View Immigration advisers authority home page
About us small banner

Complain about an unlicensed immigration adviser

You can help stop illegal immigration advisers by reporting them to us. Find out how to complain about an unlicensed immigration adviser.

Providing New Zealand immigration advice when neither licensed nor exempt is an offence under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act. Anyone found breaking the law can face 7 years in prison and a fine of up to NZ$100,000. 

You can help stop illegal immigration advisers by reporting them to us.

Anyone can complain about an unlicensed immigration adviser. You do not need to be the person who received the immigration advice.

If you make a complaint to us at the Immigration Advisers Authority:

  • there is no cost for making a complaint to us
  • it will not affect any immigration matters you may have before Immigration New Zealand
  • we cannot influence your immigration status.

How to check if an immigration adviser is licensed or exempt 

Check if the person in question has a licence on the online register.

You can check if they are exempt by checking our list of exempt persons.

If the person is a licensed immigration adviser and you still want to complain about them, go to Complain about a licensed immigration adviser. 

How to make a complaint

Fill out and send us the complaints form to complain about an unlicensed immigration adviser. 

You will need to provide detailed information about your complaint, including:

  • what the complaint is about
  • supporting evidence. 

What happens after you make a complaint

When we receive and accept your complaint form, we’ll assign an investigator to your complaint.

The investigator may contact you with updates or questions about the complaint. 

We use a range of regulatory tools to address this type of offending, and may prosecute individuals who are in breach of the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007.

Prosecutions require a high standard of evidence and must be in the public interest as the offences have a maximum sentence of 7 years imprisonment and/or $100,000 fine.

How long the complaints process takes

Investigations against unlicensed persons generally can take 3 months to over a year to process. This timeframe depends on several factors including:

  • the number of witnesses and offenders
  • the level of harm
  • whether collaboration with other agencies is required
  • the supporting evidence available to prove the offending.