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Professional responsibilities

Professional relationships

Clause 10 sets out some specific responsibilities in relation to an adviser’s dealings with the following stakeholders:

Other stakeholders that advisers may deal with in the course of their business include the Minister and Associate Minister of Immigration, and the Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal.

These stakeholders, along with Immigration New Zealand, the Immigration and Protection Tribunal and the Authority are the official decision-making entities in the New Zealand immigration system.

The relationships between advisers and these stakeholders are important.

Remember that clause 1 relates to an adviser’s behaviour when dealing with any individual and is therefore relevant to all of the above stakeholders.

  1. A licensed immigration adviser must be honest, professional, diligent and respectful and conduct themselves with due care and in a timely manner.

Other licensed or exempt advisers

Clause 10(a):

A licensed immigration adviser must:

  1. if they are aware that the client has previously used another licensed or exempt immigration adviser:
    1. ensure that the previous contract has ended, or
    2. ensure that the client has terminated the services in writing, or
    3. with the client’s written consent, terminate the services in writing on the client’s behalf, or
    4. if the client wishes to continue to engage another licensed or exempt adviser, ensure that there are clear instructions on the terms of engagement with the new adviser

Ensuring that an adviser is not taking over work from another adviser without the knowledge of the other adviser is a professional courtesy.

Under clause 10(a), an adviser has several ways of ensuring that this has been done. If the client informs the adviser that they previously engaged the services of another adviser, the adviser should check if the agreed services have come to an end. If so, no further action needs to be taken.

If the client advises that the agreed services have not come to an end, but that they or the previous adviser have terminated the services, the adviser should check that this was done in writing. If the services have not yet been terminated, the adviser should either ask the client to terminate the services of the previous adviser in writing, or seek permission to do this on their behalf.

In some situations, a client may want to engage the services of two advisers simultaneously. In this case the written agreement with the new adviser must include clear terms of engagement.

What has changed compared to the 2010 Code?

2010 Code – did not specifically mention an adviser’s relationships with their colleagues

2014 Code – requires professional relationships between advisers and their licensed and exempt colleagues, in particular - if they are aware that the client has previously used another licensed or exempt immigration adviser:

  1. ensure that the previous contract has ended, or
  2. ensure that the client has terminated the services in writing, or
  3. with the client’s written consent, terminate the services in writing on the client’s behalf, or
  4. if the client wishes to continue to engage another licensed or exempt adviser, ensure that there are clear instructions on the terms of engagement with the new adviser.

Complying with operating requirements

Clause 10(b) and (c):

A licensed immigration adviser must:

  1. comply with the operating requirements of Immigration New Zealand
  2. when applicable, comply with the operating requirements of the Immigration and Protection Tribunal

Immigration New Zealand

Clause 10(b) requires that advisers must comply with the operating requirements of Immigration New Zealand. In professional practice this means that advisers should:

It may be helpful for advisers to reflect on the following points when communicating with Immigration New Zealand in writing:

  • supply the client name and INZ file reference or client number
  • address the appropriate criteria or issue succinctly
  • submit a schedule of all the documents being submitted
  • if aware of a weak point in the client’s case, provide the evidence and sound reasons why it should not result in an unfavourable decision
  • be specific to assist the case officer to make a favourable decision for the client
  • avoid submitting documents that have no relevance to the application. Explain how each document is relevant to meeting the law or instructions. It may be obvious to the adviser, but may not be to the case officer.

Immigration and Protection Tribunal

Clause 10(c) requires that advisers must comply with the applicable operating requirements of the Immigration and Protection Tribunal. In professional practice this means advisers should understand:

For further information refer to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal section of the Ministry of Justice website, www.justice.govt.nz.

Remember that you must also work within the limits of your knowledge and skill according to clause 8(a).

Representing an appellant requires specialist expertise and understanding of the law relating to appeals. For example, when representing a client in respect of an appeal on humanitarian grounds, an adviser should have a good understanding of the kind of matters that are important to highlight to the Tribunal.

Immigration Advisers Authority

Clause 10(d) and (e):

A licensed immigration adviser must:

  1. disclose to the Immigration Advisers Authority in writing any information that would have a material effect on their licence, and
  2. notify the Immigration Advisers Authority in writing of any changes to their details as recorded on the register of licensed immigration advisers as soon as practicable, but no later than 10 working days, after the change.

An adviser must let the Authority know in writing any information that would have a material effect on their licence. This is likely to include:

An adviser must also inform the Authority in writing of any change to their details as recorded on the register within 10 working days of the change.

Make sure any register changes are communicated to the Authority by logging on and updating your profile at https://iaa.ewr.govt.nz/OnlineAccount/Login.aspx

It is important that not only the Authority, but also clients, Immigration New Zealand or the Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal can access an adviser’s most up-to-date contact details on the register of licensed immigration advisers.

What has changed compared to the 2010 Code?

2010 Code – required that advisers comply with the operating requirements of the Registrar

2014 Code – requires advsiers to disclose to the Immigration Advisers Authority in writing any information that would have a material effect on their licence, and to notify the Immigration Advisers Authority in writing of any changes to their details as recorded on the register of licensed immigration advisers as soon as practicable, but no later than 10 working days, after the change.