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June 2022 Newsletter

Message from the Registrar

Kia ora koutou

It’s hard to believe we are already halfway through 2022. We are now a month away from New Zealand’s borders reopening to all tourists and visa holders, which I’m sure is something many in the industry are looking forward to. Please remember to keep up-to-date with the information provided by Immigration New Zealand on the border reopening.

In this newsletter, we have some messages from Toi Ohomai and the Overseas Investment Office, an update on the Authority’s social media campaign, and some Court and Tribunal decisions for your attention.

I encourage you to carefully read through the information provided by the Overseas Investment Office, so that you can effectively advise your clients and ensure they avoid any unnecessary delays if buying a new home in New Zealand.

Kia kaha and keep our standards high.

Duncan Connor

Registrar of Immigration Advisers

portrait duncan connor

Message from Toi Ohomai

Are you available to offer a student a work placement?

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 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. Both advisers and students who have participated previously 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 each academic year for 13 weeks in semester 1 and 2. Students are expected to spend a minimum of 80 hours for the duration of the placement. 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.

If you are interested in offering a student a work placement, please contact Appley Boyd – appley.boyd@toiohomai.ac.nz.

Message from the Overseas Investment Office

Good advice for immigrants wanting to buy a home

The Overseas Investment Office are asking you to bring rules about buying real estate to the attention of your clients.

With the border reopening, the numbers of new immigrants moving to New Zealand is going to increase. Some of these new New Zealanders will look to buy a home to help them settle into life here.

Since 2018, overseas buyers have generally been prevented from buying houses or land to build on in New Zealand. There is an exception: people holding a residence class visa can apply for consent to buy one home to live in until they meet the criteria to be considered ‘ordinarily resident’ in New Zealand.

The Overseas Investment Office are asking immigration advisers to bring these rules, and the need to gain consent, to the attention of clients who may be looking to buy real estate. People who need consent should apply as early as possible in their New Zealand home buying journey and seek advice from a New Zealand property lawyer.

More information is on the Toitū Te Whenua website:

Buying or building one home to live in(external link) — Toitū Te Whenua

The Overseas Investment Office are presenting a webinar titled ‘New Immigrants and Real Estate’ on 6 July 2022. In this webinar you can hear more about the Overseas Investment Act rules and how they apply to new immigrants wanting to buy real estate or establish a business.

Register for the webinar(external link)

Immigration Advisers Authority social media campaign

Following on from our last update on the progress of the social media campaign in our April Newsletter,  we have commenced both phase 2 and more recently phase 3 of the campaign.

Phase 2 introduced translated adverts on social media platforms.

In an effort to continue the reach and awareness of the campaign for potential migrants to seek advice from licensed immigration advisers, we have also initiated a display advertising campaign (phase 3). This particular campaign will run a number of adverts within online media websites, such as indianweekender.co.nz, kanivatonga.nz, skykiwi.com (Chinese).  

Here is an example of one of our display adverts:

An example of our social media banner adverts

Prosecution for unlicensed advice

An Auckland woman has been convicted and sentenced on 4 charges for providing immigration advice without being licensed or exempt, receiving a fee, and using forged documents. Mrs Sua appeared in the Auckland District Court on Monday 27th June 2022 and was sentenced to 12 months supervision, 200 hours community work, and was ordered to repay $8000. Mrs Sua, the wife of a local church minister, met migrants at local church meetings claiming that she could help them with their immigration matters. Mrs Sua charged money for her services and promised visas in return, she also used forged documents in support of one application which caused Immigration New Zealand to act upon the document as if it were genuine. Mrs Sua also claimed she was related to the applicants, when in fact she was not.

You can read more on our website:

Church pastor’s wife sentenced for providing illegal immigration advice

Tribunal decision

There have been 2 recent Immigration Advisers Complaints & Disciplinary Tribunal (Tribunal) decisions where serious grounds of dishonest or misleading behaviour have been upheld.


IL v Khetarpal

The Tribunal has recently released the sanctions decision for IL v Khetarpal.

Sanctions decision IL v Khetarpal [PDF, 193KB](external link)

In the substantive decision of 10 February 2022, the Tribunal upheld the complaint finding that the Ms Khetarpal has breached clauses 1, 3(a), 18(a) and 26(e) of the Code of Conduct.

Substantive decision IL v Khetarpal, 10 February 2022 [PDF, 140KB](external link)

Ms Khetarpal failed to:

  • advise the complainant that her salary did not meet the threshold in immigration instructions required to support a dependent student visa,
  • file an application in the correct visa category for the son,
  • inform the complainant about the District Court order regarding her licence status,
  • provide the complainant with a written agreement, and
  • provide the Authority the client file.  

 In the decision, the Tribunal stated: 

 “[37] …This is the fifth complaint against Ms Khetarpal upheld by the Tribunal. Her licence has been cancelled and she is currently prevented from reapplying for a licence until 24 September 2023. Her attitude to the disciplinary process will also be taken into account…” 

Ms Khetarpal was censured and prevented from reapplying for any license for 2 years from 19 April 2022. She was also ordered to immediately pay to the Registrar $3,500. 

BU v McCarthy

The Tribunal has recently released the sanctions decision for BU v McCarthy.

Sanctions decision for BU v McCarthy [PDF, 108KB](external link)

In the substantive decision of 18 May 2022, the Tribunal upheld the complaint finding the former licensed immigration adviser, Christopher McCarthy, had:

  • taken money from a client to lodge a request for a visa but failed to do so, and
  • mislead the client into thinking that the request had been made.

Substantive decision BU v McCarthy, 18 May 2022 [PDF, 193KB](external link)

The Tribunal found that Mr McCarthy had displayed dishonest and misleading behaviour, and breached the Licensed Immigration Advisers Code of Conduct.

Mr McCarthy was censured, prevented from reapplying for a licence for 2 years, ordered to pay a penalty of $4,000, and pay the client $6,025 in compensation and refunds.

There has been media coverage of this decision:

Immigration adviser censured for 'deliberately deceiving' overstayer(external link) — NZ Herald

New decisions are appearing regularly and I encourage you to save the following link as a bookmark.

Immigration advisers complaints & disciplinary decisions(external link) — Ministry of Justice