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September 2017 newsletter

Registrar update

Last week in the Waitakere District Court, Maria ‘Ilaisaane Valu-Pome’e pleaded guilty to 14 charges laid by the Immigration Advisers Authority relating to providing unlawful immigration advice. This case serves as a good reminder to our Pacific communities to ensure they seek lawful immigration advice and shows that we will hold those breaking the law to account.

In August I spoke at the New Zealand International Education Conference in Auckland to education providers from around the country. Immigration New Zealand and I delivered a joint presentation on how to ensure students are getting the right advice about the immigration process. It covered what providers can legally do without giving immigration advice, and practical guidance on how they can manage education agents.

With thanks to the 2017 Licensed Immigration Adviser Reference Group, we have updated the Authority’s Supervision Toolkit and model supervision agreement. Read more about these changes below.

Last week we were unable to run our scheduled webinar on client engagement due to a technical fault. I reiterate my sincere apology to those who took time out from their business to attend. The webinar on client engagement will be rescheduled for 2018. You can register for our two remaining webinars in 2017 below.

Catherine Albiston

Registrar of Immigration Advisers

catherine albiston

An Auckland woman of Tongan nationality has pleaded guilty to 14 charges laid by the Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) for illegally providing New Zealand immigration advice.

Maria ‘Ilaisaane Valu-Pome’e appeared in the Waitakere District Court last week following a thorough investigation by the IAA into her history of providing New Zealand immigration advice in the Pacific community.

Mrs Valu-Pome’e, who previously held a practising certificate with the New Zealand Law Society, continued to provide immigration advice after it expired.

Read our media release

Supervision news

This year, the licensed adviser reference group has discussed supervision and what we can do to ensure it is high quality. As a result of these discussions we have made some changes to our Supervision Toolkit and model supervision agreement.

Firstly, we have clarified that when a supervisor enters into a supervision agreement with a provisional licence holder, they should monitor all key and formal documentation and correspondence prior to it being sent. The supervisor should ensure the provisional licence holder makes any necessary changes.

When the supervisor is confident that the provisional licence holder is competent in particular tasks, they may monitor those tasks after they have been sent.

Ideally, over the two-year period the provisional licence holder would become more independent, but still have key and formal documentation and correspondence monitored.

If issues arise during monitoring, the supervisor should go back to reviewing documentation prior to it being sent.

Secondly, we have clarified that supervision agreements should be very clear on what supervision fees will be charged:

  • If the supervision fee is an hourly rate, it should be clear whether that will be applied to formal meetings only or emails and phone calls also.
  • If the supervision fee is a percentage of the client’s fee, it should be clear what standard client fees will be.
  • If there are to be no fees charged, this must be clearly stated.

Thirdly, we have noted that supervisors must inform the provisional licence holder immediately if their licence expires, or is cancelled, surrendered or suspended.

In addition to clarifying these things, in the model supervision agreement we have included:

  • a clause for the provisional licence holder to note what their expected case load will be
  • a clause to set out how the provisional licence holder and supervisor will communicate in between formal meetings
  • a declaration that the agreement has been tailored to ensure it is an accurate reflection of the supervision arrangement
  • a declaration that both parties agree that the Registrar may raise questions or concerns regarding the supervision arrangement with the supervisor and/or the provisional licence holder.

These changes are designed to provide greater clarity about the Authority’s expectations and transparency to both supervisors and provisional licence holders about the arrangement they are entering into.

Current provisional licence holders are not expected to update existing supervision agreements unless they are renewing them.

Read the updated Supervision Toolkit here

Read the updated model supervision agreement here

2017 Reference Group update

This year, the Licensed Immigration Advisers Reference Group has discussed a range of topics including supervision, continuing professional development, the Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice, and the Authority’s awareness campaigns.

You can read minutes from the meetings here

2017 webinars

Managing conflicts of interest
Wednesday 25 October 3-4pm

This webinar will go over a New Zealand licensed immigration adviser's obligations regarding managing conflicts of interest.

Please register for this webinar here(external link)

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Communicating with your client
Wednesday 22 November 3-4pm

This webinar will go over the key requirements you have as a New Zealand licensed immigration adviser regarding communicating with your client.

Please register for this webinar here(external link)

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Graduate Diploma Not-for profit Scholarship

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology offers one scholarship each year for a student of the Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice who intends to provide New Zealand Immigration advice on a not-for-profit basis while working or volunteering for a not-for-profit organisation in New Zealand.
The scholarship will cover the student’s domestic tuition fees for the one year Graduate Diploma.

Before applying to the Polytechnic for the scholarship, the applicant must have their not-for-profit status pre-approved by the Authority.

Details on how to apply are available here

Careers NZ Work Connect programme for migrants

Work Connect is a free programme for graduate international students and skilled resident migrants and their partners to give them the skills they need to find and secure work in New Zealand.

The programme includes personalised one-to-one coaching, help with refining a CV and cover letter matched to the roles applied for, help finding jobs and understanding how to communicate with employers, and how to be successful at interviews.

Read more here(external link)