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Professional practice

Termination of services

Clause 28:

A licensed immigration adviser must ensure that:

  1. the termination of services, for any reason, is confirmed to the client in writing
  2. where they cease to act for the client for any reason other than the completion of agreed services, they inform Immigration New Zealand or the Immigration and Protection Tribunal, as appropriate, that they are no longer representing the client, and
  3. if, for any reason, the adviser cannot continue to act for the client, the adviser fully updates the client on the status of their immigration matter and advises them of where they could get assistance.

Just as there are professional ethical issues to consider in relation to the formation and conduct of an adviser/client relationship, there are also professional ethical issues to consider in the ending of such a relationship.

A client relationship will normally end once the adviser has provided the agreed services and has been paid for those services.

There may be circumstances in which the relationship will end before the agreed services have been completed. This could be initiated by either the client or the adviser.

Whenever services are terminated before their completion, under clause 28(a), this must be confirmed to the client in writing.

Under clause 28(b), advisers must inform Immigration New Zealand or the Immigration and Protection Tribunal if they cease to represent a client partway through an application or appeal. This will ensure that any further correspondence is sent directly to the client rather than the adviser.

If services are terminated before their completion, clause 28(c) requires that the adviser fully updates the client on the status of the immigration matter. If the adviser has kept an up-to-date file for the client this will be a simple requirement to fulfil. The adviser should also advise the client of where they could get assistance.

Here are some decisions from the Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal that refer to the termination of services:

Musese v Min

Decision: [2013] NZIACDT 24 (4 April 2013) (PDF, 119 KB)

Penalty Decision: [2013] NZIACDT 60 (18 September 2013)(PDF, 96.7 KB)

What has changed compared to the 2010 Code?

2010 Code – required advisers to:

  • confirm in writing to clients when work ceased part way through the immigration process on clients’ instructions or by the action of the adviser, and
  • to take reasonable steps to ensure clients’ interests were represented if the adviser could not for any reason continue as a representative

2014 Code – requires advisers to ensure that:

  1. the termination of services, for any reason, is confirmed to the client in writing
  2. where they cease to act for the client for any reason other than the completion of agreed services, they inform Immigration New Zealand or the Immigration and Protection Tribunal, as appropriate, that they are no longer representing the client, and
  3. if, for any reason, the adviser cannot continue to act for the client, the adviser fully updates the client on the status of their immigration matter and advises them of where they could get assistance.