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On 4 May 2010 the New Zealand Immigration Advisers Authority issued the following directive:
[From 4 May 2010] anyone giving immigration advice about New Zealand anywhere in the world must be licensed, unless they are exempt, under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act (the Act). This change is the final implementation phase of the Act. Mandatory licensing for advisers based in New Zealand became law on 4 May 2009.
The Act was introduced to make sure that New Zealand's reputation as a migrant destination is protected. The good news for migrants is that wherever they are in the world, they can have confidence that their adviser meets the high professional standards New Zealanders would expect an adviser to meet.
Licensed advisers faced a rigorous assessment process prior to licensing. Once licensed, advisers have to sign up to a code of conduct that provides consumer protection for migrants.
A list of licensed advisers and where they are based is available on our website, www.iaa.govt.nz. All licensed advisers carry a wallet licence card, the size of a driver's licence, with photo ID, and only licensed advisers are authorised to use the Immigration Advisers Authority Trademark.
If there is a dispute between a migrant and their adviser, the migrant can make a complaint to the Authority. Migrants have no redress to the Authority if their adviser is unlicensed.
Once migrants understand the standards and protection available with a licensed adviser, we believe that no migrant would use any unlicensed adviser.
There are currently 414 licensed advisers worldwide. Immigration New Zealand will no longer accept applications lodged by unlicensed advisers, no matter where they live. Migrants are warned that if they consult someone who is operating unlawfully, the "advice" they receive may ultimately be worthless, as they may not be allowed to move to New Zealand.