This policy sets out how to apply to renew a full, limited, or provisional immigration adviser licence.
It is the responsibility of advisers to make sure that their licence is valid. The Registrar has no discretion to accept renewal applications received after the expiry of an adviser’s current licence.
A licence renewal application must be lodged with the Authority on or before the date on which the licence expires.
The Authority will email a renewal reminder around two months before an adviser’s licence expiry date. The Authority recommends that advisers submit their renewal application one month before their licence is due to expire.
If the Authority has lodged a licence renewal application, but has not assessed it before the date on which the licence would otherwise expire, the licence continues in force until the assessment of the application is complete.
When the Authority receives a late application it will be returned immediately.
If any adviser fails to maintain a current licence, the Registrar will record the expiry of the licence on the register and the adviser will no longer be able to give immigration advice and would need to apply for a new licence.
The Authority will not accept applications for renewal received more than two months before the expiry of the current licence. This means the information provided with the renewal is current at the time of assessment.
An adviser wishing to renew their licence must complete and submit the correct application form in hard copy, together with the required fee and supporting documentation.
A standard or fast-track renewal application must be submitted to the Authority in one of the following ways:
The Authority will return all renewal applications not received by one of the above means.
There are three renewal application streams: standard, fast track and inspections. All licensed immigration advisers must complete two standard renewals before they may become eligible for a fast-track renewal.
The standard renewal stream requires assessment of a client file and other evidence such as client account bank statements. The fast-track stream provides a more streamlined renewal process for those who have consistently demonstrated competence in the past. The inspections process allows for more in-depth assessment where there may be issues with an adviser meeting the competency standards or adhering to the code of conduct.
All renewal applicants must complete Form 301: Standard Renewal Application.
Applicants are required to provide:
The personal details section requires the applicant to give:
The place of residence section requires the applicant to state if they have been in New Zealand lawfully for more than 183 days in the last 12 months.
Applicants must provide their New Zealand immigration adviser licence number and type.
The contact details section requires the applicant to provide:
All addresses must be in the same country. Under section 77(2)(a) of the Act, the purpose of the register is to enable members of the public to know how to contact a licensed immigration adviser and to facilitate the compliance, audit and other supporting and administrative functions of the Registrar. The register must show a business, service and postal address for where the adviser is located.
The applicant may choose to have their business phone number, direct dial phone number, mobile number, fax number, business email address or business website shown on the public register of immigration advisers.
See the Fitness Policy for more information.
The applicant must list the CPD activities that they have undertaken in the 12-months before applying for the licence.
The applicant must state on the application how each CPD activity they have undertaken is relevant to their own development needs and to their profession and explain how the activity relates to one or more of the competency standards 2,3,4,5 and 6.
For further information see Continuing Professional Development in Part C: Professional Responsibilities Policy and Procedures Manual for Licensed Immigration Advisers.
The applicant must indicate the type and numbers of applications or requests that they have had returned / failed lodgement, withdrawn, declined or approved by Immigration New Zealand since their current licence was granted.
This information must come from the applicant’s own records. Please do not request an Immigration New Zealand activity record from Immigration New Zealand to obtain or verify this information. Approximate figures are acceptable.
For further information regarding File Management see Part D: Professional Practice Policy and Procedures Manual for Licensed Immigration Advisers.
The applicant must provide a copy of their internal complaints procedure.
If the applicant manages client funds and/or mixed funds, they must attach copies of:
Applicants are required to declare when they provide clients with a copy of the code of conduct and if they display the code of conduct and their immigration adviser licence in a prominent place in their business.
Section 9 requires the applicant to answer the following:
The Authority may request an adviser to provide evidence of a change in business practice at the adviser’s next renewal where the adviser has failed to demonstrate adherence to a particular aspect of the competency standards or the code of conduct and where the failing is not significant enough to warrant refusal of the application or a complaint. For example, the Authority may ask to see evidence that the adviser is using an amended written agreement with their clients.
A client file is a file that records the applicant’s work on behalf of a client in relation to a particular immigration matter. It should trace the applicant’s work on the client’s behalf, from the first contact with the client through to the resolution of the immigration matter. It should reflect an end-to-end process. The client file should be a copy of the information and documentation the applicant has kept.
Applicants are required to submit a copy of one client file relating to an application that has been tendered to Immigration New Zealand. The file must be one started during the current licensing period and should be finalised.
A client file is considered to be started from the date both parties to the written agreement have signed the written agreement.
The client file can relate to any immigration matter and should reflect the applicant’s competence and their business processes and practices.
The applicant should submit a client file where revenue was generated or fees charged. The entire client file should be in English, if there is any documentation or correspondence in another language, the applicant must provide translated copies.
The Registrar would expect to see the following on a complete client file:
The Authority is looking for evidence that the adviser is meeting the competency standards and complying with the code of conduct.
For more information see Part D: Professional Practice Policies and Procedures Manual for Licensed Immigration Advisers.
The applicant must provide the following information:
The applicant must authorise the client to discuss the work done with the Authority.
The applicant must also submit a client authorisation and declaration with the client file. They must also submit the client’s contact details.
The applicant must pay the licence application fee when applying for the licence.
For applicants who are ordinarily resident in New Zealand the licence renewal fee is NZ$909.78 and the immigration adviser’s levy is NZ$1129.55.
A person is ordinarily resident in new Zealand if they have spent ore than 183 days in New Zealand in the immediately preceding 12 months and are not unlawfully in New Zealand.
For applicants who are not ordinarily resident in New Zealand the licence renewal fee is NZ$791.11 and the immigration adviser’s levy is NZ$982.22
The immigration adviser’s levy is payable only if the Registrar approves the renewal application. If the application is successful, the Authority will contact the applicant to request the levy.
The renewal fee and levy are the same for both the standard and fast-track applications.
The Authority only accepts payments in New Zealand dollars. An applicant can pay their fee and levy by bank draft in New Zealand dollars, EFTPOS, New Zealand issued cheque and Visa or Mastercard.
The applicant must attach a passport-sized and quality photograph, taken within the last six months.
A person who has known the applicant for more than 12 months and is not a family member or living at the same address must verify the photograph as a true likeness of the applicant.
This photograph will be used on the applicant’s wallet card and certificate. It will also be available on the register.
The statutory declaration section requires the applicant to declare that the information that they have provided is correct. The declaration must be made in front of a person authorised to witness a statutory declaration.
The following persons may witness a statutory declaration made in New Zealand:
The following persons are authorised to witness a statutory declaration made outside of New Zealand:
All applicants must provide information about the fees that they charge for the provision of immigration advice. This does not form part of the renewal assessment. The Authority gathers this information to publish the median and average fees on its website for public reference.
This information also helps the Registrar to ascertain what fees are reasonable and fair for the purpose of section 8 of the code of conduct.
The Authority does not publish the fees charged by individual advisers.
If a provisional licence holder wishes to renew their provisional licence, they must also submit an application to have the existing supervision arrangement re-approved or a new supervision arrangement approved. The applicant and the supervisor must complete and send in with the applicant’s renewal application Form 301A: Supervision Arrangement Application (Renew) and all supporting documentation.
Information required in Form 301A: Supervision Arrangement Application (Renewal) (Form 301A).
The applicant will be required to provide the following information:
The proposed supervisor will be required to provide the following information:
The applicant must provide their full legal name.
They must also indicate whether they have had any conditions imposed on their supervision arrangement by the Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal. They will be required to provide a copy of the decision with Form 301A.
The applicant must provide a copy of their signed supervision agreement.
The Registrar has developed a model supervision agreement.
All supervision agreements must contain the following:
The applicant and the supervisor are required to keep a record of the meetings that have occurred during the course of the supervision. This record must be provided when the applicant applies to renew their licence and their supervision arrangement.
If the applicant is entering into a new supervision arrangement, they are required to provide a record of the minutes that were kept while they were being supervised by their former supervisor.
The applicant must provide details of how they have met the professional development plan that was outlined at their previous licence application.
They must provide details about what developmental goals they have met, the steps the applicant and the supervisor took to meet those goals, the date the developmental goal was achieved. They must include the supervisor’s sign off on the applicant having met those goals.
The applicant must provide details of
The applicant must acknowledge and declare that:
The proposed supervisor must provide the following details:
The proposed supervisor must declare whether they hold a full licence and if they are supervising another provisional licence holder.
Supervisors can only supervise two provisional licence holders at a time.
The supervisor must identify any commercial or professional conflicts of interest and determine how to manage these. They must provide details as to how they will manage these conflicts of interest.
The supervisor must declare if they are in a close personal relationship with the applicant and how they intend to manage this relationship while supervising the applicant.
The proposed supervisor must provide details of:
The proposed supervisor must acknowledge and declare that
The fast-track renewal process is for advisers who have demonstrated compliance with the code of conduct at their second renewal and therefore are low-risk renewal applicants.
An adviser is eligible to go through the fast-track renewal if they hold a full or limited licence and have completed two consecutive standard renewals.
Eligible advisers must qualify for a fast-track renewal. An eligible adviser qualifies for a fast-track renewal unless:
An adviser who has had a complaint made against them and has subsequently had a renewal approved through the standard renewal process may go through the fast-track stream even if the Tribunal has not made a decision on the complaint before the adviser’s next renewal. However, they must declare the complaint on the fitness section and the application will undergo a fitness assessment.
After every two consecutive fast-track renewal applications, advisers are required to lodge one standard renewal application in the following year.
The fast-track application form requires the applicant to provide:
The fee and levy are the same for a fast-track application as they are for a standard renewal application.
By signing the statutory declaration the applicant is declaring that they meet the standards set out in the competency standards, they have completed at least 20 hours of continuing professional development since the granting of their current licence, and that all information provided in the application form is complete, correct and up to date.
If the evidence provided in a fast-track renewal application raises any concerns about whether an adviser is meeting any of the competency standards, or indicates issues of non-compliance with the code of conduct, the Registrar may investigate those issues in full.
Licensed immigration advisers eligible for fast-track should always be prepared to lodge a standard renewal form. If a complaint is made shortly before an adviser’s renewal is due, the adviser will be required to lodge a standard renewal form. Advisers must be prepared to provide all the evidence required for a standard renewal.
Any person authorised by the Registrar may for the purpose of administering the licensing regime may carry out an inspection under sections 56 and 57 of the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007. Section 20 allows inspections to be employed as a method of determining an adviser’s competency.
The inspection powers are used to support the administration of the licensing regime. Inspections provide assessors with an educative tool to identify deficiencies in a licensed immigration adviser’s systems and improve the licensed immigration adviser’s competency and code of conduct compliance.
All licensed immigration advisers are eligible for an inspection. However, the Authority’s focus will be on licensed immigration advisers who have re-occurring issues meeting the Immigration Advisers Competency Standards and adhering to the Licensed Immigration Advisers Code of Conduct 2010.
Issues may include but are not limited to:
The Authority may decide to carry out an inspection in two ways:
Every quarter a group of advisers will be selected to undergo an inspection at renewal. The Authority will send notice of this along with the renewal reminder email that is sent out two months before an immigration adviser’s licence is due to expire.
The selected adviser will be informed that they have been picked for an inspection at renewal and the reason why. This email will set out the details of a client file for inspection that has been randomly chosen by the Authority from all applications lodged by the adviser to Immigration New Zealand in the previous year.
The inspection will follow the standard renewal process, with the exception that the client file has been randomly chosen by the Authority.
Depending on the quality of the information provided and if there is evidence of issues with meeting the competency standards or breaches of the code of conduct, the assessor will have four options:
An improvement letter will be issued if minor issues arise during the renewal process that relate to an adviser not meeting competency standards or breaching the code of conduct.
This letter will set out the issues and will outline what steps the adviser is expected to take to address these issues.
The adviser will be expected to demonstrate how they have addressed these issues at their next renewal. The adviser will not qualify for a fast-track renewal at their next renewal.
If the adviser is unable to demonstrate that they have improved on the issues outlined by their next renewal the Authority may make an own-motion complaint.
An on-site inspection will occur if the paper-based inspection raises specific deficiencies relating to the competency standards or code of conduct where more evidence is required to determine if an own-motion complaint or an improvement letter is required.
The adviser will be informed that the Authority intends to carry out an on-site inspection.
An own-motion complaint will be recommended by the licensing assessor if they are satisfied that the adviser has been educated on a competency standard or code of conduct breach but that the breach is re-occurring or serious.
The decision to lodge an own-motion complaint against an adviser will be made by the Registrar.
If a licensing assessor is satisfied that the adviser has no deficiencies in regards to competency standards or compliance with the code of conduct then no further action will be taken.
The adviser will be eligible for fast-track at their next renewal and if they qualify will be allowed to renew through the fast-track renewal process.
If an adviser is not selected for an inspection at renewal but the need for an inspection arises during a standard renewal, a licensing assessor may conduct a paper-based inspection where they request a specific client file from the adviser, carry out an on-site inspection or recommend an own-motion complaint.
Once the Authority has received an application form it will be checked to see if it is complete.
The Authority will not lodge an application where an applicant has not used the correct form. The Authority will not lodge applications that do not contain all the required information.
Once the Authority lodges the application, it will acknowledge the application and provide a receipt for the fee.
The lodged application is then allocated to an assessor. The assessor undertakes a fitness assessment (see the Fitness Policy for more information) and assesses each application against the Immigration Adviser Competency Standards 2013. You can read the competency standards in full.
The assessor will contact the applicant if they require further information. The assessor will not begin to assess the application until they have all the relevant documentation and information.
Once the assessor has finished assessing the application, it will be passed on to the Registrar who will decide whether the application meets licensing requirements and if the applicant should be granted or refused a licence.
The Registrar will approve an application if they are satisfied that the applicant:
If the application is approved, the Authority will inform the applicant by letter and will request the immigration adviser’s levy from the applicant.
If the applicant is based onshore they will have 20 working days to pay the levy. If the applicant is based offshore they will have 30 working days to pay the levy. Only once the levy has been paid will a licence be granted. A licence pack containing a wallet card and licence certificate will be sent to the applicant once a licence is granted. The register will be updated with the applicant’s details.
Licence renewals are valid for 12 months from the date of expiry of the previous licence.
If a licence application is refused, the applicant will be informed by letter. The applicant has a right to appeal the refusal of a licence to the New Zealand District Court.