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August 2020 Newsletter

Message from the Registrar

Tēnā koutou katoa,

As I write this, in Auckland we have been moved back up to Alert Level Three so myself and the Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) team are once again working remotely. The global pandemic continues to significantly affect numerous aspects of New Zealander’s lives and the work of many industries, including licensed immigration advisers. We know that uncertain times lie ahead, but we also know that the immigration industry is resilient. This has been shown time and time again over the years, throughout many changes in the global economy and immigration policies.

At the IAA we have been working hard over the past month to improve aspects of our business during these unsettling times, including updating licensing forms to make them clearer and more user-friendly. We have also tried to continue business as normally as possible, including running the Licensed Immigration Adviser Reference Group virtually for the second time this year.

The numbers of licensed immigration advisers continues to remain stable, consistently sitting at around 1,180 practitioners over the past few months. Recently we have had a high volume of initial and upgrade licence applications, so we do apologise if there have been any delays for those waiting on an outcome for these types of applications.

The Immigration Advisers Complaints & Disciplinary Tribunal continues to uphold the high standards expected in the industry, and has published a number of new decisions over the past month which I encourage you to read.

Finally, this will be my last newsletter to you as Registrar, as I am moving on to a new opportunity in the building and construction regulatory area. I am pleased to announce that Duncan Connor has been appointed by the Chief Executive to take on the statutory functions as Registrar. Duncan is currently the Operations Manager for the Occupational Licensing Team (where the IAA sits with other regulated professions such as licensed building practitioners and electrical workers). Duncan will be fulfilling both his manager role and the Registrar role.

I have greatly enjoyed my past three years with the IAA, and I am very proud of the high standards and passion within the industry. The work of licensed immigration advisers has a meaningful and significant impact on the lives of those who choose to call New Zealand home. I would like to sincerely thank you all for the positive engagement we have had, the honest feedback I have received from you, and the encouragement you have given me in my time at the IAA. I wish you all the very best for the future.

Ngā mihi

Simon van Weeghel

Acting Registrar of Immigration Advisers

portrait simon van weeghel

COVID 19 Update - IAA Head Office closed

All Immigration Advisers Authority head office services (which is based in Auckland) are currently operating at slightly reduced capacity, with all of our staff working remotely. Please expect delays to any mail services sent to or from us.

However, our client service centre and other key suppliers are fully operational. Please expect minor delays while we catch up on delayed work.

2020 Reference group update

We have now had our second virtual Reference group meeting. As mentioned previously, each session will focus on a particular topic. The latest topic focused on the current CPD requirements, what is going well and what could be improved.

The minutes are now published and available for review. Reference group minutes, 29 July

Licensing matters

New forms

301A- Renewal of supervision arrangement [PDF, 336 KB] - (required for PLH who are renewing their licence under the inspection stream).

If you are seeking to renew your current supervision arrangement, please make sure to complete the current version (July 2020) to avoid any delays in lodging your application.

Upgrade form [PDF, 528 KB] – the Licensing Team is in the process of reviewing and updating the current application form. If you are seeking to upgrade, check our website for the current application form.

Webinars

As part of mandatory continuing professional development, all licensed immigration advisers must attend at least one webinar during their annual licensing period.

Our first Zoom webinar for this year took place on 15th July 2020. For those that were able to attend the live session, you should have received an email to confirm your attendance the following day.

If you were unable to join the live webinar session, you can now register to watch a recording of the live session.

The presentation slides are also available for you to download in PDF format. You will find these below the registration link on our website.

Ensure that your records and evidence meet the requirements as set out in the CPD Toolkit, available online.

The IAA is always looking to improve our webinars and we are keen to hear what topics you would like to see in future webinars. Please send any feedback or ideas to info@iaa.govt.nz with the subject line “Feedback-Webinar”.

Find out more about past and upcoming webinars.

Licence ID packs

We have recently had a number of returned/ missing Licence ID packs as no one has been available to receive them.

We understand that some advisers may still be unable to work from their usual business address during these uncertain times. If you are planning to renew your licence online and are unable to receive mail to your business address (as listed on the public Register), please contact the Authority to confirm a suitable alternative address, which is not a PO Box prior to submitting your application.

Note: Licence ID packs are couriered to your registered business address, so someone is available to receive it during business hours.

An alternate delivery address must be sent to info@iaa.govt.nz. Please wait for the Authority to confirm receipt of the request before you finalise your online renewal application.

Tribunal decisions

In a recent decision the Immigration Advisers Complaints & Disciplinary Tribunal has again made mention of the obligation on a licensed immigration adviser to manage their workload so they can fulfil their professional obligations to clients.  In Y(O)R v Tian [2020] NZIACDT 36, the Tribunal stated:

“…It is not clear whether [the adviser’s] unprofessional conduct is caused by a casual attitude to her clients or simply overwork. Even if the latter, that does not mitigate her wrongdoing. [The adviser] is responsible for regulating her workflow so she can professionally attend to every client instruction. If she cannot find staff, she should turn work away”.

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)

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