NZ Makes Licence Mandatory For Immigration Advisers

New Zealand makes licence mandatory for immigration advisers

The Economic Times
8 Sep 2009, 1120 hrs IST, IANS

HAMILTON/NEW ZEALAND: New Zealand has made it mandatory for immigration consultants to get a licence. A stiff penalty, including up to seven years' imprisonment, will be imposed on violators.

The law makes it necessary for people living in other countries who give advice on New Zealand immigration to be licensed with Immigration Advisors Authority from May 4, 2010.

New Zealand will not accept applications filed by people using an unlicensed immigration adviser after the law comes into effect.

Barry Smedts, registrar, Immigration Advisers Authority, said: “Once the law is implemented from May 4, 2010, we encourage migrants and their family and friends to seek advice from either licensed immigration advisers or from someone entitled to give advice because they are exempt.

“We recommend people contact the (immigration) authority if they are not satisfied with the service they receive from a licensed immigration adviser, or if they believe someone is providing immigration advice illegally.”

Richard Howard, immediate-past chairperson of the New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment and managing director Pathways to New Zealand, said: “The over-riding premise of the licensing legislation was that the use of a licensed professional to provide immigration advice and assistance is the best way to protect migrants and this is now the message that migrants should take on board.”

Once the law comes into effect, all offshore licensed advisers must display the Licensed Immigration Advisers Code of Conduct at their place of business.

Penalties for violating the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act include up to seven years imprisonment and/or fines up to $100,000 for unlicensed offenders.