Until 31 December 2014, there will be two pathways for provisional and limited licence holders to upgrade their licence.
This policy sets out the requirements to upgrade a limited or provisional immigration adviser licence for those applicants who were granted a licence under the Immigration Advisers Competency Standards 2010 and have not completed the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic’s Graduate Certificate in New Zealand Immigration Advice.
A limited or provisional licence holder may apply to the Registrar to upgrade their licence at any time.
A limited licence holder may apply to upgrade to a full licence.
A provisional licence holder may apply to upgrade to a full or limited licence.
For a provisional or limited licence holder to upgrade through the client file pathway they must:
An upgrade of a licence takes effect from either the date of expiry of the previous licence or the date on which the upgrade is granted, whichever occurs first.
The Authority will contact all limited and provisional licence holders before the expiry of their licences to determine whether the adviser wishes to renew or upgrade their licence.
To upgrade the licence, the applicant must complete and submit the Application Form for the Upgrade of an Immigration Adviser Licence (application), together with the required fee and supporting documentation.
The Authority must receive the licence application using one of the following ways:
The Authority will return all licence applications not received by one of the above means.
Once lodged, the Authority will acknowledge the application and provide a receipt for the fee.
If the Authority has lodged an upgrade 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.
The application requires the following information.
|Information required||Limited licence holders to a full licence||Provisional licence holders to a limited or full licence|
|Personal and contact details||√||√|
|Type of licence that the applicant is applying for||√||√|
|Fitness for licensing||√||√|
|Continuing professional development||√||√|
|Copy of the adviser’s internal complaints procedure||√||√|
|Evidence of managing client funds||If applicable||If applicable|
|Code of conduct||√||√|
|Other matters relating to competency||√||√|
|Supervisor declaration and reference||Not applicable||√|
|Business process questionnaire||Not applicable||√|
|Fee and Levy||√||√|
The personal details section requires the applicant to provide
The contact details section also requires the applicant to provide the following addresses:
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 must choose whether they are upgrading to a full or limited licence. If upgrading to a limited licence, the applicant may only choose up to three immigration matters to advise in.
See the Fitness Policy for more information.
Part C is divided into sections that require the applicant to provide information regarding continuing professional development (CPD), business activity, code of conduct, matters relating to competency, client files and the business process questionnaire.
The applicant must list the CPD activities that they have undertaken in the 12-month period before applying for the licence. These activities can be active learning or self directed learning activities.
For more information see Continuing Professional Development in Part C: Professional Responsibilities Policies and Procedures Manual for Licensed Immigration Advisers.
The applicant must indicate the type and numbers of applications or requests that they have had approved or declined 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 assessment purposes, the applicant must provide a copy of their internal complaints procedure.
If the applicant manages client funds through taking money (fees and/or disbursements including INZ fees) in advance they must attach copies of:
This section also asks whether applicants provide clients with a copy of the code of conduct, how they explain the code of conduct to clients; and if they display the code of conduct in a prominent place in their business at all times.
Section 4 requires the applicant to answer the following:
Depending on the application type, applicants must provide the following client files.
|Provisional to limited||Provisional to full||Limited to full|
The client files may relate to any immigration matter, but they should reflect the applicant’s competence and their business processes and practices.
The client files must be ones in which revenue was generated or fees charged.
The client files must be in English and should be copies only. The Authority allows applicants to translate client files from the first language into English; however, translations must be legible and information may be returned if readability is an issue.
A client file starts on the date of the signing of the service agreement between the client and the adviser.
A client file is substantially complete when INZ issues an approval in principle letter or notice and the application is only awaiting final decision.
The applicant must submit a client authorisation and declaration with each client file.
The client file must relate to a separate client or set of clients. For example, applicants may not submit two client files from one family.
The Registrar would expect to see the following on a complete client file (this list is not exhaustive):
The client file summary asks the applicant to comment on the following:
All provisional licence holders seeking to upgrade must provide client files completed under the direct supervision of the supervisor. The supervisor must sign the supervisor reference to verify this.
Limited licence holders have already demonstrated standards 1, 2, 5 and 6 during their initial licence assessment. They have also demonstrated standards 3 and 4 in the areas they currently practise.
The upgrade assessment for limited licence holders will focus on competency standards 3 and 4 in relation to the new areas of work they will be licensed to practise in, and competency standard 7 (professional development) since the initial grant of the licence.
Provisional licence holders have already demonstrated competency standards 1, 2 and 5.
Assessment for provisional licence holders will focus on the adviser’s application of competency standards 3 and 4. It will also assess competency standards 6 and 7 since the grant of their initial licence.
The Authority considers the following performance indicators against the client files and case studies submitted when assessing the competency standards for limited and provisional licence holders.
If the evidence provided in an application raises concerns if an adviser is meeting the competency standards or indicates non-compliance with the code of conduct, the Authority will consider these when assessing the application. The Authority may choose to put these concerns to the adviser or seek additional information.
The information below is a guide only.
|Competency||Performance Indicator||Assessment expectations|
|3.2||Demonstrate knowledge of and the ability to apply immigration and operational instructions made under the Immigration Act 2009.||Does the adviser have a good understanding of the relevant, current immigration law and immigration and operational instructions? Is the adviser familiar with the tools available, such as the INZ Operational Policy Manual, to help apply their knowledge?|
|3.3||Demonstrate knowledge of and the ability to provide tailored advice on avenues for seeking assistance including the Immigration New Zealand, Immigration Advisers Authority, and Immigration Protection Tribunal websites and the Immigration New Zealand contact centre.||Given a complex real-life scenario, can the adviser identify the most appropriate avenue for seeking assistance for the client?|
|3.4||Demonstrate knowledge of and the ability to provide tailored advice on the full range of immigration matters relating to applications, appeals, requests, claims and other representations.||Given a complex real-life scenario, can the adviser identify the most appropriate immigration option for the client?|
|4.1||Demonstrate the ability to assess a client’s immigration situation.||Does the client file demonstrate:
|4.2||Demonstrate the ability to provide services in an ethical, timely, conscientious, complete and accurate manner.||Does the client file demonstrate the adviser’s ability to:
|4.3||Represent clients through the immigration process||Does the client file demonstrate the adviser’s ability to:
|6.1||Demonstrate understanding of and commitment to professional, ethical, socially responsible and culturally sensitive behaviour and practice; in particular to all aspects of the licensed immigration advisers code of conduct.||Does the client file demonstrate the adviser’s ability to:
|6.3||Demonstrate the ability to manage a business in accordance with New Zealand law and the licensed immigration advisers code conduct including the management of client services, business accounts and finances and where appropriate seek the assistance of other professionals.||Does the client file demonstrate the advisers ability to:
|6.5||Demonstrate the ability to develop and maintain ethical and professional relationships with Immigration New Zealand and other relevant organisations.||Does the client file demonstrate the adviser’s ability to develop a good professional relationship with INZ and other organisations, demonstrated by correspondence like letters or emails?|
|6.6||Demonstrate the ability to develop and maintain ethical and professional relationships with clients.||Does the client file demonstrate the adviser’s ability to develop a good professional relationship with their client, demonstrated by correspondence like letters or emails?|
|6.7||Demonstrate the ability to develop and apply a clear and understandable written agreement.||Does the written agreement show evidence of:
|6.8||Demonstrate understanding of the importance of qualify assurance techniques to the provision of immigration advice.||Does the adviser use any of the following techniques: checklists, peer reviews, case reviews, supervisor reviews, team briefings?|
The supervisor of the provisional licence holder needs to complete the supervisor reference.
They must comment on how the applicant has developed the skills and knowledge necessary to apply for either a limited or a full licence in relation to competency standards 3, 4 and 6.
Provisional licence holders must complete the business processes questionnaire, which examines:
For applicants who are ordinarily resident in New Zealand the licence upgrade fee is NZ$546.89 and the immigration adviser’s levy is NZ$1129.55.
For applicants who are not ordinarily resident in New Zealand the licence upgrade fee is NZ$475.56 and the immigration adviser’s levy is NZ$982.22.
The applicant must submit the upgrade application fee with their application. The advisers levy is only payable if the Registrar determines that the applicant is eligible to have their licence upgraded.
The Authority will reduce the levy charged in proportion to the unexpired portion of the current licence to ensure that there is no double payment.
To verify their identity, 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.
The authorisation and 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 upgrade 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 form a view as to 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.
Limited licence applicants applying for a full licence are required to complete two case studies in immigration advice areas that they did not specialise in with their limited licence.
Once the Authority lodges the application it will send the applicant the cases studies to complete. The case studies are sent to the service address given on the application.
The case studies include a scenario and questions regarding each part of the immigration process. These ask the applicant to demonstrate their knowledge in areas outside their current scope of practice.
The applicant is required to provide detailed answers, reference the relevant sections of the INZ Operational Manual and complete the case studies without the assistance of any other person.
The applicant is required to sign a declaration that confirms that they completed the case studies without any assistance, that they acknowledge that the case studies form part of the assessment to upgrade from a limited to full licence and that they are willing to be contacted by the Authority if required to discuss the case studies. The case studies are assessed using the same performance indicators used for client file assessment.
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:
The Registrar may:
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.
Upgrade licences are valid for 12 months from the date the Registrar grants it or the expiry of the previous licence, whichever occurs first.
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.