Operating without a licence
Providing immigration advice is a licensed, recognised profession. Anyone who gives advice about New Zealand immigration matters must be licensed, or exempt from holding a licence.
If you give advice without a licence or exemption
Providing immigration advice without a licence or being exempt can cause significant stress and problems for visa applicants. They could lose money or their plans to move to New Zealand could be jeopardised.
We investigate complaints made by the public about unlicensed advice about New Zealand immigration matters.
If you’re not licensed or exempt and you provide advice on immigration, you could face a fine of up to NZ$100,000 and/or up to 7 years’ imprisonment — even if you don’t charge a fee for your advice.
If you're in a position where people are asking you for immigration advice, you have 3 options. You can:
- become a licensed immigration adviser
- engage an adviser who is licensed, or exempt from holding a licence
- tell your client that they can make their own application. Immigration New Zealand(external link) can help them with this.
Become a licensed immigration adviser
If you’re concerned that you’ve been providing immigration advice without a licence, you should:
- seek independent legal advice, or
- consider getting a licence yourself.
Find a licensed immigration adviser
If you need to engage someone else to give a client advice, the following people can help:
- a licensed immigration adviser, or
- someone who's exempt from holding a licence. This could be a lawyer with a current New Zealand practising certificate, for example.
Who can give advice?
Guide to licensed immigration advisers
Find a licensed immigration adviser(external link)
Get help from Immigration New Zealand
Immigration New Zealand can also provide advice. They can help people find visa application forms and guides to apply online themselves.
Visa application forms and guides(external link)
Contact Immigration New Zealand(external link)