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June 2018 newsletter

Registrar update

Firstly, let me introduce myself. My name is Karla Flood and for the next three months I’m stepping into the role of Registrar of the Immigration Advisers Authority from this month.

It’s early days but I’m looking forward to meeting you all and moving forward the work of the IAA so that more people know their rights and responsibilities about lawful immigration advice.

As a certified and experienced fraud investigator, I have spent 14 years at MBIE in a range of regulatory enforcement settings, including as Manager of Registries Integrity and Enforcement and Manager of the New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) Custodian team. More recently I have been the Business Registries Manager of Applications and Data, responsible for the operational implementation, product development and management of Business Registries applications.

I also have a strong understanding of how international markets affect our work as compliance officers and we have an excellent opportunity to reach more people with IAA campaigns at home and abroad.

More from me later, but I look forward to your ongoing feedback as we continue our work, and I’ll keep you updated as we go through the process of appointing the next Registrar.

The IAA has successfully received additional funding announced in the Budget. Minister of Immigration, Hon Iain Lees-Galloway, announced that “Budget 2018 also provides $5.6 million of new operating funding over the next four years to enable the Immigration Advisers Authority to target unlawful immigration advice. This will also reduce risks of migrant exploitation by increasing the quality of immigration advice.” 

In May we launched a new IAA website to ensure we are on a stable platform.  We hope you like the new look and feel and can find all the information you need. You will have noticed that the secure portal features of our website have not been updated at this time and we look forward to being able to do that in the future.

Over 500 advisers joined our May webinar on initial assessments and client engagements. This is now available to view as recording and you will find the link in the newsletter below.

This month we are running our annual survey to seek your views on the work of the Immigration Advisers Authority. The survey will take five minutes and you can complete it below.

Now is also the time to consider enrolling employees in semester two of the Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice (GDNZIA) or taking on a student work placement. Toi Ohomai has passed on its thanks to employers who have been supporting staff completing the GDNZIA while working.  Whether it be allowing them to complete in a part-time capacity, or allowing them time during their work week to dedicate to study, they have been hearing great stories about industry staff support.

Nga mihi
Karla Flood | Acting Registrar of Immigration Advisers

Annual survey of licensed immigration advisers

It is that time of year when we are seeking your feedback on the IAA’s service during the last year.

Please take this opportunity to give us feedback so we can know what’s working and what we can improve.

The survey consists of 15 short questions and should take less than 5 minutes to complete. It is anonymous and we will not retain any of your personal information. Question 15 gives you the opportunity to provide any further comments you might wish to make.

Please complete the survey by midnight on Friday 22 June 2018 - only available to advisers - please contact us if you need the link to the survey.

With thanks from the team at the Immigration Advisers Authority

Increased IAA funding package

The additional funding announced in the 2018 Budget will allow the Immigration Advisers Authority to to take smart and deliberate action to reduce unlawful immigration advice and increase the standard of immigration advice consumers receive.

This initiative is intended to improve the standard of immigration advice consumers receive by reducing the time taken to deal with complaints about licensed advisers and providing targeted education to licensed advisers to reduce complaints.

It is intended to allow the Authority to more effectively raise awareness of the licensing requirements among vulnerable communities to reduce the use of unlicensed advisers and ensure the Authority can take more effective enforcement action against unlicensed advisers in the long term.

This funding will be fully recovered from the Immigration Levy.

IAA in the media

The IAA has recently laid charges against an Auckland man, Timothy Joseph Spooner, with multiple counts of giving immigration advice without being licensed or exempt, holding out to be a licensed immigration adviser, and unlawfully taking payment.

Read the media release

Industry places on the Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology will reserve 25 places in the July 2018 intake of the Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice for people currently employed within immigration practices. These places can be either full-time or part-time.

To reserve an industry place, the employer needs to contact Jeni Fountain by Friday 22 June 2018 and confirm that the employee:

  • Has a formal employment relationship with their organisation.
  • Will be required by their organisation to apply for an immigration adviser licence once they graduate.

Once an industry place has been offered to the employer’s organisation, the prospective student will need to apply and meet the academic and entry requirements of the programme before they can enrol and utilise the place reserved in their name.

Semester two of the Graduate Diploma starts on 16 July 2018.

Read more about the Graduate Diploma(external link)

Interested in taking on a student work placement in semester two?

Students completing the Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice 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, and 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.

Both advisers and students who have participated so far have given very positive feedback about the experience and encouraged others to give it a go.

Work placements can only take place where a student can attend the physical premises of the licensed adviser. They cannot be done virtually.

Work placements run for 13 weeks in both semesters one and two each academic year. Students are expected to spend a minimum of 80 hours for the duration of the placement. They are also required to spend an additional 8 hours each week writing up reflections and maintaining a log-book for assessment.

Students are not to be paid for their time on work placements, unless they are an existing employee of the company, and similarly they are not expected to pay to do the work placement. The placement itself cannot be considered to be a trial period for employment purposes; there would need to be a separate employment agreement for that.

When you agree to take on a student for a work placement, an agreement is signed between yourself, the student and Toi Ohomai so everyone is clear about their role. There are specific obligations on students regarding confidentiality and intellectual property.

For all the information you need to know, check out Toi Ohomai’s Work Placement Handbook [PDF, 233 KB]

To talk to Toi Ohomai about hosting a student, contact Appley Boyd.

2018 mandatory CPD

As part of your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) the IAA requires all New Zealand licensed advisers, including those who are Registered Migration Agents in Australia, to attend one webinar run by the IAA in 2018, by 31 December 2018.

This year, our webinars will focus on client engagement and initial assessments. Many complaints arise because client engagement processes have not been followed or because an adviser’s initial advice is not recorded in writing. Ensuring you have good engagement processes in place goes a long way to establishing a good client relationship and avoiding mismatched expectations.

Future IAA webinars for 2018 are scheduled as follows:

Client engagement and initial assessments

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing a link to join the webinar.

If you are not able to attend one of these webinars at the scheduled time you will be able to watch a video of the webinar after it is delivered.

You can play recordings of the following webinars that have already taken place.

Supervision – Play webinar(external link).

Client engagement and initial assessments – Play webinar(external link)

To view a webinar that has already taken place, you are required to register your name and email address. Please take a screenshot of your completed registration page for your CPD record before you click “submit”.  We are able to verify that you have viewed the recording once you register.

All advisers need to understand their CPD obligations and we strongly encourage you to refresh your understanding by re-reading our CPD Toolkit.

Read our CPD Toolkit

Tribunal decisions

Reading Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal decisions, or discussing them in your study group, will help develop your understanding of your professional responsibilities.

Read recent Tribunal decisions(external link)