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IAA tells Filipinos - "check your immigration adviser is licensed or exempt"

Registrar of the New Zealand Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) Catherine Albiston will be in the Philippines next week raising awareness of the importance of only using licensed or exempt advisers when seeking New Zealand immigration advice.

Ms Albiston will visit Manila and Cebu as part of a campaign to increase awareness in Filipino communities of the IAA’s licensed adviser register(external link) and list of exempt persons(external link), and the risks associated with using unlicensed advisers.

“Unfortunately there are people who operate unlawfully and provide advice without a licence, which can result in a distressing situation for the visa applicant and their family,” says Ms Albiston.

“That’s why the IAA offers a register of licensed advisers on our website. There is no requirement for New Zealand visa applicants to use an immigration adviser, however if they need help then only a licensed immigration adviser or exempt person can assist.

“Exempt persons include Immigration New Zealand, Citizens Advice Bureau, Community Law Centres, and current New Zealand lawyers.”

New Zealand is a popular destination for Filipino migrants, to work, live, study, or visit, with the Philippines featuring in the top five nationalities for approved visas across these categories and making it a focus for the IAA.

The aim of the IAA is to ensure people looking to come to New Zealand, or applying for a further visa once here, are aware that if they need help when applying for a visa they must get advice from the right person, and what their options are to get this advice,” adds Ms Albiston.

“People who are not licensed or exempt, including POEA agencies, can share publicly available information, but cannot provide immigration advice.

“Visa applicants can use our checklist [PDF, 167 KB] before they choose who provides them with advice.”

The IAA is responsible for issuing licences to advisers and handling complaints about poor immigration advice. A person’s immigration status will not be affected by contacting the IAA.

More information on the IAA can be found at iaa.govt.nz. For free information on New Zealand’s immigration requirements go to www.immigration.govt.nz(external link)

ENDS

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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