New Zealand High Commission Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

New Zealand takes further steps to protect migrants

From 4 May 2010, anyone — no matter where they are based — who gives advice about immigration to New Zealand must be licensed, unless they have an exemption.  Immigration advisers based in New Zealand have had to be licensed since May 2009.

The Immigration Advisers Authority is responsible for the regulation of the immigration advice industry, and licenses advisers.

“Immigration advice” is a legal term defined in the new law.  People have to consider whether they are knowingly putting themselves in a position where they advise, assist, direct or represent another person about immigration matters concerning New Zealand.

Licensing applies to anyone who provides immigration advice including, for example, immigration consultants and advisers in the recruitment, travel and education sectors.  People who may be providing immigration advice need to consider whether they are covered by the new law, and should seek legal advice if necessary.

People are exempt from licensing if they are in one of these categories:
  • those who provide immigration advice in an informal or family context only, so long as the advice is not provided systematically or for a fee;
  • people who provide immigration advice offshore and who advise on student visa and permit applications only;
  • current members of the New Zealand Parliament and their staff who provide immigration advice within the scope of their employment agreement;
  • foreign diplomats and consular staff in New Zealand accorded protection under certain laws;
  • New Zealand public service employees who provide immigration advice within the scope of their employment agreement;
  • Lawyers registered with the New Zealand Law Society;
  • people working (either employed or as volunteers) for community law centres within New Zealand, where at least one lawyer is involved with the centre;
  • people working (either employed or as volunteers) for New Zealand citizens advice bureau;
  • people exempted by specific regulations.

There’s more information on the website of the Immigration Advisers Authority.


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