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Chinese national pleads guilty to $100,000 immigration scam

A Chinese national faces a possible jail term after an investigation by the Immigration Advisers Authority uncovered a $100,000 immigration scam.

Tengyu (Nick) Yuan, a 36-year-old New Zealand citizen from Albany, admitted providing immigration advice illegally to six migrants at Auckland District Court on 30 July 2013.

The court heard Mr Yuan, director of Auckland City-based Noahark Consultant Limited, took large sums from migrants promising to secure them visas only to carry out little or no work.

Mr Yuan pleaded guilty to six charges of providing immigration advice without being licensed or exempt. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison and a fine of $100,000 under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act.

Under the Act anyone providing New Zealand immigration advice must be licensed by the Authority unless exempt. Exempt persons include lawyers.

Anyone seeking help from an immigration adviser, consultant or agent is urged to check the Authority’s register of licensed immigration advisers(external link).

The register contains an international list of licensed immigration advisers and can be checked either online or by contacting the Immigration Advisers Authority(external link) directly on freephone 0508 422 422.

Mr Yuan appears for sentencing at Auckland District Court on 18 October 2013.

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

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