A licensed immigration adviser must be honest, professional, diligent and respectful and conduct themselves with due care and in a timely manner
Clause 1 relates to an adviser’s behaviour when dealing with clients and any other person or office they may encounter in their professional dealings.
This could include, but is not limited to, Immigration New Zealand, the Immigration and Protection Tribunal, the Minister of Immigration, the Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal, the Authority, the courts, any other government bodies or any other licensed or exempt immigration adviser.
Being honest underpins the Code and is an important part of each clause. Honesty is a fundamental ethical value upon which society and the legal system operate. It is important to be honest, even if a client wants the adviser to be dishonest.
Dishonesty is taken very seriously by the Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal and can lead to an adviser’s licence being cancelled.
Here are some decisions from the Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal that refer to dishonesty:
Chand v Shearer
J v Khetarpal
EBT v Mudaliar
Toiloloi v Letalu
Chen v Loh
Moctezuma v Chase-Seymour
Professionalism is important because the public needs to know that they can trust all members of the immigration advice profession.
To act professionally the adviser needs to demonstrate that he or she:
- brings integrity to all of their business dealings
- acts in their client’s best interests
- provides the benefits of their knowledge and skill to their client, but also knows the limits of their knowledge and skill
- treats people with respect
- does not act in a manner that will bring the profession into disrepute.
Here are some decisions from the Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal that refer to professionalism:
L v Kim
AQ v Mudaliar
Juan v Ramos
Senadipathi & Xavier v Sampang
Tully v Yerman
Muneez v Deng
To be diligent the adviser needs to demonstrate that he or she:
- makes a constant and earnest effort to accomplish what they have agreed to do
- takes the appropriate level of care required for the job at hand.
Respect for persons and their rights is the basis for many of the ethical principles expressed in the Code. To show a person respect an adviser should:
- treat them with consideration, and
- refrain from offending, corrupting or tempting them.
Having due care
Due care is the conduct that a reasonable person will exercise in a particular situation, in looking out for the safety of others. Advisers who conduct themselves with due care should protect themselves from acting negligently.
To exercise due care the adviser needs to demonstrate that he or she exerts the efforts which are ordinarily applied by a licensed immigration adviser, i.e. the efforts which are expected from a prudent adviser with the same set of skills and experience in a given situation.
Here are some decisions from the Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal that refer to diligence and having due care:
Gill v Singh
Adams v Aucamp
N v Tangilanu
N v Letalu
Eppanapally v Zhou
Ikbarieh v Hammadieh
Acting in a timely manner
To act in a timely manner the adviser needs to demonstrate that he or she:
- does not spend unnecessary time on any given task, potentially increasing their client’s fees in the process
- makes every effort to meet each deadline imposed, no matter who has stipulated it. Not meeting deadlines imposed by Immigration New Zealand or the Immigration and Protection Tribunal, for example, could have a detrimental effect on the client’s immigration matter.
What has changed compared to the 2010 Code?
2010 Code – required due care, diligence, respect and professionalism when dealing with clients and the maintenance of respectful and professional relationships with stakeholders
2014 Code – requires honesty, professionalism, diligence, respectfulness, due care and timeliness at all times and with all people.
Negligence is also a ground for complaint. A person behaves negligently when they are not doing what a reasonable person would do in a situation where that person owes a duty of care. Here are some decisions from the Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal that refer to negligence: