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Professional practice

Code and complaint documents

Clause 17:

Before entering into a written agreement with the client, a licensed immigration adviser must:

  1. provide the client with the summary of licensed immigration advisers’ professional responsibilities, as published by the Registrar of Immigration Advisers
  2. explain the summary of licensed immigration advisers’ professional responsibilities to the client and advise them how to access a full copy of this code of conduct, and
  3. advise the client that they have an internal complaints procedure and provide them with a copy of it.

The Code does not require advisers to provide an actual copy of the Code to each client. Instead, clause 17 requires advisers to provide each client with the summary of licensed immigration advisers’ professional responsibilities, as published by the Registrar of Immigration Advisers, before a written agreement is entered into.

This summary explains some of the duties of an adviser under the Code and provides information about the Authority and how to contact it. Advisers need to explain this summary to their clients. Advisers also need to advise their clients how they can access a full copy of the Code. A good way to do this is to provide a direct link to the Code in an email or a letter. This ensures there is a written record.  Advisers may provide their clients with a copy of the Code if they wish, but this is not required.

Before a written agreement is entered into, it is also necessary to provide the client with a copy of the adviser’s internal complaints procedure. This may be incorporated into the written agreement, but the client must be made aware that it is there.

Clause 19 (m) and (n) require an adviser to record in the written agreement that the summary of licensed immigration advisers’ professional responsibilities has been provided and explained to the client, and that the client has received a copy of the adviser’s internal complaints procedure.

What has changed compared to the 2010 Code?

2010 Code – required advisers to explain to and provide clients with a copy of the Code and to display the Code in a prominent place at their place of business at all times. It also required them to explain to and provide clients with their internal complaints procedure

2014 Code – requires advisers, before entering into a written agreement with the client, to:

  1. provide the client with the summary of licensed immigration advisers’ professional responsibilities, as published by the Registrar of Immigration Advisers
  2. explain the summary of licensed immigration advisers’ professional responsibilities to the client and advise them how to access a full copy of the Code, and
  3. advise the client that they have an internal complaints procedure and provide them with a copy of it.

Here is a decision from the Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal that refers to providing code and complaints documents:

Kong v Li

Decision: [2015] NZIACDT 33 (23 March 2015)

Interim Decision: [2015] NZIACDT 59 (15 May 2015) (PDF, 135KB)