The New Zealand Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) has launched a campaign to inform South African travel agents about what immigration assistance they can legally provide their clients.
“Travel agents may receive an increase in requests for immigration help from those wishing to come to New Zealand,” warns Registrar of the IAA Catherine Albiston.
“Agents may not be aware they can only provide very basic assistance, such as sharing Immigration New Zealand’s forms and website, and putting clients in touch with a licensed immigration adviser or exempt person if they do not hold a licence themselves.”
New Zealand immigration advice cannot be provided without a licence, which includes advising a person on visa options or how best to fill out an application form. Exempt people include current New Zealand lawyers and Immigration New Zealand staff.
“If a client is unsure where to go for New Zealand immigration advice, the travel agent could supply the link to Immigration New Zealand’s website (external link) or the Immigration Advisers Authority’s free register of licensed advisers (external link) to help the client find a local licensed adviser,” says Ms Albiston.
“Do not risk giving or receiving unlawful immigration advice about New Zealand. If the agent or visa applicant is not honest with Immigration New Zealand, the current and future visa applications may be declined.”
The IAA is responsible for issuing licences to immigration advisers worldwide and handles complaints about poor immigration advice. The IAA does not provide immigration advice.
A person’s immigration application or status will not be affected by contacting the IAA.