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IAA tells Filipinos “check your immigration adviser is licensed or exempt”

Media release

27 September 2017

Registrar of the New Zealand Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) Catherine Albiston will be in the Philippines next week raising awareness of the importance of only using licensed or exempt advisers when seeking New Zealand immigration advice.

Ms Albiston will visit Manila and Cebu as part of a campaign to increase awareness in Filipino communities of the IAA’s licensed adviser register and list of exempt persons, and the risks associated with using unlicensed advisers.

“Unfortunately there are people who operate unlawfully and provide advice without a licence, which can result in a distressing situation for the visa applicant and their family,” says Ms Albiston.

“That’s why the IAA offers a register of licensed advisers on our website. There is no requirement for New Zealand visa applicants to use an immigration adviser, however if they need help then only a licensed immigration adviser or exempt person can assist.

“Exempt persons include Immigration New Zealand, Citizens Advice Bureau, Community Law Centres, and current New Zealand lawyers.”

New Zealand is a popular destination for Filipino migrants, to work, live, study, or visit, with the Philippines featuring in the top five nationalities for approved visas across these categories and making it a focus for the IAA.

The aim of the IAA is to ensure people looking to come to New Zealand, or applying for a further visa once here, are aware that if they need help when applying for a visa they must get advice from the right person, and what their options are to get this advice,” adds Ms Albiston.

“People who are not licensed or exempt, including POEA agencies, can share publicly available information, but cannot provide immigration advice.

“Visa applicants can use our checklist before they choose who provides them with advice.”

The IAA is responsible for issuing licences to advisers and handling complaints about poor immigration advice. A person’s immigration status will not be affected by contacting the IAA.

More information on the IAA can be found at iaa.govt.nz. For free information on New Zealand’s immigration requirements go to www.immigration.govt.nz