Education providers reminded about immigration advice laws
5 June 2019
The Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) has visited more than 20 education providers in the past week, reminding them of the laws around providing immigration advice for New Zealand.
“Last year an Auckland based education agent was sentenced to home detention for providing unlawful immigration advice. As part of its regular proactive compliance practice IAA investigators got out and remind education providers of the clear laws that surround the provision of immigration advice,” says the Registrar of Immigration Advisers, Andrew Galloway.
“Overall we found that most of the establishments were aware of these requirements, however some issues were raised during the operation which will be investigated by the IAA.
“In one case a private training establishment had a practice which raised serious concerns and will be the subject of an investigation into the potential for unlicensed immigration advice.
“Only a licensed adviser or someone exempt can provide immigration advice. Many education providers engage licensed advisers, ensuring they were always on the right side of the line.
“The exemption for education advisers is for offshore only, and limited to student visa matters. If people want broader immigration advice such as pathways to residency or advice about bringing partners and families to New Zealand they need to use a licensed adviser or someone that is exempt.”
The IAA has factsheets available for education providers in several languages and encourages all education providers to ensure they are keeping to the letter of the law.
“The IAA will continue to run proactive campaigns in the near future, the likely target of future campaigns may be recruitment firms, employers and associations. 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.
“If people need help with a visa application, they should only use a licensed immigration adviser or exempt person,” says Mr Galloway.
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
The IAA investigates complaints made by the public about unlicensed immigration advice. Individuals found breaking the law can face up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to NZD$100,000.