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December 2020 Newsletter

Message from the Registrar

Kia ora

On 18 December 2020, the Authority will be moving to new premises in the Auckland CBD. Our contact details will remain the same.

IAA contact page

The licensing team have been working on developing new resources for provisional licence holders and their supervisors. Keep reading to find out more, we hope the additional guidance provided with the model supervision agreement will help applicants to provide an approval-ready tailored supervision agreement. Further details and links are provided below.

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology has a fantastic opportunity for licensed advisers to become involved in their Graduate Diploma in NZ Immigration Advice (GDNZIA) industry partnership group.  This group will discuss issues regarding the delivery of the GDNZIA programme and graduate outcomes.  Expressions of interest must be received by 22 January 2021, further details can be found below.

The deadline for submitting Expressions of interest for the 2021 Reference Group has been extended to 21 January 2021.

Information on how to register your interest

I hope you all have a very safe and enjoyable Christmas and New Year and look forward to continuing to keep our standards high in 2021.

Duncan Connor

Registrar of Immigration Advisers

portrait duncan connor

Authority closure dates

The Authority will be closed from Friday 25 December 2020 and will reopen on Tuesday 5 January, 2021. Any online or paper based applications submitted during this time will be treated as being received on Monday 18 January 2021. This is due to the definition of working day, per section 5 of the Act. This does not affect online fast track renewal applications.

Please refer to your renewal notice to confirm your current licence expiry date. To avoid your licence being recorded as expired on the public register, please ensure that you submit your renewal applications on time.

Update from Toi Ohomai

In 2020 Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology established a GDNZIA industry partnership group. This group will continue to run in 2021. The group is made up of GDNZIA programme staff, a representative from the IAA and those working in the immigration advice industry. The group provides a forum for industry feedback and discussion of issues relating to graduate outcomes and the content and delivery of the GDNZIA. In 2021 the group will meet 3 or 4 times and meetings will be held online.

At this time Toi Ohomai is seeking expressions of interest from those in the industry who would like to join the industry partnership group in 2021. If you are interested in participating, please email Appley Boyd (appley.boyd@toiohomai.ac.nz) with a brief outline of why you wish to join and how you can contribute. Expressions of interest must be received no later than 22 January 2021.

GDNZIA industry placements

If you have an employee that you would like to become licensed, they will need to complete the Graduate Diploma in NZ Immigration Advice (GDNZIA). Each semester, Toi Ohomai reserves 25 places on the GDNZIA for people currently working in the industry. 

If you would like to reserve a place for a staff member for semester one 2021 commencing on 22 February 2020, please email Appley Boyd (appley.boyd@toiohomai.ac.nz) with their details. 

Please note, the Academic and English language entry criteria for the programme still need to be met.

Review the entry criteria and apply on the Toi Ohomai website(external link)

Licensing matters

First time applicants- "Approved Entry Course" clarification

Competency standard 1, performance indicator 1.1-1.5 provide as follows:

An applicant for a provisional licence must:

1.1 Have completed an approved qualification or approved entry course within the 12 months prior to the application being lodged; OR
1.2 Have previously completed an approved qualification or approved entry course, and have completed an approved refresher course within the 12 months prior to the application being lodged;

The term ‘approved entry course’ refers to Courses 1-4 of the Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology’s Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice.

Please note that if a prospective immigration adviser fails to apply for an initial provisional licence within 12 months of completing the approved entry course, then they will not meet CS 1.1.

In order to meet the entry course requirements, they will be required to comply with CS 1.2 and therefore, they will be required to complete an approved refresher course. The Registrar does not have the discretion to allow an exception to these requirements, even in cases where the applicant is still studying towards completing the Graduate Diploma. 

For the purposes of assessing compliance with CS 1.1, the date of entry course completion is the date on which a pass result for the fourth module has been confirmed by the Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology.

To ensure initial applications for a provisional licence can be assessed, please ensure you have received confirmation of your course results from Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology prior to submitting your application to the Authority.

Submitting complete applications

Please ensure that when you submit your licence applications, you have included all applicable evidence and supplementary documentation as required.

Section 18 of the Act sets out the required information for licence applications in general and the Licensing Toolkit elaborates on these requirements in the context of each type of licence application. The Toolkit is a valuable resource and we encourage you to familiarise yourselves with it.

Section 18 of the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007 on the Immigration website(external link)

Licensing Toolkit

If the Registrar is not satisfied that all of the application requirements have been met, the application may be refused. Please refer to section 19(1)(d).

Not-for-Profit (NFP) applications

If you are granted not-for-profit licence status, you are required to comply fully with the NFP policy. If you intend to provide immigration advisory services on a commercial basis at any time while holding a licence, you will not qualify for not-for-profit status.

Applying for NFP status

Continuing professional development (CPD) Records

Please ensure that you are undertaking activities which match up with your CPD plan.  You are required to maintain your CPD record in accordance with the Authority’s requirements throughout the duration of your licence. Your CPD records can be maintained on the advisers’ portal or in your own document. The Authority’s CPD plan and record template is available as a downloadable PDF document.

IAA CPD plan & record template [PDF, 147 KB]

For further guidance, please refer to our CPD toolkit and webinar.

Continuing professional development toolkit

Advisor tools webinar

IAA Webinars

Our latest webinar, “Learning from others’ mistakes” is now available to view.

Register to watch the recording

We welcome your feedback on the pre-recorded format. Please send your feedback to info@iaa.govt.nz.

Change to IAA Licence ID Mail Out

To reduce our environmental footprint and the amount of paper resources we send, there will be a change to the Authority’s licence ID packs sent to advisers.

Currently, we send the following documents to first-time licence holders:

  • A copy of the Immigration Advisers Competency Standards 2016,
  • A copy of Licence Immigration Advisers Code of Conduct 2014, and
  • A Professional Standards leaflet to explain and provide to your client 

We will continue to send these resources out until the current stock levels have been depleted (approximately until January – February 2021). Once we run out of stock, advisers will still be able to download and print these documents from our website, as needed. 

These resources can be found in a downloadable pdf format on our website.

Competency standard 2016 [PDF, 260 KB]

Code of conduct 2014 [PDF, 374 KB]

Professional Standards

The Professional Standards are available to download in English, Korean, Samoan, Tongan, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese.

New Resources

Model supervision agreement

The new model provisional supervision agreement now includes guidance notes to assist provisional licence holders and their prospective supervisors to develop their tailored supervision agreement ready for submission to the Registrar for approval.

Client file list

Supervision records not only include supervision minutes but also include other documentation such as a list of client files for which you are receiving direct supervision. This new resource for provisional licence holders and their supervisors is to assist with recording a list of clients for which a provisional licence holder has provided immigration advice under supervision. Please note, a record should be maintained for any client who has received immigration advice. This includes those clients who have received initial consults only.

Download the documents in Word format

Tribunal decisions

The Immigration Advisers Complaints & Disciplinary Tribunal has recently released a decision which found the Adviser relied on unlicensed staff to communicate with the Complainant and had a conflict of interest which prevented him from providing objective advice to the Complainant breaching clauses 1, 2(e), 2(a) and 7(a) of the Code of Conduct 2014.  

In ZG v Parker [2020] NZIACDT 46, at paragraphs [129 and 141] the Tribunal stated: “There is no evidence that [the adviser] expressly directed the staff to obtain from her specific information needed for the EOI, but even if he did, that does not excuse him from the obligation to personally control the relationship and undertake the bulk of the communication with her…There could be no objection to the staff dealing with the complainant on isolated occasions, particularly in gathering information. That is the practical reality of an immigration consultancy. But the adviser cannot delegate to the staff the whole engagement with the client for an immigration application…the disclosure of a conflict of interest and consent from the client does not absolve the adviser from the overarching obligation to act professionally in accordance with the Code”.  

The Tribunal also commented about the approach to test for negligence and diligence in a recent decision.  

In NMS v Mercado [2020] NZIACDT 42, at paragraphs [83 – 84] the Tribunal stated: “It is contended that the Tribunal recast the common test for negligence and diligence in its finding in the Dua case that it would have been ‘obvious to any competent adviser’ that the application was ‘highly unlikely’ to meet the immigration instructions. However, the Tribunal was not recasting the test, merely making a factual finding justified by the evidence in that case. The test for negligence, diligence or due care is whether or not the adviser’s advice could have been given by a professional, reasonable and therefore knowledgeable adviser. If so, the advice is not negligent or lacking in due care. I find in this case that no professional adviser exercising reasonable skill and care would have advised that the outsourcing agreement was valid”. 

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)