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Reference group minutes, 22 May 2019

Date: Wednesday 22 May 2019, 10:15am - 3pm

Place: Immigration Advisers Authority, Level 2, 52 Symonds Street, Auckland


Licensed Immigration Advisers – Jaqueline Chong (PWC, Auckland), Holger Heinrich Gerhard (Holger) Weischede (New Zealand Immigration Help Service, Auckland), Zinnia Manchanda (Aims Global Immigration and Education Services, Auckland), Soon Hoe Lim (Loo & Koo Migration Services, Auckland), Megan Rosene (Straight UP NZ Immigration, Blenheim), Asoka Sirithilaka (Asoka) Weerasundra (Pro X New Zealand Ltd), Vandana Rai (NZAMI Board member, NZ Immigration Advisers Ltd, Auckland), Arunima Dhingra (NZAMI Board member, Aims Global Immigration and Education Services), Jasper Bata (Malcolm Pacific Immigration – NZAIP).

IAA/MBIE – Andrew Galloway (Registrar of Immigration Advisers), Polina Finney (Technical Advisor), Jyoti Issar (Team Leader Investigations- unlicensed OLT), Louise Curtis (Team Leader Investigations- licensed OLT), Rob Perry (Relationship Manager, INZ), Su Choi (Relationship Manager, INZ)

Guests – Appley Boyd and Jeni Fountain (Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology)

Introductions / Welcome / Open Forum

Andrew opened the meeting and the group did a round of introductions.

Andrew reported on the following updates in the IAA space;

  • Tracking well – IAA executed a search warrant in Auckland recently (as in our recent newsletter) and more work in the compliance space coming up soon
  • Complaints- continue to provide a good quality lens and careful balance about what we are choosing to forward to the Tribunal
  • Appointed a second Senior Technical Advisor – starts Monday
  • Immigration Law Conference coming up on 6 June – Andrew to circulate anything that comes out of that. It will include the Ministers address and an update from Immigration policy. Andrew to meet the Minister and give him a brief on IAA activity.

Appley and Jenni updated the group on the Immigration Refresher course - those taking the course are required to complete every element to a satisfactory level, more like competence.

  • Duration of refresher course is 6 weeks online and can be done over 12 weeks
  • Criteria is set and restricted
  • People who are completing the course are those who have let their licence lapse and need to do the refresher to re-apply
  • Advisers complete it for their CPD
  • Ordered to by the tribunal

MARA Agents were discussed – Andrew noted he was minded to consider whether IAA require or encourage them to complete the Immigration Adviser Refresher course - or a combination of the refresher and specific papers to – potentially be considered in the upcoming Competency Standards review.

Consider a course for people assisting Immigration Advisers – so it is clear about what advice can and can’t be given.

Issues were raised with RealME and interfacing with INZ, faced when an Adviser leaves a company. Rob (INZ) noted there is a team in Wellington working on the online delegation. He will pass on feedback and give them the examples raised. Advisers require clarity around the process.

It was noted and acknowledged that it is an area of concern and it is hoped that something in the interim could be engaged until the online delegations project has been completed.

Feedback can be provided to the Relationship Managers (Rob and Su) who will feed back to the project team directly.

The issue was raised re: Provisionally Licensed Advisers that are on an hourly rate do a lot of ‘ask the audience’ in online forums, to a worrying degree- observation. This was noted and will feature in the review of supervision when considering changes to the Competency Standards.

Marketing emails - Andrew to seek advice what action IAA or advisers might be able to take with companies sending through spam emails (commission for accredited employer training etc). IAA not privy to it and not endorsing it. IAA also will forward this to INZ as it seems a concern.

Introducing the new OLT Leadership Team
Jyoti and Louise provided an introduction to the Occupational Licensing Team by way of a presentation. The following was covered in the presentation;

  • Support 3 regimes - IAA, EWRB, LBP
  • Operating mode l- about 33 staff, AKL and WLG based and support two Boards
  • Statistics- Licence 52,000 individuals with a 1-2% growth annually and process around 538 complaints annually
  • Key project- 3 year business plan / one team road map- initiatives and systems updates. Continue to develop the shared model across the 3 regimes
  • Regulatory approach - consumer protection is the focus
  • Proactive operations in the IAA space- campaigns to raise awareness of obligations under the Act. Targeting the education space - limiting the operations to Auckland at this stage. Current state - running one campaign per year and looking to increase that to two per year.
  • General suggestion that NZQA and HR conferences are a good target audience for the campaigns. Andrew noted this and will explore whether IAA can present at upcoming conferences and use a targeted media approach.

Offshore Offending

Andrew and Jyoti talked through plans to address offshore offending. Without discussing individual cases, the Reference group are supportive of the offshore venture discussed/planned

IAA Fact Sheet

  • Needs to be subject specific to Employer and Student situations. Andrew will look at contemporising information.

Andrew and Polina provided the following updates on licensing;

Changes and improvements:

  • check sheets being implemented to streamline the process, risk assessment is part of the process
  • joint licensing platform is in development however is still a while away – its hoped this will increase usability, uploading records and making it a better experience to interface with
  • other planned improvements to the licensing regime include
    • Anastasia and Polina looking at ideas to improve the application forms- potential to combine some of those forms, making them clearer
    • Running a client files webinar - Advisers will have a chance to answer questions; information will be provided on keeping a good client file.
  • IAA acknowledged there is a backlog of applications awaiting inspection – and advised we prioritise upgrades and initials. IAA will triage out inspections using risk base approach.

Formal review of the Competency Standards

Andrew has engaged the Service Design Policy team and they have the capacity to lead consultation around potential changes to the Competency Standards.

  • It has been acknowledged that supervision is not working well
  • A change we are keen to consider is - shifting when provisional licensees may enter the profession
  • Business aspect of the course comes in much later and is the biggest pain point for Advisers Business aspect is unique. Make that component of the course compulsory.
  • 12 months would also allow more currency in the course and a higher success rate - more confidence and understanding of the contemporary rules
  • Will have the opportunity to look at all other aspects of the Immigration Advisers Competency Standards 2016. If the group have ideas on other areas that may need to be looked at they should provide feedback to Andrew for inclusion.

The meeting ended at 2.45pm and Andrew thanked everyone for their attendance and contribution.