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Renewal

This policy sets out how to apply to renew a full, limited or provisional New Zealand immigration adviser licence, including one granted under the TTMRA.

Maintaining a current licence

It is the responsibility of licensed immigration advisers (advisers) to make sure that their licence is valid. The Registrar of Immigration Advisers (the Registrar) has no discretion to accept renewal applications received after the expiry of an adviser’s current licence. 

A licence renewal application must be submitted on or before the date on which the licence expires.

If any adviser fails to maintain a current licence, the Registrar will record the expiry of the licence on the public register of immigration advisers (the register) and the adviser will no longer be able to give immigration advice.

Both fast-track and inspection renewal applications can now be lodged online at www.iaa.govt.nz. If you are not able to lodge an online application form, please contact the Authority for assistance.

The Authority will email a renewal reminder around two months before an adviser’s licence expiry date.

Once you have received your renewal reminder, your online application will be available for you to complete.

If you have submitted a complete licence renewal application, but the Authority has not assessed it before the date on which the licence would otherwise expire, the licence continues in force until the assessment is complete.

Online renewal forms will only be available two months before the adviser’s licence is due to expire. The Authority will not accept any renewal applications received more than two months before the expiry of the current licence. This means the information provided with the renewal is current at the time of assessment

Changing supervisor

A provisional licence holder who wishes to renew their provisional licence must ensure that their supervision arrangement is current at the time they apply to renew their licence.

The provisional licence holder must confirm that their existing supervision arrangement is still in place when completing the renewal declaration form.  

At any time, a provisional licence holder must:

If a provisional licence holder does not have an approved supervision agreement in place at the time they are due to renew their licence, they may not lodge a renewal application.

Application streams

There are two renewal application streams for all licensed advisers:  fast-track and inspections 

The fast-track stream provides a streamlined renewal process for most advisers. The inspections stream allows for assessment of a client file and onsite visits.  

Fast-track renewal process

All advisers are eligible to go through a fast-track renewal if they hold a full, limited or provisional licence unless the Authority has required the adviser to be inspected.

Fast-Track Renewal Application

The fast-track renewal application form requires the adviser to provide:

Personal details

The personal details section requires the adviser to confirm:

Contact details

The contact details section requires the adviser to confirm or update:

Under section 77(2) of the Act, the purpose of the register is to enable members of the public to know how to contact a licensed immigration adviser and to facilitate the compliance, audit and other supporting and administrative functions of the Registrar. The register must show a business and service address for the adviser. The adviser can update their details by selecting the appropriate edit button. 

The adviser may choose to have their postal address, business phone number, direct dial phone number, mobile number, fax number, business email address or business website shown on the register.

Under section 26 of the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007, the adviser must inform the Authority if they work for any other businesses. If the adviser is working for any other businesses at the time of renewing their licence, they must provide the contact details and addresses for the other business(es) in their renewal application.

As advisers complete the online form, any changes to their personal details and contact details will be added to the register as soon as they agree to the declaration that the details they have entered are true and correct.

Identification

An adviser must upload one passport-sized and passport quality photograph, taken within the last six months, at least every third renewal. Advisers will have the option of updating their photograph at every renewal.       

This photograph will be used on the adviser’s wallet card and licence certificate. It will also be shown on the register.

Licence type

An adviser’s New Zealand immigration adviser licence number, status, expiry date, licence type and licence history will automatically be displayed on the online fast-track renewal application. The supervision details will also be displayed for provisional licence holders. Please contact the Authority if any details are incorrect.  

Fitness for Licensing Questionnaire

All advisers completing a fast-track renewal application must complete a fitness for licensing questionnaire and upload any documentation required.

An adviser who has had a complaint made against them, and the Tribunal has not made a decision on the complaint before the adviser’s renewal, must declare the complaint in the fitness section and the application will undergo a fitness assessment.

See Licensing Toolkit – Fitness for licensing for more information.

Declaration and payment

By ticking the declaration checkboxes, the applicant is declaring that:

WARNING: The giving of false information in the application form is an offence under section 66 of the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007 with penalties of imprisonment of up to two years and/or a fine of up to $10,000 and will result in the application for a licence being refused.

Fee and levy

The adviser must pay the licence renewal fee when applying to renew their licence.  The immigration adviser’s levy is payable only if the application is successful.

The Authority only accepts payments in New Zealand dollars. Payments can be made online using Visa or Mastercard.

For advisers who are ordinarily resident in New Zealand the licence renewal fee is NZ$909.78 and the immigration adviser’s levy is NZ$1129.55.

A person is ordinarily resident in New Zealand if they have spent more than 183 days in New Zealand in the immediately preceding 12 months and is not unlawfully in New Zealand.

For advisers who are not ordinarily resident in New Zealand the licence renewal fee is NZ$791.11 and the immigration adviser’s levy is NZ$982.22

Where an adviser’s online fast-track renewal form is to be approved immediately, the adviser will be required to pay both the fee and the levy together.

Where the adviser’s online fast-track form requires assessment only the fee will be payable on submitting the application. If the application is successful, the Authority will contact the adviser to request the levy.

Advisers will immediately be able to download an invoice and receipt.

Assessment of fast-track renewal applications

If there are any concerns about whether an adviser is meeting any of the competency standards, or indications that there are issues of non-compliance with the Code, the Registrar may investigate those issues in full. Any fitness issues identified in the fitness for    licensing questionnaire will be assessed in full.     

Inspections renewal process

Any person authorised by the Registrar may, for the purpose of administering the licensing regime, carry out an inspection under sections 56 and 57 of the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007. Section 20 allows inspections to be used as a method of determining an adviser’s competency.

Purpose of inspections

The inspection powers are used to support the administration of the licensing regime. Inspections provide the Authority with an educative tool to identify deficiencies in an adviser’s practices and help improve the adviser’s ability to meet competency standards and comply with the Code.

Adviser eligibility for an inspection

All advisers are eligible for an inspection and may be inspected at their next licence renewal.

Inspections process

The Authority will send notice of inspection along with the renewal reminder email that is sent out two months before an adviser’s licence is due to expire.

This email will set out the details of a client file for inspection that has been chosen by the Authority from all applications lodged by the adviser to Immigration New Zealand in the previous year.

Advisers who have been selected for an inspection will have to provide the client file requested by the Authority. As this client file is requested under section 57 of the Act, the applicant and the client do not have to complete a client authorisation and declaration.  

Inspection Renewal Application

The online inspections renewal form requires the adviser to provide:

Form 301A: Supervision Arrangement Application (Renewal)

If a provisional licence holder has been selected for an inspection renewal, they must also submit Form 301A: Supervision Arrangement Application (Renewal) along with their application. The provisional licence holder is required to provide: 

The supervisor is required to provide:

Provisional licence holder

The provisional licence holder must provide their full legal name, immigration adviser licence number and indicate whether their proposed supervisor is the same person as their current supervisor.

Supervision agreement

The provisional licence holder and supervisor are required to have in place a supervision agreement for the approval of the Registrar. A copy of the signed supervision agreement must be provided to the Authority.

The Registrar has developed a model supervision agreement which is available on the Authority’s website www.iaa.govt.nz to help you.

Supervision minutes

The provisional licence holder and the supervisor are required to keep a record of the meetings that have occurred during the course of the supervision. A record of the minutes kept must be provided when the provisional licence holder applies to renew their licence and their supervision arrangement.

If the provisional licence holder is entering into a new supervision arrangement, they are required to provide a record of the minutes that were kept while they were being supervised by their former supervisor.

For further information about supervision agreements and keeping supervision minutes, see the Authority’s Supervision Toolkit.

Assessment of supervision arrangement

The provisional licence holder must provide details of:

Applicant acknowledgement and declaration

The applicant must acknowledge and declare that:

Proposed supervisor details

The proposed supervisor must provide the following details:

Supervisor requirements

The proposed supervisor must indicate whether they hold a full immigration adviser’s licence and if they provide direct supervision to any other provisional licence holders.

Assessment of supervision arrangement

The proposed supervisor must provide details of:

Supervisor acknowledgement and declaration

The proposed supervisor must acknowledge and declare that:

Other matters relating to competency

Advisers who were requested to provide evidence of a change in business practice for their next renewal will be required to:  

Fitness for licensing questionnaire

All advisers completing an inspections renewal application are required to complete a fitness for licensing questionnaire.

See Licensing Toolkit – Fitness for licensing for more information.

Identification

At least every three years, the adviser must provide one passport-sized and passport quality photograph, taken within the last six months.

Photographs must be verified as a true likeness of them by a person who has known them for at least 12 months and is not related, part of a family group or living at the same address as them.  

This photograph will be used on the adviser’s wallet card and certificate. It will also be shown on the register.

Client funds

Any adviser who takes money in advance must provide bank statements for their client for the last three months and the related client account ledger.

Bank statements and the client account ledger must be in consecutive date order with no gaps for the three month period covered

The client account ledger may take the form of an accounting system, an electronic ledger or a hard copy ledger.

It is helpful for a client account ledger to include:

Client file

Applicants are required to upload the client file requested by the Authority.

A client file is a file that records the adviser’s work on behalf of a client in relation to a particular immigration matter. It should trace the adviser’s work on the client’s behalf, from the first contact with the client through to the resolution of the immigration matter. It should reflect an end-to-end process. The client file should be a copy of the information and documentation the adviser has kept.

The Registrar would expect to see the following on a complete client file:

OR

if the client file relates to a request for special directions, a refugee/protection claim or an appeal, a complete copy of the request lodged or claim or appeal filed.

The file should be in English. If there is any documentation or correspondence in another language, the adviser must provide translated copies. 

Continuing professional development

Advisers must complete at least 20 hours of acceptable professional development activities, including any mandatory activities, during each 12 month licensing period.

Where advisers have previously entered their CPD plan and record online, this will be prepopulated in the inspection form.

Alternatively, advisers may enter their CPD plan and record and upload documents that verify their attendance directly into the inspection renewal form, or upload their own records.

If you wish to upload your own records to an inspection renewal application, please write “Own records uploaded” in the required text fields and upload your own records in the upload evidence / additional information box.

Licensed immigration advisers seeking to renew their licence between 26 November 2015 and 25 November 2016 must, at a minimum, have completed for their last licensing period:

These requirements mirror those in the Immigration Advisers Competency Standards 2013.

All CPD requirements, including transitional arrangements, are set out in the Authority’s CPD Toolkit at www.iaa.govt.nz.

Declaration and payment

By ticking the online inspection renewal application declaration checkboxes, the applicant is declaring that:

Fee and levy

The adviser must pay the licence renewal fee when applying to renew their licence.  The immigration adviser’s levy is payable only if the application is successful.

For advisers who are ordinarily resident in New Zealand the licence renewal fee is NZ$909.78 and the immigration adviser’s levy is NZ$1129.55.

A person is ordinarily resident in New Zealand if they have spent more than 183 days in New Zealand in the immediately preceding 12 months and is not unlawfully in New Zealand.

For advisers who are not ordinarily resident in New Zealand the licence renewal fee is NZ$791.11 and the immigration adviser’s levy is NZ$982.22

The Authority only accepts payments in New Zealand dollars. An Adviser can pay their levy online by Visa or Mastercard. Advisers will immediately be able to download an invoice and receipt.

Assessment of inspection renewal applications

Submitted applications are allocated to a Technical Advisor for assessment.

If required the Technical Advisor undertakes a fitness assessment (see Licensing Toolkit – Fitness for licensing for more information). The Technical Advisor makes a recommendation to the Registrar who will decide whether an adviser is fit to hold a licence.

Once an adviser has been declared fit to hold a licence, the Technical Advisor will assess each application against the Immigration Advisers Competency Standards. You can read the competency standards in full on the Authority’s website www.iaa.govt.nz.

The Technical Advisor will contact the adviser if they require further information. They may also interview an adviser to obtain further information or clarification during the assessment process.

The Technical Advisor will not begin to assess the application until they have all the relevant documentation and information.

Performance indicators for client files

The Authority considers the following performance indicators against the client file submitted when assessing the competency standards for an inspection renewal.

If the evidence provided in an application raises concerns about whether an adviser is meeting the competency standards or indicates non-compliance with the Code, the Authority will consider these when assessing the application. The Authority may put these concerns to the adviser or seek additional information.  The information below is a guide only.

Competency Performance Indicator Assessment expectations
3.2 Demonstrate knowledge of and the ability to apply immigration and operational instructions made under the Immigration Act 2009. Does the adviser have a good understanding of the relevant, current immigration law and immigration and operational instructions? Is the adviser familiar with the tools available, such as the INZ Operational Manual, to help apply their knowledge?
3.3 Demonstrate knowledge of and the ability to provide tailored advice on avenues for seeking assistance including the Immigration New Zealand, Immigration Advisers Authority, and Immigration and Protection Tribunal websites and the Immigration New Zealand contact centre. Given a complex real-life scenario, can the adviser identify an appropriate avenue for seeking assistance for the client?
3.4 Demonstrate knowledge of and the ability to provide tailored advice on the full range of immigration matters relating to applications, appeals, requests, claims and other representations. Given a complex real-life scenario, can the adviser identify an appropriate immigration option for the client?
 4.1 Demonstrate the ability to assess a client’s immigration situation. Does the client file demonstrate:
  • understanding of eligibility criteria for the relevant immigration matter
  • gathering of appropriate information to assess the client’s eligibility
  • that the adviser conducts a preliminary assessment and identifies potential barriers to eligibility
  • identification and evaluation of possible options for the client
  • provision of appropriate advice and information to the client and reasons for the advice
  • that the adviser understands the requirements relating to medical evidence and character waivers.
4.2 Demonstrate the ability to provide services in an ethical, timely, conscientious, complete and accurate manner. Does the client file demonstrate the adviser’s ability to:
  • plan the application process
  • clearly communicate with the client the requirements for their immigration matter
  • co-ordinate and prepare applications
  • lodge applications with all the required supporting documents
  • take reasonable steps to inform clients to submit accurate and genuine documentation and the consequences of not doing so
  • satisfy all lodgement requirements
  • apply immigration knowledge as appropriate and in a manner that protects the client’s immigration status and entitlement

advise clients appropriately with a view to providing full information to immigration New Zealand

4.3 Represent clients through the immigration process Does the client file demonstrate the adviser’s ability to:

  • follow up on applications
  • liaise with Immigration New Zealand as required
  • keep clients informed in a consistent manner
  • recognise and work within time limits
  • understand and respond appropriately to issues as they arise including responding promptly to correspondence from Immigration New Zealand, the client and third parties
  • complete the process following decision-making including the timely return of the clients documents
  • ensure decisions are communicated to clients with the details and implications of outcomes explained, particularly appeal and review rights
  • check a visa label for accuracy
  • if applicable, advise clients in a timely manner of the procedures for complaints and the avenues for redress including rights to appeal
  • take necessary follow-up action
6.1 Demonstrate understanding of and commitment to professional, ethical, socially responsible and culturally sensitive behaviour and practice; in particular to all aspects of the licensed immigration advisers code of conduct. Does the client file demonstrate the adviser’s ability to:
  • provide honest advice
  • preserve client confidentiality
  • provide an internal complaint process
  • if applicable, handle conflicts with clients and other parties in a constructive and professional manner
  • if applicable, recognise financial or non-financial interests in goods or services recommended or supplied to clients
  • if applicable, disclose financial or non-financial interests in goods or services recommended or supplied to clients

 

  • if applicable, disclose conflicts of interest to other parties as appropriate

abide by the code

6.3 Demonstrate the ability to manage a business in accordance with New Zealand law and the licensed immigration advisers code conduct including the management of client services, business accounts and finances and where appropriate seek the assistance of other professionals. Does the client file demonstrate the advisers ability to:

  • manage client services
  • manage business accounts and finances according to New Zealand law and the Code requirements
  • apply immigration knowledge as appropriate and in a manner that protects clients immigration status and entitlement
  • seek the assistance of other professionals when necessary.
6.5 Demonstrate the ability to develop and maintain ethical and professional relationships with Immigration New Zealand and other relevant organisations. Does the client file demonstrate the adviser’s ability to develop a good professional relationship with INZ and other organisations, demonstrated by correspondence like letters or emails?
6.6 Demonstrate the ability to develop and maintain ethical and professional relationships with clients. Does the client file demonstrate the adviser’s ability to develop a good professional relationship with their client, demonstrated by correspondence like letters or emails?
6.7 Demonstrate the ability to develop and apply a clear and understandable written agreement.

 

Does the written agreement show evidence of:

  • A full description of the services to be provided by the adviser
  • Fees to be charged and a clear payment schedule which shows how and when the client will be invoiced
  • A refund policy.

 

6.8 Demonstrate understanding of the importance of quality assurance techniques to the provision of immigration advice. Does the adviser use any of the following techniques: checklists, peer reviews, case reviews, supervisor reviews, team briefings?

Once the Technical Advisor has finished assessing the application, they will make a recommendation to the Registrar. The Registrar will decide whether the application meets licensing requirements and if the applicant should be granted or refused a licence.

Inspections outcomes

Depending on the quality of the information provided and if there is evidence of issues with meeting the competency standards or breaches of the Code, the Technical Advisor will recommend to the Registrar that:

Improvement letter

An improvement letter will be issued if minor issues arise during the renewal process that relate to an adviser not meeting competency standards or breaching the Code.

This letter will set out the issues and will outline what steps the adviser is expected to take to address these issues. 

The adviser will be expected to demonstrate how they have addressed these issues at their next renewal.

If the adviser is unable to demonstrate that they have improved on the issues outlined by their next renewal the Authority may refuse the adviser’s application for renewal of their licence, cascade them from a full to a provisional licence or make a complaint to the Tribunal.

On-site inspection

The Authority can also undertake an on-site inspection. The adviser will be informed that the Authority intends to carry out an on-site inspection.

Own-motion complaint

An own-motion complaint will be recommended by the Technical Advisor if they are satisfied that the adviser has breached the Code of Conduct and that the breach has been re-occurring or serious.

The decision to lodge an own-motion complaint against an adviser will be made by the Registrar.

Refusal

See Licensing Toolkit – Grant of licence below for more information.

No further action

If the Registrar is satisfied that the adviser has no deficiencies in regards to competency standards or compliance with the Code then no further action will be taken and the application will be approved.

TTMRA renewals

All RMAs who have become New Zealand licensed immigration advisers under the TTMRA may apply to renew their New Zealand licence before their current licence expires.

From 26 November 2015, all advisers granted a New Zealand immigration licence under the TTMRA will be required to complete either a fast-track or inspection renewal application as per the requirements in this Toolkit.

Grant of licence

The Registrar will approve an application if they are satisfied that the applicant:

If the application is approved, the Authority will inform the applicant and will request the immigration adviser’s levy from the applicant.

The levy may be paid online at www.iaa.govt.nz by logging in, and must be paid within 20 working days. Applicants will immediately be able to download an invoice and receipt.

Once the levy has been paid a licence will be granted. A licence pack containing a wallet card and licence certificate will be sent to the applicant once a licence is granted. The register will be updated with the applicant’s details.

All licences are valid for 12 months from the date the Registrar grants it.

If a licence application is refused, the applicant will be informed by letter. The applicant has a right to appeal the refusal of a licence to the New Zealand District Court.