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Licensed immigration advisers: new professional standards

Media release

10 January 2014

Licensed immigration advisers to meet new professional standards

Licensed immigration advisers will be working to a revised set of professional standards that comes into effect today (Monday 13 January 2014).

The Licensed Immigration Advisers Code of Conduct 2014 updates the 2010 Code to provide greater clarification for advisers and consumers.

The new code ensures a licensed immigration adviser will:

• show you evidence that they are licensed

• be honest, professional, diligent and respectful

• conduct themselves with due care and in a timely manner

• provide you with objective advice.

Registrar of Immigration Advisers, Barry Smedts, said: “The Code is one of the many reasons why people are better off choosing a licensed immigration adviser over an unlawful unlicensed person.

A licensed adviser is bound by a professional code to act in their client’s best interests. They have met competency standards, are accountable and will tell clients of the risks they face when applying for a visa. Unlawful unlicensed people, on the other hand, may claim they can secure visas through ‘contacts at Immigration New Zealand’ but, in reality, may be incompetent and unethical.”

Anyone providing New Zealand immigration advice onshore or offshore must be licensed by the Authority, unless exempt. Exempt people include New Zealand lawyers.

The Authority warned migrants to be wary of anyone who claimed to be an immigration consultant but refused to put their name on visa applications. Mr Smedts said: “Stay away from anyone who encourages you to lie to Immigration New Zealand.”

The 2014 Code was developed by the Immigration Advisers Authority with input from 108 licensed immigration advisers, immigration industry bodies and migrant groups.

Under the new Code, licensed advisers must provide all clients with a short summary of their professional standards (attached).

Find out more about licensed immigration advisers, visit



Notes to editor

The Immigration Advisers Authority was set up to protect people receiving New Zealand immigration advice.

We do this by:

• issuing licences to people who are fit and competent to give immigration advice

• maintaining competency standards and a code of conduct for immigration advisers

• receiving complaints against licensed immigration advisers

• investigating people giving immigration advice without a licence or exemption.

Under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007 anyone giving immigration advice must have a licence unless they are exempt. Exempt people include lawyers with a current New Zealand practising certificate and Citizens Advice Bureaux staff among others.

We are independent of Immigration New Zealand and cannot give immigration advice or influence a visa application. Watch a video about us to find out more.

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