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Charges laid against unlicensed immigration adviser from Porirua

Media release

20 November 2015

The Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) has laid a total of 10 charges against a Porirua man in the Porirua District Court, following a thorough investigation.

The charges faced by the man under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007 include four charges of providing immigration advice without a licence; three charges of holding himself out as a licensed immigration adviser; and three charges of receiving fees for the provision of immigration advice.

The defendant has been remanded on bail until 11 December 2015.

“The IAA was set up to promote and protect the interests of people receiving New Zealand immigration advice," Registrar of the IAA, Catherine Albiston says.

“Unfortunately, there are people who operate unlawfully and are unlicensed. That’s why it’s very important that anyone seeking New Zealand immigration advice only use a licensed adviser or an exempt person.

“Licensed immigration advisers are immigration specialists; they must meet competency standards and follow a code of conduct. A free public register of all licensed advisers can be found on the iaa.govt.nz website.”

The public can have confidence that the IAA takes unlicensed activity very seriously and will prosecute unlicensed advisers that they believe may be operating outside the law, as is the case today.

"We encourage anyone who has received immigration advice from someone who is not licensed or exempt to come forward and speak to us," says Ms Albiston.

“The IAA is separate to Immigration New Zealand and contacting the IAA will not affect anyone's visa status.”

ENDS

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.