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Survey of New Zealand Visa Applicants Who Have Used an Immigration Adviser, 2014

Conducted for the Immigration Advisers Authority by Premium Research

Introduction

Since 2009 the Immigration Advisers Authority has surveyed clients who have used a licensed immigration adviser.

The survey of visa applicants who used an adviser is undertaken using an online methodology. Applicants who have received a decision on their application and were recorded by Immigration New Zealand as having used a licensed immigration adviser with a personal email addresses on record, were invited to participate. The questionnaire is provided in English and Simplified Chinese.

This document provides a summary of the key findings of the surveys conducted between 1 May 2013 and 30 April 2014). All results shown are for clients who used a licensed adviser (including any comparisons to earlier surveys).

Summary

Overall, perceptions of licensed advisers remain very favourable with 87% of clients saying they would be willing to recommend their adviser to friends or family. This reflects high service satisfaction scores, with a total of 83% of clients satisfied with the overall service they received. The primary reasons for satisfaction were that the service was helpful, professional and honest.

"Services were informative and timely. Adviser was very professional and helpful."

"Very professional at all times, with clear information being provided at every step of the process."

There are still some dissatisfied clients, a total of 8% of clients were dissatisfied with the overall quality of the service and 8% said the quality of service was worse than they expected. The primary suggested service improvements are communication related i.e. giving clearer explanations and detailed information and keeping in contact with the applicant.

Overall Satisfaction

Just over eight in ten applicants (83%) were satisfied with the overall quality of service they received from their licensed adviser. This result is in line with the 2013 result of 82 percent, but is lower than in 2012 (87%).

The main reasons for being satisfied overall were similar to previous years. The top three reasons given by clients in 2013/14 were:

This year there was an increase in clients saying they were satisfied overall because their adviser was knowledgeable and experienced (17%, up from 13% in 2012/13) and kept in contact and provided updates (14%, up from 9% in 2012/13).

Eight percent of clients were dissatisfied overall. The main reasons for being dissatisfied were similar to earlier surveys with just some small changes compared to 2012/13. The top three reasons given by clients in 2013/14 were:

Recommendation

A high 87 percent of applicants who used a licensed adviser said they would be likely to recommend their adviser to friends or family. This result is similar to 2012/13 (85%) and 2011/12 (90%).

Adviser Performance

Applicants were asked to rate their adviser on the following areas: client service, communication, provision of information, timeliness, written agreements and cost. Ratings for the 35 attributes measured in the survey ranged from a high of 94 percent to 69 percent.

Areas where licensed advisers were rated the highest were:

Areas where performance was rated the lowest (and the only attributes to be rated below 80%) were the same as observed in 2012/13:

Performance on all attributes was mostly stable with 2012/13 results, or showed small improvements. The attribute with the greatest improvement from 2012/13 was: returning my personal information, passports and other documents on request and without delay (91%, up from 84% in 2012/13).

Benefits of Using an Adviser

A new question in the 2013/14 survey asked clients to choose (from a list) the main reasons why they decided to use a licensed adviser to assist with their application. The most common reasons were:

Clients were also asked what they felt the main benefits of using a licensed adviser were. The most common benefits mentioned were:

Unchanged from the last survey, more than eight in ten clients agreed that as a result of using a licensed adviser:

Service Improvement

All clients were asked what the one thing advisers could do to improve their service was. While the same themes emerged as in 2012/13, there were some small changes in the proportions that mentioned each of the top three suggestions:

Information Provision

Just under two-thirds of clients (64%) said their adviser provided them with a copy of the Code of Conduct or the Licensed Advisers Professional Standards. This is a little higher than the 59 percent who received the Code of Conduct in 2012/13, but is still below earlier survey levels.

Eighty-five percent of clients (the same proportion since 2011/12) were provided with a written agreement.

Relatively unchanged over time, just under half of clients (47%) were aware of how to make a complaint if they were unhappy with the service received from their licensed adviser. Those who had actually made a complaint remains low at just 1%.

Awareness

Unchanged from previous surveys, the most common way to hear about licensed advisers was via friends or family (46%) followed by the client’s work/employer (25%) and then the internet (20%). The proportion of clients finding their adviser via their work/employer is up from 2012/13 (by 4%).

Relatively unchanged over time, less than one in ten clients (8%) heard about their licensed adviser via the online IAA register.