May 2019 newsletter
Tēnā koutou katoa,
I simply cannot believe it is May already. Following a 10 day holiday over the Easter ANZAC day period I have returned and we are in full flight at the Authority. I am preparing for the May meeting of the Licensed Adviser Reference Group, where we will introduce some of the new leadership team members of the Occupational Licensing Team. I am also keen to look at plans for how the IAA can undertake more active action on off-shore offending, as well as update the reference group on changes and planned improvements to the licensing system, the application forms review and new policy changes for initial provisional licensees. The March meeting record is available here, in case you missed it in the last newsletter.
This month we executed a search warrant on an address in East Auckland where a previously licensed adviser was still allegedly providing immigration advice. We plan to undertake more regular compliance and enforcement activity in this space along with educational campaigns on-shore and off-shore. The IAA is planning a proactive campaign to visit education providers onshore and future campaigns are likely to target recruitment firms.
We are working closely with INZ and will ensure that any future changes to accredited employer arrangements include the need to use a licensed adviser (or someone that is exempt) and will target some communication if and when policy decisions are made.
We will also be hosting a webinar on how to keep and present a client file. The registration link for this is below.
Keep well and keep the standards high.
Registrar of Immigration Advisers
Supervisors intending to supervise new provisional licensees
For initial provisional licence applications, we are noticing non-compliant supervision agreements being submitted which may cause unnecessary delays in the processing of applications.
For fully licensed immigration advisers who intend to supervise individuals entering into the profession for the first time, we encourage you and your intended supervisee to go through the requirements under the Supervision and Licensing Toolkit.
Some of the issues identified include:
- In some cases, the proposed frequency of supervision meetings has not been specific enough or is inadequate. It is mandatory to include a provision setting out how often the supervisor and provisional licence holder will meet. It should also be noted that we do not usually accept monthly supervision meetings unless special circumstances apply.
- Professional development plans are missing or lacking in detail.
It is not compulsory to have a back-up supervisor. However, the Authority strongly recommends that you obtain one. If you have selected a back-up supervisor, this must be recorded in your proposed supervision agreement.
If you are a supervisor intending to supervise an additional fourth provisional licence holder, please be advised that the Authority will require you to produce upon inspection, your supervision records relating to your other provisional licence holders.
I would like to see supervisors and supervisees take the supervision meetings and minutes more seriously. Many of the minutes my assessment team have seen are brief and do not include the mandatory content outlined on page 13 of the Supervision Toolkit [PDF, 608 KB].
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 2019. You may count watching a recording of a seminar or other training session towards your CPD hours where 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 so that you can discuss the content.
Upcoming webinars are:
Webinar topic: Ethics considerations in the provision of immigration advice
During our May webinar with two very well regarded guests; Peter Moses and Simon Laurent (a couple of well-known immigration law practitioners) we will be discussing a few tricky ethical questions and providing some discussion and tools for people to use when they come across ethical issues or dilemmas in the practice of immigration advice. You may count this webinar towards the IAA’s mandatory webinar requirements. It’s great to see over 460 advisers have registered so far for this webinar!
Date and time: Wednesday 15 May 2019 at 3pm.
Webinar topic: Client Files
As you know, we inspect client files upon renewal of licenses or when investigating complaints so this webinar aims to provide a blueprint of how to produce a quality client file to the IAA that will make yours and our job easier – as well as meeting Code obligations.
Attending as speakers in this webinar will be myself, Anastasia Sherry (Senior Technical Advisor) and Polina Finney (Technical Advisor) from the IAA and Simon van Weeghel (Investigator – Complaints).
Date and time: Wednesday 26 June 2019 at 3pm
I am close to having a supplier engaged for a mental health and wellbeing webinar so by the next newsletter you should be able to register for that timely and helpful webinar.
Immigration Law Conference 2019
An Immigration Law Conference has been organised and features a relevant and timely update for those working in the field. The conference programme [PDF, 203KB](external link) is available.
A few of the IAA staff will be there and I look forward to seeing the advisers that can make it.
Interested in work placements – information from Toi Ohomai
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 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 and the next one will start on Monday 24 June 2019. 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.
Reading Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal decisions, or discussing them in your study group, will help develop your understanding of your professional responsibilities.
The Tribunal has recently released a decision INZ (Calder) v Cleland  NZIACDT 25, regarding a licensed immigration adviser being involved in rubber stamping visa applications via unlicensed individuals employed by companies operating out of the Philippines. The Tribunal noted that the companies, namely Immigration Placement Services Ltd (IPS) and ‘sister’ company Bep NZ Aust Corp (BNAC), have previously featured in other upheld decisions regarding rubber stamping. IPS/BNAC are associated with Bruce Porteous, who was refused a licence by the IAA in 2010. The Tribunal identified there has now been three immigration advisers who have faced disciplinary complaints as a result of working with IPS/BNAC. The Tribunal emphasised in paragraph  of the decision that it is a licensed immigration adviser’s duty to deal directly with clients, and they must be active and not merely passive in performing this duty.
New decisions are appearing regularly and I encourage you to save the following link as a bookmark.
Read recent Tribunal decisions(external link) on the Justice website.