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Alleged unlicensed adviser faces 91 charges

Richard James Martin stood before the courts on 34 Crimes Act charges of forgery and 34 Immigration Act charges of providing false and misleading information to an immigration officer after an investigation by Immigration New Zealand (INZ).

The 46-year-old from Greenhithe entered no plea to the charges when he appeared in the Waitakere District Court on 20 December 2011. He was remanded on bail until 10 January 2012. The charges relate to visa applications made to INZ by Richard Martin Immigration Ltd of North Shore.

Each Crimes Act charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment, while the Immigration Act charges have a maximum of seven years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of $100,000.

Mr Martin is also appearing for trial in September 2012 at Auckland District Court on 23 charges laid by the Immigration Advisers Authority.

These include:

  • 11 charges of asking for or receiving fees for immigration advice when neither licensed nor exempt
  • Nine charges of providing immigration advice when neither licensed nor exempt
  • Two charges of forgery
  • One charge of holding out as an immigration adviser when neither licensed nor exempt.

The alleged offences, some of which took place under the company name of Richard Martin Immigration Ltd, took place between May 2009 and 2010.

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