July 2017 newsletter
The end of June marked the end of our financial year, and it was a busy month.
We laid 22 charges against an Auckland woman for providing illegal immigration advice in the Pacific community. This was a good opportunity for us to send a reminder to the public that the IAA will investigate complaints about unlicensed immigration advice. Our press release received good coverage on Stuff and RadioNZ.
On the back of our information campaign targeting employers, MBIE’s Business.govt.nz team published an article(external link) in their online newsletter, which is distributed to 200,000 small businesses in New Zealand. There were more than 2,600 visits to the article in the first week, with businesses taking an interest in what they can do when asked for immigration advice by employees.
Our first campaign raising awareness about how to get immigration advice among international students wraps up this week. It has been a great opportunity to use a variety of new communication channels, including sending our materials to yourselves. Thank you to all of you who shared our advertisement with your networks.
We also ran our annual survey to hear your views, and almost 400 licensed immigration advisers gave us feedback. Thank you for your insights. I look forward to drawing on them to improve our services this year.
This month, I’d like to remind you all of the importance of ensuring that you as the licensed immigration adviser are dealing directly with your clients and personally meeting your Code of Conduct obligations. Read on to refresh your understanding of the importance of direct communication with your client.
Registrar of Immigration Advisers
International student campaign
We launched a campaign in June targeting international students that might be graduating and looking for immigration advice.
International students studying in New Zealand might be considering ‘what next’ and looking at what visa options they or their families have in New Zealand.
Our main message to students seeking immigration advice is to check if the person is a licensed immigration adviser or exempt, such as a New Zealand lawyer, reiterating that unlawful immigration advice can cause significant stress and problems for visa applicants.
The campaign featured a range of new media tools to convey this message, such as advertisements in the Chinese Herald and We Chat to target Chinese students. We also targeted Indian students through their preferred channel, Facebook.
We’ve had great feedback on our ads so far, and a number of organisations in the education sector are using their channels to reach even more students. This includes peak bodies such as Education New Zealand (whose newsletter is received by around 6,000 education stakeholders), Study Auckland, the New Zealand Chinese Students’ Association, the Waitemata and Auckland DHBs, and the Asian Network.
Through our targeted Facebook advertising campaign, we have reached more than 80,000 students and almost 2000 visited the IAA website for more information. Immigration New Zealand also shared our post on the New to New Zealand Facebook page and its 1,800 followers.
Are you communicating directly with your client?
Licensed advisers have some core obligations that require them to engage personally with their client. These include:
- Advisers must maintain a relationship of confidence and trust with the client, and provide objective advice.
- Advisers must obtain and carry out the instructions of the client (provided the instructions are lawful). Taking instructions is an essential function which requires an adviser to make proper inquiries of the client.
- Advisers must make sure the client’s instructions are informed, by giving objective advice.
- Advisers must explain the summary of licensed advisers professional responsibilities to the client.
- Advisers must ensure they personally meet their engagement requirements, including entering into a written agreement with the client and explaining all significant matters in the written agreement to the client.
When advisers take personal responsibility for establishing a professional relationship, communicating with their clients and ensuring their Code obligations are met, complaints are much less likely to arise. They are also less likely to find themselves in the situation where unlicensed staff provide immigration advice.
Remember, whenever you have a material discussion with the client, you must confirm the details of the discussion to the client in writing. This is particularly important when you conduct eligibility assessments, provide advice and take instructions.
We encourage you to reflect on how well you are taking responsibility for core communication with your clients and to put systems in place to make that easier.
Taking over clients... Did you know?
Students completing the Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice at Toi Ohomai have the option of taking a work placement course in the second half of their studies.
The purpose of the work placement course is to give students an opportunity to observe and reflect on the professional practice of a licensed adviser and to discuss real situations with a licensed adviser. It gives them an opportunity to see first-hand the daily challenges and professional practices of a licensed adviser.
To talk to Toi Ohomai about hosting a student in semester two, contact Jeni Fountain firstname.lastname@example.org
Semester two starts on 17 July 2017.
Overseas People Buying Land and Other Assets in New Zealand
The Overseas Investment Office has asked us to remind you that there are some important rules that apply to overseas people buying New Zealand assets, including certain types of land. Migrants to New Zealand and their advisers need be aware of these rules.
Information about the Overseas Investment Act is available on the Overseas Investment Office website in English, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Korean and Spanish.
Did you know that you can view the recordings of previous webinars on our website?
You may count watching a recording of a seminar or session as completion of the training when that session includes interaction, such as questions and answers. However, we do recommend that to get the most value from this activity you get together with at least one other adviser to discuss the content.