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$7,000 fine imposed after three-year immigration advice case

An Auckland woman must pay a fine of $7,000 after an Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) investigation into her history of providing immigration advice through a radio broadcast programme without a licence.

Alison Yang (also known as Jenny Fan and Xixia Fan) of Sea Consultants and Investments Limited was convicted as a result of charges filed by the IAA for providing immigration advice when she was neither licensed, nor exempt from the requirement to hold a licence. The second charge related to holding herself out as an immigration adviser, knowing she was not licensed or exempt.

Ms Yang was first convicted in 2014 on the charges before appealing, which resulted in the matter being remitted back to the Auckland District Court. Following resentencing, her appeal to the High Court for permanent name suppression and discharge without conviction was declined this week.

“For over three years, the IAA has pursued this case against Ms Yang for breaches of the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007. It is satisfying to finally conclude the matter and have the sentence imposed,” says Registrar of the IAA, Catherine Albiston.

“Ms Yang unlawfully broadcast her radio programme to the local Chinese community, many of whom could have been vulnerable to poor immigration advice.

“This conviction should send a clear message that the IAA takes non-compliance with the New Zealand immigration adviser licensing requirements very seriously.”

The IAA’s online register of licensed advisers(external link) is available for those who want to search for a licensed immigration adviser, view an adviser’s contact details, and view their licence history.

You can contact the IAA at www.iaa.govt.nz for more information or to raise any concerns about unlicensed immigration advice.


Notes to editor

The Immigration Advisers Authority was set up to promote and protect the interests of people receiving New Zealand immigration advice.

We do this by:

  • issuing licences to people who are fit and competent to give immigration advice
  • maintaining competency standards and a code of conduct for immigration advisers
  • investigating people giving immigration advice without a licence or exemption
  • receiving complaints from people who have received poor immigration advice.

Under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007(external link) anyone giving immigration advice must have a licence unless they are exempt. Exempt people include lawyers with a current New Zealand practising certificate and Citizens Advice Bureaux staff among others.

The Authority is independent of Immigration New Zealand and cannot give immigration advice or influence a visa application