December 2016 newsletter
This year Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has made significant efforts in India to identity where unlicensed agents may be assisting non-student visa applicants. Both INZ and the Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) have been educating and warning agents identified. We are pleased that these efforts have resulted in the decline of unlicensed agents assisting non-student visa applicants in India and an increase in the use of licensed advisers for these applicants. This shows the education and communications efforts we have made in India are making a difference.
Also in 2016, the Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice was offered for the first time. I wish to extend my sincere thanks to the five advisers who have dedicated themselves to our Qualification Steering Group for the last two years: Graydon Sharratt, Rachel Lishman, Richard Howard, Anuradha Grover and Sanjeev Singh. These advisers helped set up the structure and outline of the programme, reviewed each course as they were developed and contributed case study materials.
I also wish to thank the members of our 2016 Reference Group for their engaging input to our five meetings this year.
In 2017, we will form a new Qualification Steering Group and a new Reference Group. We will be requesting volunteers for these groups in the February newsletter and I encourage you to consider getting involved in the valuable work of these groups.
In the New Year we will be releasing a number of enhancements to IAA Online. Read on to find out more.
I wish you all a very enjoyable Christmas and summer break and a successful 2017.
Registrar of Immigration Advisers
You can now pay your licensing fee and levy online using a credit card or internet banking. The internet banking option is called Account2Account.
This option is available to advisers who currently do internet banking with the following New Zealand banks:
To use internet banking, complete your online application, and click submit and pay as usual. You’ll be given the option to pay by credit card or Acount2Account.
If you select this option, you will be transferred to the banking system and are no longer on the IAA website. Login in when prompted using your internet banking credentials, not your RealMe login.
Account2Acount is fully integrated with the IAA register and advisers will receive confirmation of payment and an invoice receipt in exactly the same way as if they had paid by credit card.
In addition to invoice details in the invoices and levy payments section of IAA online, transaction details will appear on your bank statement as Code: IAA Payment.
IAA Online enhancements
We have a number of additional enhancements being made to the IAA website which will be released in early 2017. These include:
- You will be able to enter quarter hours (eg 1.25, 1.5 and 1.75) to your online CPD record instead of whole numbers only.
- Provisional licence holders will be able to request a change in supervisor online, including uploading a new supervision agreement for approval.
- It will be mandatory for you to provide us with an email address for correspondence. It will not be mandatory for you to have this displayed on the register. This will ensure we can remind you about your licence expiry date among other things.
- The prefix http:// will automatically be added to your website on the register so that people can click through to it.
In this article we provide a review of some of the Tribunal’s decisions in 2016 and highlight a number that you may wish to read.
Overall in 2016, 20 complaints were upheld by the Tribunal and 8 were dismissed (as at 23 November). Of the 20 upheld, 4 were upheld with no further action and 16 were upheld with sanctions to be imposed.
Three appeals against a decision by the Immigration Advisers Authority to reject a complaint were dismissed and one was allowed.
Several upheld complaints are useful reminders to make sure you are doing the fundamental things right, such as having written agreements in place and keeping good records:
Four advisers had their licences cancelled in 2016 (some decisions may still be under appeal). The reasons licences were cancelled included condoning unlicensed advice in the work place, dishonesty and a lack of respect and professionalism.
You can read these decisions here:
In several other decisions, advisers were required to undertake training. One adviser was required to pay over $10,000 in compensation to a client for lost wages.
New Tribunal Practice Notes
This week the Ministry of Justice has published two new practice notes: “An Adviser’s Guide to Proceedings before the Tribunal” and “A Complainant’s Guide to Proceedings before the Tribunal”. The Ministry has also published a range of new forms.
In 2017, we will run a series of free webinars that you are welcome to join.
The limits of New Zealand immigration advice: What can unlicensed and clerical staff do?
Wednesday 22 February 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.
Please register for this webinar here.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
New Zealand Licensed Immigration Advisers Code of Conduct Refresher
Wednesday 22 March 3-5pm
This webinar will talk through the Licensed Immigration Advisers Code of Conduct. We strongly encourage any TTMRA advisers who have not had the benefit of completing the Graduate Certificate / Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice to attend. All advisers are welcome.
Please register for this webinar here.
Chinese and Korean Factsheets for Education Agents
We now have our Factsheets for Education Agents available in Chinese and Korean. You are welcome to access and share these with your networks.
Are you using our Trade Mark correctly?
Only licensed advisers may use the Trade Mark. You cannot use the Trade Mark in any way that creates an impression that a company or business trade name is licensed.
You must ensure that your name and licence number are displayed next to the Trade Mark.
You may use a legal first name and surname, or a full legal name, or a preferred name. Whatever name is used must be on the register of licensed immigration advisers.
It is not acceptable to use the Trade Mark in any circumstances without the name and licence number of a licensed adviser next to it.
If you stop being licensed, you must update any websites where your name is listed next to the Trade Mark.
What’s your preferred name?
It has been a year since advisers have been able to log-in and edit their own details online.
In that time we have noticed that many people have listed preferred names that are the same as their legal name. This means that on the register, the licence certificate and wallet card your name will appear as follows: Robert (Robert) Jones (Jones).
This makes for a very long name on your wallet card. We recommend that you only list a preferred name when this is different from your legal first or last name. For example: Robert (Bob) Jones.
Looking to become a supervisor?
Supervisors who are looking for a provisional licence applicant to supervise can advertise directly to the Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology’s students. This is your last chance to directly contact all those students who are graduating in December 2016.
Advertisements must contain the following information:
- name and contact details of the company or organisation (on company letterhead)
- name and details of the contact person
- description of the supervision being offered (including location)
- description of the type of person required
- dates e.g. when posted, when applications close, potential start date (optional).
Advertisements will be posted on Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology’s student programme page.
If you are interested in supervising a new provisional licence holder, please email this information to email@example.com
Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology | Tauranga
In October, the Waiariki Bay of Plenty Polytechnic formally changed its name to Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology. This follows the merger of Waiariki Institute of Technology and Bay of Plenty Polytechnic in May 2016.
All our references to the Waiariki Bay of Plenty Polytechnic will be updated over time to reflect the new name.
Are you following the new CPD requirements?
In order to renew a licence all advisers must now have met the new Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements.
As a licensed adviser, you are required to understand your CPD obligations which are set out in the Authority’s CPD toolkit. Our CPD Toolkit sets out all our requirements as well as extra guidance.
You can also view our webinar on the CPD Toolkit as a video from our website.
You can log-in at iaa.govt.nz to start or update your CPD plan for the year and record activities you complete.
Did you know... ?
If you wish to log your CPD plan and record online at iaa.govt.nz you must do this before you submit your licence renewal application. Your CPD plan and record can only be edited during your current licence year up until the point you submit your renewal application.
Once your renewal is approved, a new CPD plan and record will be available for you to edit for your new licence period.
Likewise, if you are a provisional licence holder and you wish to change your supervisor, you must do this before you submit a renewal application.
The Authority will be closed from Monday 26 December and will reopen at 9am on Wednesday 4 January 2017. Any online applications submitted during this time will be treated as being received on 4 January 2017.