Licensing To Cut Out Cowboy Advisers   3 May 2010

New Zealand Government - New Zealand’s reputation as a migrant destination will be strengthened through new laws covering offshore immigration advisers, Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman says.

From tomorrow all people giving immigration advice about New Zealand must be licensed unless they are exempt. The mandatory licensing for offshore immigration advisers follows introduction of licensing for onshore advisers last May and completes the implementation of the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act.

‘’Before the Act anyone could call themselves an immigration adviser and migrants had no way of knowing whether their adviser was reputable or a cowboy out to make money at their expense,’’ Dr Coleman says.

‘’Since the introduction of mandatory licensing for onshore advisers, migrants have had confidence that their adviser meets standards set by the New Zealand government. To gain a licence, individuals must demonstrate competency and high professional standards. Once they become licensed, they sign up to a code of conduct.

‘’The Act is designed to provide the same consumer protection to migrants that New Zealand citizens expect as of right. Migrants are often in a vulnerable position; if they take the wrong course of action, they may be deported or have their application refused.

‘’We encourage migrants, their families and friends to seek advice from either licensed immigration advisers or from someone entitled to give advice because they are exempt,’’ Dr Coleman says.

More information on adviser licensing, including exemptions, is available from www.iaa.govt.nz

ENDS

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