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Fitness for licensing

This policy sets out the fitness standards all immigration adviser licence applicants must meet and the fitness assessment process that the Immigration Advisers Authority (the Authority) uses when it processes an application.

Fitness requirements

Under section 15 of the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007 (the Act) the Registrar of Immigration Advisers (the Registrar) must be satisfied that an applicant is not prohibited from licensing and is fit to be licensed under sections 16 and 17 of the Act.

The Registrar bases the fitness decision on information from the applicant, a New Zealand Criminal Record History from the New Zealand Ministry of Justice or an equivalent international agency and any other relevant information.

Prohibited from licensing

Section 15(1) of the Act states that an applicant is prohibited from licensing if they:

Section 15(2) of the Act states that persons who hold or have held any of the following offices or employment are prohibited from being licensed while holding the office or employment or at any time within 12 months after leaving the office or employment:

The Registrar has no discretion to licence a person prohibited from licensing.

Restricted from licensing

Section 16 of the Act identifies persons who are restricted from licensing and establishes a presumption against licensing.

The Registrar can overturn this restriction if satisfied that the nature of the offence or matter that brings about the restriction is unlikely to affect adversely the applicant’s fitness to provide immigration advice.

The following persons are subject to a restriction on licensing:

Other matters relevant to fitness for licensing

Section 17 of the Act sets out other matters that the Registrar may consider when considering the fitness of an applicant:

Fitness for licensing for an initial application

The Initial Licence Application form requires the applicant to answer questions about their fitness for licensing and in some circumstances provide further information:

If the applicant has answered yes to any of questions 7 to 12, or 15, the Authority will carry out a fitness assessment.

As part of this assessment, the Authority will consider information supplied with the application and if necessary seek further information directly from the applicant or consent from the applicant to seek information from third parties.

In the event there are any concerns arising from information supplied, the Authority will inform the applicant of these concerns and provide them with an opportunity to comment.

The application will be refused in the event the applicant does not pass the fitness assessment.

Fitness for licensing for renewal, upgrade or reapply

Fast-Track Renewal, Inspection Renewal, Upgrade and Reapply application forms all require the applicant to complete a fitness for licensing questionnaire and answer questions about their fitness for licensing and in some circumstances provide further information:

If the applicant has answered yes to any of questions 7 to 12, or 15, the Authority will carry out a fitness assessment.

If an applicant has a complaint pending before the Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal, they will be required to answer yes to question 12. If an applicant then answers yes to either question 13 (b) or (c) they will be required to provide the relevant information requested.

As part of the fitness assessment, the Authority will consider information supplied with the application and if necessary seek further information directly from the adviser or consent from the adviser to seek information from third parties.

In the event there are any concerns arising from information supplied, the Authority will inform the adviser of these concerns and provide them with an opportunity to comment.

The application will be refused in the event the adviser does not pass the fitness assessment.