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April 2017 newsletter

Registrar update

Last week we launched a campaign in South Africa to raise awareness among the general public of where to go for professional immigration advice, and to remind travel agents that they cannot give New Zealand immigration advice without a licence.

The campaign includes a general media release, a radio interview which will reach 500,000 people, targeted social media adverts and an article published in the Association for South African Travel Agents national newsletter.

Our social media campaign targeting Fiji, Samoa, Tonga as well as Pacific Island communities in New Zealand wrapped up in March. Our ads reached more than 300,000 people an average of eight times each and generated more than 35,000 extra visits to the IAA website. Combined with radio advertising, and TV and print coverage in January, the campaign has been successful in raising awareness among Pacific communities in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and New Zealand about where to go for reliable immigration advice. On the back of this, INZ in Samoa and Tonga are giving away our popular flag pens with Pacific Access Category applications this month.

In March the Authority was also out and about promoting awareness about licensing in Christchurch and at Pasifika in Auckland.

Finally, I would like to encourage you all to consider taking on a Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice student for a work placement as part of their studies. You can read more about how the work placements work below.

Catherine Albiston

Registrar of Immigration Advisers

catherine albiston

How do work placements work?

Students completing the Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice have the option of taking a work placement course in the second half of their studies.

The purpose of the work placement course is to give students an opportunity to observe and reflect on the professional practice of a licensed adviser and to discuss real situations with a licensed adviser. It gives them an opportunity to see first-hand the daily challenges and professional practices of a licensed adviser.

Both advisers and students who participated in 2016 gave very positive feedback about the experience and encouraged others to give it a go.

Work placements can only take place where a student can attend the physical premises of the licensed adviser. They cannot be done virtually.

Work placements run for 13 weeks in both semesters one and two each academic year. Students are expected to spend a minimum of 80 hours for the duration of the placement. They are also required to spend an additional 8 hours each week writing up reflections and maintaining a log-book for assessment.

Students are not to be paid for their time on work placements, unless they are an existing employee of the company, and similarly they are not expected to pay to do the work placement. The placement itself cannot be considered to be a trial period for employment purposes; there would need to be a separate employment agreement for that.

When you agree to take on a student for a work placement, an agreement is signed between yourself, the student and Toi Ohomai so everyone is clear about their role. There are specific obligations on students regarding confidentiality and intellectual property.

To talk to Toi Ohomai about hosting a student, contact Jeni Fountain

For all the information you need to know, check out Toi Ohomai’s Work Placement Handbook

Working with education agents

Those of you working in the India market will be aware that Immigration New Zealand is working hard to identify and combat fraud, particularly in the international student market.

In light of the new Code of Pastoral Care, many education providers have started naming agents on their Offers of Place and noting that the offer is invalid unless the visa application was lodged by that agent. INZ has endorsed this approach and strongly recommends that providers put the name of the agent on all Offers of Place. While it is not an INZ requirement to have the agent named on the Offer of Place, if the provider states that the Offer is only valid for the agent or agents named, then INZ will treat it as such.

This means that where a licensed adviser is working with an education agent, they must ensure that the education provider is aware of this arrangement and both the adviser and agent can be named on the Offer of Place.

We caution, however, that where licensed advisers are working with education agents, they take care to ensure that they have a client relationship with the student and follow all of their obligations under the Immigration Advisers Code of Conduct 2014. For example, they must have a written agreement with the student, take informed instructions and maintain communications with the student as required under the Code. As with all your clients, you need to take due care to satisfy yourself that documents are not fraudulent.

2017 webinars

The limits of New Zealand immigration advice: What can unlicensed and clerical staff do?

Wednesday 12 April 3-5pm

This webinar will talk through what is immigration advice and what is clerical work. It is designed for all licensed advisers working in an environment where there are unlicensed staff or employers. This is a repeat of the same webinar run in February.

Please register for this webinar here.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

View all webinars

Christchurch Consumer Rights Day

The 21st of March 2017 marked Consumer Rights Day in New Zealand and the IAA joined the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment’s Consumer Protection team in Christchurch to raise awareness of how consumer protection can be strengthened. 

Registrar Catherine Albiston was at the event to talk about the issues faced by consumers who seek New Zealand immigration advice from unlawful advisers, and how the IAA can help.

The IAA will continue to work with MBIE’s Consumer Protection team as Consumer Rights Day moves to various locations around the country, ensuring consumer rights are celebrated and protected each year.

Check out the Consumer protection website(external link)

Pasifika 2017

The IAA teamed up with Tenancy Services, Employment New Zealand and Consumer Protection from the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment for a successful weekend of engaging with the Auckland community at the recent Pasifika festival.

Held the weekend of 25-26 March, 60,000 attendees filled the grounds of Auckland’s Western Springs for the 25th anniversary of Pasifika, an annual festival dedicated to growing the potential of Pacific communities in New Zealand.

MBIE’s team was joined by Department of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Pacific Peoples to form an all-of-government village, where staff engaged attendees with information on different parts of government. 

The IAA’s attendance supported our wider goal of giving those looking for New Zealand immigration advice the information and tools required to succeed.

Professional standards leaflets

As you know, you must give and explain the IAA’s Professional Standards leaflet to each of your clients. We are pleased to let you know that the leaflets in Chinese, Korean, Samoan and Tongan  have now all been updated to reflect the IAA’s new look.

Access the Professional Standards leaflets

Industry places on the Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice

>Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology will reserve 25 places in the July intake of the Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice for people currently employed within immigration practices. These places can be either full-time or part-time.

To reserve an industry place, the employer needs to contact Lynette Steele and confirm that the employee:

  • Has a formal employment relationship with their organisation.
  • Will be required by their organisation to apply for an immigration adviser licence once they graduate.

Once an industry place has been offered to the employer’s organisation, the prospective student will need to apply and meet the academic and entry requirements of the programme before they can enrol and utilise the place reserved in their name.

Semester two of the Graduate Diploma starts on 17 July 2017.

Read more about the Graduate Diploma(external link)

How long does it take...?

Many of our calls from advisers are to ask how long an application will take to process. So to answer your question in advance here are our numbers so far this year.

Since 1 July 2016 we have processed:

  • 96 percent of new and upgrade licence applications within 15 working days.
  • 99 percent of fast-track renewal applications within five working days.
  • 86 percent of inspection renewal applications within 25 days of receiving the full application.

If your application is one of the few processed outside these timelines, please be assured that we are working hard to process it as soon as we can.