The Registrar of the New Zealand Immigration Advisers Authority will be in the Philippines next week raising awareness about using licensed or exempt advisers only, when seeking New Zealand immigration advice.
Catherine Albiston will visit Manila and Cebu as part of a campaign to increase awareness in Filipino communities of the IAA’s licensed adviser register and list of exempt persons, and the risks associated with using unlicensed advisers.
“Unfortunately there are people who operate unlawfully and provide advice without a licence, which can result in a distressing situation for the visa applicant and their family,” says Ms Albiston.
“That’s why the IAA offers a register of licensed advisers on our website. There is no requirement for New Zealand visa applicants to use an immigration adviser, however if they need help then only a licensed immigration adviser or exempt person can assist.
“Exempt persons include Immigration New Zealand, Citizens Advice Bureaux, Community Law Centres, and current New Zealand lawyers,” she says.
New Zealand is a popular destination for Filipino migrants, to work, live, study, or visit, with the Philippines featuring in the top five nationalities for approved visas across these categories and making it a focus for the IAA.
“People who are not licensed or exempt, including Philippines Overseas Employment Administration agencies, can share publicly available information, but cannot provide immigration advice,” Ms Albiston says.