The IAA and Immigration Advice
The Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) is an independent body, created to protect the interests of applicants receiving New Zealand immigration advice. This includes advising which visa an applicant is eligible for, or assisting someone in applying for a visa.
Anyone giving immigration advice must hold a current licence, unless they are one of the small number of exempt people such as Citizens Advice Bureaux staff. Providing New Zealand visa advice without a license is unlawful, and will have serious consequences for the applicant and the advisor.
The IAA and Unlicensed Advisors
“The IAA investigates complaints about unlicensed immigration advice, and individuals found breaking the law can face up to seven years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $100,000… It is compulsory for anyone, anywhere in the world, giving immigration advice about New Zealand to be licensed, unless they fall into one of the exempt categories outlined in the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007.” (IAA, 2020)
A recent news story detailed how one businessman has been punished for providing immigration advice without being licensed or exempt. The man promoted New Zealand as a migrant destination and provided immigration advice to seminar attendees. Moreover, he was dishonest about the number of clients he had helped secure visas. Consequently, the businessman was sentenced to six months community detention, 12 months supervision and ordered to pay $5600 reparation to his victims. You can read the full story on the IAA website.
The Dangers of Using an Unlicensed Advisor
For the applicant, seeking visa advice from an unlicensed individual can have dire results too. Lodging a visa on incorrect advice can forfeit your application fee. Moreover, it may negatively affect future applications and travel to New Zealand.
The emigration process involves investing a lot of time, money and emotional efforts. Most applicants spend at least 12 months securing their visa application, so understandably it would be devastating to be subject to fraudulent activity!
You can feel confident in knowing that our primary agent Darren Chatt is registered for both Australia and New Zealand to provide immigration advice.
You can see a complete list of licensed New Zealand agents here: https://iaa.ewr.govt.nz/PublicRegister/Search.aspx
Look over registered Australian Migration Agents here: https://www.mara.gov.au/