April 2016 newsletters
In March I visited India, meeting with our licensed advisers there as well as Immigration New Zealand staff in New Delhi and Mumbai, and Education New Zealand. Along with Geoff Scott, INZ’s Assistant General Manager responsible for the region, I travelled to Amritsar and Jalandhar in the Punjab region and saw first-hand the prevalence of unlicensed immigration advisers. To help combat this problem, we took the opportunity to raise awareness of the importance and value of using a licensed adviser, and we generated excellent publicity. You can read more about this below. In addition, INZ in India is taking a very strong and proactive approach, identifying when unlicensed advisers are involved and declining dishonest applicants.
Our first reference group meeting of the year was very interesting with a diverse range of advisers on this year’s group. Among other things, we discussed ideas and proposals for changes to the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act.I look forward to this year’s ongoing discussions.
In March we had a strong presence at both Pasifika and Polyfest, the two largest annual events for Auckland’s Pacific communities. We have also refreshed all our Guides to Licensed Advisers and Factsheets, adding two new languages – Hindi and Punjabi.
In April, don’t miss our webinar on the Authority’s new CPD requirements. You can also look out for the launch of our three-month campaign in Indian and Filipino New Zealand-based print, online and radio media to raise awareness of licensed immigration advisers.
Registrar of Immigration Advisers
Raising Awareness in India
In early March, IAA Registrar Catherine Albiston and Immigration New Zealand (INZ) Assistant General Manager Geoff Scott travelled to the Indian cities of Mumbai, New Delhi, Amritsar and Jalandhar as part of a campaign to raise awareness that anyone providing New Zealand immigration advice, except advice on student visas only, must be licensed.
Our aim was to raise awareness of licensed immigration advisers, and to help ensure Indian residents looking to migrate to New Zealand know what they need to do when seeking immigration advice. We focused on that particular region of India because we were aware there was a real issue with unlicensed advisers.
IAA advertisements ran in 12 publications across Amritsar, Chandigarh and Jalandhar in Punjabi, Hindi and English. A media release was distributed in all three languages, and Catherine and Geoff conducted a number of interviews, resulting in more than 35 stories being run in publications across the region.
A social media advertising campaign targeting Mumbai, Delhi, Jalandhar and Amritsar was run concurrently with Catherine and Geoff’s trip, and also attracted significant attention. The ads were viewed nearly 1.5 million times and ‘clicked on’ nearly 37,000 times.
As a result, between February and March 2016 there was an 86% increase in visits to our website iaa.govt.nz, and 75% increase in users. In India there was a 434% increase in visits, with visits from New Delhi increasing 933%, Mumbai 639%, Chandigarh 566%, Amritsar 827% and Jalandhar 1091%.
New Guides to Licensed Immigration Advisers
We have recently updated all our Guides to Licensed Advisers and have produced them in two new languages: Hindi and Punjabi.
If you wish to distribute these Guides you can find them here or contact us for hard copies.
New factsheet for education agents
We have created a new factsheet for education agents and have produced it in English, Hindi and Punjabi.
Have used our online CPD plan and record?
You can log-in at iaa.govt.nz to start or update your CPD plan for the year and record activities you complete. If this is the first time you are logging-in you will need your activation code. Please contact us if you don’t have it.
Remember that you need to start following the new CPD requirements as soon as you renew your licence after 26 November 2015.
Our CPD Toolkit sets out all our requirements as well as extra guidance. You need to read and understand our CPD Toolkit in order to understand your obligations as a licensed immigration adviser.
The IAA attends Pasifika and Polyfest
March was a busy month for the IAA in Auckland. On 12 March, we attended the Pasifika Festival held at Western Springs, and we were out again the following weekend at Polyfest at the Manukau Sports Bowl.
The Pasifika Festival has been running since 1992, and attracts over 75,000 people to spend the weekend enjoying food, performances and markets from 11 different Pacific Islands.
The annual Polyfest is now the largest Polynesian Festival in the world. It features traditional music, dance, costume and speech from New Zealand’s youth, and attracts over 9,000 students and 90,000 visitors.
Both the Pasifika Festival and Polyfest were great opportunities for the IAA to engage with Pacific communities in New Zealand to ensure they’re aware of the importance of using a licensed adviser when seeking immigration advice.
At both festivals, the IAA was located at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment stall, along with colleagues in areas such as Tenancy, Employment and Consumer Rights.
The stall received a large number of visitors interested in learning more about the services the IAA offers, and to have their questions answered by experts at the stall. We gave out 5000 “flag pens” with the Authority’s key messages in English, Samoan and Tongan.
The event was a great way to reach out to the Pacific community and provide more information about the work of the IAA and licensed advisers.
New Tribunal decisions
Reading Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal decisions will help develop your understanding of the standards expected of licensed immigration advisers.