Former lawyer charged by Immigration Advisers Authority
Richard James Martin has been charged with providing immigration advice when neither licensed nor exempt.
Four charges were filed in the North Shore District Court following an investigation by the Immigration Advisers Authority. Mr Martin, of Richard Martin Immigration Limited, was charged under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act with:
- three counts of providing immigration advice when neither licensed nor exempt; and
- one count of receiving a fee or reward for providing immigration advice when neither licensed nor exempt.
The former lawyer entered not guilty pleas in Court to all four charges today, 18 December 2013.
Registrar of Immigration Advisers Barry Smedts said: “These charges are part of the Authority’s ongoing work targeting people giving immigration advice unlawfully.”
Mr Smedts urged people to choose their immigration adviser wisely.
He said: “Licensed immigration advisers are skilled people who have met immigration adviser competency standards and who follow a code of conduct. People acting unlawfully can be incompetent and have no obligation to treat migrants ethically.”
Licensed immigration advisers are listed on the Authority’s online register at www.iaa.govt.nz.
Mr Martin was remanded on bail until 7 February 2014.
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