 2016, the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic will reserve 25 places in each intake of the Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice for people currently employed within immigration practices. These places can be either full-time or part-time.

To reserve an industry place in semester one 2016, your request must be received by Friday 5 February 2016.

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.

Semester one of the Graduate Diploma starts on 22 February 2016.

Read more about the Graduate Diploma >>

You asked... How do we select INZ files for inspection?

While most licensed advisers complete a fast-track renewal application, we select a number of advisers each year to be inspected.

In the first instance, inspection means that we require you to provide us with a specific client file relating to an application you have lodged with Immigration New Zealand in the last year.

The Authority has access to an information portal that allows us to see a list of the applications any adviser has submitted to Immigration New Zealand, including details such as whether they were approved or declined. The Authority also has read only access to AMS, INZ’s application management system.

Both INZ and the Authority are part of the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE).  Privacy Principle 10(c)(i) of the Privacy Act 1993 (section 6), deals with the use of information within an organisation and provides for use of information for another purpose if: necessary— to avoid prejudice to the maintenance of the law by any public sector agency, including the prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution, and punishment of offences. This Principle, in particular, provides the ability for the Authority to access this information.

Policy and Process advice to INZ Staff now available on Knowledge Base

All policy and process advice provided to INZ staff is now published on the Immigration Contact Centre’s Knowledge Base (KB), and will be updated on a regular basis. This is to ensure consistent and current advice is provided to INZ staff, the general public and immigration advisers.

Currently, advice to INZ staff is available to the public (including advisers) on the INZ website. However, the website page is being replaced by the KB to provide better search options.

The KB can be used to search for current advice to INZ staff on policy and processes, and can be accessed in these main ways:

INZ hopes that the KB provides a better source of current information for the public.

Did you know these IAA Online tips...?

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New Tribunal decisions

The Tribunal website has recently been updated with its most recent decisions.

A number of previously licensed advisers have been prevented from reapplying for a period of time, or pending conditions. Three advisers have had their licences cancelled by the Tribunal recently. These decisions are:

EBT v Mudaliar

[2015] NZIACDT 92 (16 October 2015) (PDF, 201KB)

Carley (INZ) v Kim

[2015] NZIACDT 107 (22 December 2015) (PDF, 183KB)

L v Kim

[2015] NZIACDT 108 (22 December 2015) (PDF, 186KB)

Khan v Khetarpal [2016] NZIACDT 6 (PDF, 239KB) 22 January 2016

J v Khetarpal [2016] NZIACDT 7 22 January 2016

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>>

What would you like to see in this newsletter this year?

Feedback image.

What topics would you like to see covered in this newsletter this year?

Email us at info@iaa.govt.nz.