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Justice for overstayers

Media release
19 October 2011

Overstayers caught in visa scams can seek justice through the Immigration Advisers Authority.

Reports are received in complete confidence.

“Overstayers don’t need to be afraid,” says Registrar Barry Smedts.

“We have no power to deport them. We are not part of Immigration New Zealand – they make decisions on visas and we deal with visa scams. All we are interested in is bringing illegal immigration advisers to justice.

To report a scam involving an immigration adviser who’s not licensed, write or email the Authority explaining exactly what happened, giving dates and as much evidence as you can.

Reports can be made by the overstayer or a friend or family member. If there is enough evidence, the case may go to court. If the complaint is about a licensed immigration adviser, the case goes to a tribunal where compensation may be awarded.

In the last two months, the Authority has helped consumers win more than $80,000 in fees and compensation through the tribunal.

Mr Smedts says: “The advantage of using a licensed immigration adviser is you are more likely to get your money back. It comes down to a simple choice. If you choose to report the case to us, you may get justice and your money back but if you don’t report it you won’t get either. ”

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3…
Make sure you’re getting the best immigration advice or your money back.

The Immigration Advisers Authority
Attention: Complaints
PO Box 6222
Auckland 1141
or in an email to: info@iaa.govt.nz.

Notes to editor

The Immigration Advisers Authority was set up to promote and protect the interests of people receiving New Zealand immigration advice.

We do this by:

Under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007 anyone giving immigration advice must have a licence unless they are exempt. Exempt people include lawyers with a current New Zealand practising certificate and Citizens Advice Bureaux staff among others.

The Authority is independent of Immigration New Zealand and cannot give immigration advice or influence a visa application.