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August 2019 Newsletter

Message from the Registrar

Tēnā koutou katoa,

It’s a busy time at the Authority, we are under some pressure at the moment with a flood of upgrade applications and a high number of initial applications in train. In addition to this we have our usual workload of renewals and inspections.

To make our jobs easier (and reduce us coming back to you for information) the licensing team has asked me to update a couple of points:

Upgrade applications: If you are intending to submit an upgrade application, you are not required to submit a renewal application at the same time. Upgrade applications cannot be done online. You will need to go to the Upgrade section of our website and read the form. If you want to email us your application to info@iaa.govt.nz there is a size limit and it helps to clearly reference emails with your licence no and subject, upgrade application.

A couple of things that would help us complete things more speedily are:

  • Provide a complete Continuing Professional Development (CPD) plan and record (if not already done on the portal)
  • Supervision records (see guidance here)
  • If selected for inspection; please read carefully and follow instructions on the inspection selection notice.

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has also been under pressure lately with above forecast visa volumes combined with low unemployment in a number of sectors. This, coupled with an increase in visa applications and a large number of applications requiring additional work, has compounded the issue.

Responding to these issues and delays, INZ ismaking swift changes to its systems with immediate operational initiatives to reduce duplication and remove unnecessary process steps. INZ is communicating this directly, however it can be helped with decision-ready applications from advisers and applicants. An example of the factsheets available is attached below.

This month has been busy with the New Zealand International Education Conference (NZIEC) last week, and the New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment (NZAMI) conference this week.

We have had some media generated regarding unlicensed advice and the Tribunal is continuing to publish decisions regularly.
Keep well and keep our standards high.

Andrew Galloway

Registrar of Immigration Advisers

Andrew Galloway, Registrar of Immigration Advisers

IAA Webinars

The IAA requires all New Zealand licensed advisers, including those who are Registered Migration Agents in Australia, to attend one webinar run by the IAA in 2019. You may count watching a recording of a seminar or other training session towards your CPD hours where that session includes interaction such as questions and answers. However, we do recommend that to get the most value from this activity you get together with at least one other adviser so that you can discuss the content.

To view a webinar, you are required to register your name and email address. Please take a screenshot of your completed registration page for your CPD record before you click “submit”. We are able to verify that you have viewed the recording once you register.

You can register for future webinars and view previous webinars here.

Last webinar: Wellbeing working for you and your clients

Tracey Sparksman has over 10 years of experience working for the Mental Health Foundation of NZ, most recently developing and delivering workplace wellbeing session within ACC and Auckland Council.

Tracey took us through a reflective session where we explored what wellbeing looks like for each of us and how we can build on the elements of our lives to help keep us well. Reflecting on what it looks like when things are tough going and how we can offer support to others when we sense they aren't having the best time. The lessons from this webinar can be equally applied to you and your teams, but also your clients.

Future webinars: Written agreements / Supervision

We are developing webinars on written agreements and supervision. I hope to have these available for registration in September to view in November 2019. I will have a link to register for these webinars in the next newsletter.

IAA in the media

An Auckland based business man has been charged with 13 offences by the Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) for knowingly providing immigration advice without being licensed or exempt. The alleged offending included advising clients to mislead New Zealand authorities.

See the media release here.

Survey of clients of advisers

We have received the second wave of results from a survey of the clients of advisers.

The total proportion of clients satisfied with service provided by licensed advisers remains high. 86% of clients were satisfied with the overall service they received and 91% were likely to recommend their adviser.  Both of these results show a slow but steady upward trend over time.

Adviser performance measures remain high and Adviser performance on compliance aspects show a modest improvement over time.

Tribunal decisions

There have been a couple noteworthy Tribunal decisions in the past month.

In INZ (Calder) v Wong [2019] IACDT 55 the original complaint was only partially upheld, but the adviser‘s licence was cancelled after he provided false evidence to the Tribunal, and failed to attend a Tribunal hearing.  The Tribunal stated in the decision that the breaches upheld in the original complaint would not usually give rise to cancellation of a licence, but  “…It is the aggravation of the original wrong-doing by providing false evidence to the Tribunal and then refusing to explain himself which justifies the cancellation of his licence…”.

In NTT v Gong [2019] IACDT 56, the adviser undertook work for a client with whom she had a prior friendship.  Amongst a number of other breaches, the adviser did not provide the client with a written agreement or confirm certain conversations in a formal way, due to the social nature of their relationship.  The Tribunal stated in the decision: “…The social origin of the relationship is not material. Once [the adviser] accepted instructions, the relationship became professional to the extent it concerned immigration matters and all the Code obligations applied in full… It illustrates the danger of mixing personal and professional relationships, particularly communications containing both”.

New decisions are appearing regularly and I encourage you to save the following link as a bookmark.

Read recent Tribunal decisions on the Justice website.(external link)