New rules which govern the standards licensed immigration advisers offering advice on emigrating to New Zealand must adhere to, come into effect today.
Through the Licensed Immigration Advisers Code of Conduct 2014, licensed immigration advisers will have to meet the following criteria:
– Be able to show clients evidence that they are licensed;
– Be honest, professional, diligent and respectful;
– Conduct themselves with due care and in a timely manner; and
– Provide their client with objective advice.
“The Code is one of the many reasons why people are better off choosing a licensed immigration adviser over an unlawful unlicensed person,” explains Barry Smedts, the Registrar of Immigration Advisers. “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.”
You can find out more about receiving good migration advice, and check that the adviser you wish to use is fully registered, by visiting the Immigration Advisers Authority website: www.iaa.govt.nz
Article published 13th January 2014