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Unlicensed immigration adviser pleads not guilty to offences

27 August 2019

Unlicensed immigration adviser pleads not guilty to 13 offences of giving unlicensed advice

Peter Woodberg has been charged with 13 offences by the Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) for knowingly providing immigration advice without being licensed or exempt. The alleged offending included advising clients to mislead New Zealand authorities.

Mr Woodberg, who is the director of North Shore Immigration Service, appeared and entered not guilty pleas in the North Shore District Court today for charges under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007.

Registrar of Immigration Advisers Andrew Galloway says, “Consumers who are looking to get immigration advice should see this as an important reminder to only use a licensed immigration adviser or an exempt person.

“The law is in place to protect migrants from unlawful and harmful advice. Licensed immigration advisers are required to be competent in their practice and follow a professional code of conduct relating to the advice they supply.

“One of the Authority’s priorities is protecting migrants from receiving substandard or misleading advice from unqualified persons. Prosecutions such as this demonstrate we do not take this type of offending lightly.”

Immigration advisers must be licensed by the IAA, a New Zealand government body set up to protect individuals and families looking for immigration advice, or be an exempt person, such as a New Zealand lawyer.

“The IAA will continue to raise awareness that unlawful immigration advice can cause significant stress and problems for visa applicants, not to mention putting them out of pocket or putting their dreams of moving to New Zealand in serious jeopardy,” said Mr Galloway.

“If people need help with a visa application, they should only use a licensed immigration adviser or exempt person.”

The IAA’s online register of licensed advisers is available for those who want to search for a licensed immigration adviser. More information on the IAA can be found at www.iaa.govt.nz.

Mr Woodberg was remanded on bail. His next appearance will be at the North Shore District Court for Case Review Hearing on Wednesday, 16 October 2019 at 2:15pm.

[ends]

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