The importance of appointing an accredited and licenced New Zealand Immigration consultant came into the spot light again this week after New Zealand’s border authorities launched an information campaign about the consequences of giving incorrect visa advice to travellers.
The New Zealand Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) has launched a campaign to inform South African immigration and travel agents about what immigration assistance they can legally provide in response to New Zealand’s visitor visa change for South African nationals.
New travel regulations for both South African and New Zealand travellers came into effect in November 2016, with South African visitors to New Zealand now requiring a visitor visa.
The local Department of Home Affairs reacted to the move by issuing new travel regulations for New Zealanders entering the Republic. These regulations included a visa requirement.
“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.”
Make sure your migration agent is licenced to issue New Zealand Immigration advice
In the information piece travellers, travel agents and immigration agents are warned that New Zealand immigration advice cannot be provided without a proper licence. This means that unless an immigration consultant is registered with New Zealand Immigration they may not have the authority to advice travellers on the visa’s and requirements for entering New Zealand.
“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 or the Immigration Advisers Authority’s free register of licensed advisers 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.”