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IAA to build Pacific Island awareness of licensed immigration advisers

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

Ms Albiston will visit Fiji, Tonga and Samoa as part of an IAA campaign to increase community understanding of the IAA’s licensed advisers register and the risks associated with using unlicensed advisers.

“Unfortunately, there are people who operate unlawfully and are unlicensed. With the amount of information available in today’s world, it can be difficult deciphering who to trust,” says Albiston.

“That’s why the IAA offers a free register of licensed advisers on our website(external link). Anyone seeking New Zealand immigration advice should only use a licensed adviser or an exempt person.

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

“Licensed advisers have specialist expertise and have met competency standards. They follow a code of conduct that requires them to be honest and respectful.

“People who are not licensed or exempt can share publicly available information or help friends and family occasionally, but cannot provide immigration advice,” says Albiston.

The IAA is responsible for issuing licences to advisers and handles complaints about poor immigration advice. The IAA does not provide 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(external link) or via email – info@iaa.govt.nz.


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