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2013 Migrant survey results

Survey of New Zealand visa applicants who have used an Immigration Adviser 2012/2013. Conducted for the Immigration Advisers Authority by Premium Research.


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 was undertaken using an online methodology.  Applicants who had received a decision on their application and were recorded by Immigration New Zealand as having used a licensed immigration adviser (between 1 May 2012 and 30 April 2013) with a personal email addresses on record, were invited to participate.  The questionnaire was provided in English and Simplified Chinese.

The document below provides a summary of the key findings of the surveys conducted in the 2012/2013 financial year.  All results shown are for clients who used a licensed adviser (including any comparisons to earlier surveys).

Overall Satisfaction

Just over eight in ten (82%) clients were satisfied with the overall quality of service they received from their licensed adviser.  This result is a statistically significant decrease from 2012 (87%), but remains higher than the 2011 result (75%).

The main reasons for being satisfied overall were similar to 2011 and 2012.  The top three reasons given by clients in 2013 were:

  • Because a good, helpful service was provided (49%)
  • The adviser was professional/honest (23%)
  • A fast/timely service was provided (20%).

This year there was an increase in clients saying they were satisfied overall because their adviser explained things clearly (18%, up from 11% in 2012 and 10% in 2010).

The main reasons for being dissatisfied have also remained relatively stable over time.  The top three reasons given by clients in 2013 were:

  • Poor/unhelpful service (6%)
  • The service was too expensive (5%)
  • The process was too slow/lengthy (5%).


Eighty-five percent of applicants who used a licensed adviser said they would be likely to recommend their adviser to friends or family.  This result is down slightly from 90 percent in 2012, but overall shows an increasing trend over time since 2009.

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 ranged from a high of 93 percent to a low of 70 percent.

Areas where licensed advisers were rated the highest were:

  • Being respectful of clients' culture (93% of clients rated advisers as performing 'very well/well' in this area)
  • Communicating in English (93%)
  • Asking clients to confirm the terms of the agreement in writing (93%).

Areas where performance was rated the lowest (and the only attributes to be rated below 80%) were:

  • Explaining the refund policy (70% rated advisers as performing ‘very well/well’)
  • Referring me to someone else if specialist advice was needed (73%)
  • Providing services for a reasonable cost (75%)
  • Providing a written record of all important discussions (77%).

Performance on all attributes was mostly stable with 2012 results, or showed small declines.  Attributes with the greatest decline from 2012 were:

  • Returning personal information/documents on request (84%; down from 92% in 2012)
  • Delivering services within the agreed timeframe (83%, down from 88%)
  • Representing my interests well (86%, down from 90%)
  • Recording and agreeing any changes to the agreement in writing (86%, down from 90%)
  • Delivering services within a reasonable amount of time (84%, down from 88%).

Benefits of Using an Adviser

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

  • Knowledge/experience/advice (44%)
  • Easy/hassle-free (25%)
  • Good/helpful service (17%)
  • Fast/saves time (16%).

More than eight in ten clients agreed that as a result of using a licensed adviser:

  • Their impression of New Zealand as a migration destination was positive (88% of clients agreed)
  • They felt their interests as a consumer were protected (86%)
  • They had a better chance of having a successful visa application (85%).

Service Improvement

All clients were asked what the one thing advisers could do to improve their service was.  While similar themes emerged, there have been some small movements in the main suggested service improvements clients gave compared to 2012:

  • Explain clearly/give detailed information (13%, the same result as in 2012)
  • Give good/friendly/helpful service (11%, up from 7% in 2012)
  • Keep in contact/keep me updated (10%, up from 6%).

Information Provision

Around six in ten clients (59%) said they received a copy of the Licensed Immigration Advisers Code of Conduct.  This result is down from the 2011 and 2012 result of 67 percent. 

Eighty-five percent of clients (the same proportion as in 2012) were provided with a written agreement. 

Just under half of clients (49% - a similar result to 2011 and 2012) were aware of how to make a formal complaint.  Three percent of clients had made a complaint (similar to 2% in 2011 and 2012).

Just over a third of clients (34%) had seen a copy of the Consumer Guide.  However, only 15 percent of all clients surveyed had actually read the guide.  The information perceived to be most useful among those who had read the Consumer Guide were: options for obtaining advice (55%) and what to expect when I use a licensed adviser (54%).  Information rated by the lowest proportion of clients as being useful was: how to report people giving advice without a licence (20%) and the checklist for using a licensed adviser (29%).


As in previous years, the most common way to hear about licensed advisers was via friends or family (50%) followed by the client’s work/employer (21%) and then the internet (21%).  The proportion of clients finding their adviser via their work/employer or via the internet are both up from 2012 levels.  Less than one in ten clients (9%) heard about their licensed adviser via the online IAA register (similar to 8% in 2012).