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Have A Say On Standards For Immigration Advisers

Have your say on standards for Immigration Advisers

From 4 May 2008, anyone providing New Zealand immigration advice will need to apply for a licence (unless exempt*). To obtain and hold a licence, Immigration Advisers will have to meet competency standards and adhere to a code of conduct.

Drafts of these documents have been developed and are available for public consultation from today, 20 November – Friday 21 December.

Licensing for Advisers both on and offshore will be administered by the Immigration Advisers Authority, an independent Authority headed by Registrar Barry Smedts. Mr Smedts says that getting the competency standards and code of conduct right is at the heart of a quality licensing process.

“Industry input and dialogue have already been invaluable in moving the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act forward to date. Now, we are inviting the entire Immigration Advice sector, prospective migrants, and the public to have their say about the proposed standards and code.”

Making Immigration Advisers a recognised profession will benefit migrant consumers and Advisers alike, says Mr Smedts.

“Migrants and refugees can be confident that they will be provided with the correct and best information, whether they receive it directly from Immigration New Zealand or from an Adviser. Creating professional standards for Immigration Advisers will help protect them against poor advice or unprofessional behaviour.

“Immigration Advisers will be supported to give their clients sound advice and professional service through continuing professional development programmes and recognition of their work as a regulated profession. In addition, Advisers who provide poor or fraudulent advice can be prosecuted.”

Submissions can be made either online or in writing. Forms are available at www.iaa.govt.nz or by phoning 0508 IAA IAA (0508 422 422—New Zealand only).
Once feedback has been collated, the code of conduct and the competency standards will be submitted to the Minister of Immigration for approval early next year.

*Exemptions include:

• People who give advice in a family or informal context
• Offshore Advisers for student visa and permit applications only
• Members of Parliament and their staff
• Public sector employees
• Diplomats
• Lawyers
• Citizens Advice Bureaux
• Community Law Centres.

These people can still give immigration advice, but do not need to be licensed.

ENDS

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