Register before Dec 2, New Zealand tells immigration advisers

By Amandeep Sehmi, IANS,

Hamilton (New Zealand) : New Zealand immigration advisers based in other countries should submit their application before Dec 2 for getting a licence, an official said Monday.

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Barry Smedts, registrar of immigration advisers, Monday said: “We are keen to get as many applications in as early as possible, because our experience with the onshore licensing process showed that many advisers leave it to the last minute to apply.”

“People who are currently working as immigration advisers should be aware by now that Immigration New Zealand will refuse to accept applications lodged by applicants using an unlicensed immigration adviser, and this will include advisers whose licence application is in the pipeline,” he added.

New Zealand has made it mandatory for immigration advisers based abroad to get a licence by May 4, 2010.

Smedts said that offshore licensing eliminated uncertainty for migrants at a potentially stressful time in their lives.

“Licensed advisers will be able to show their clients and prospective clients that they meet New Zealand Government quality standards,” he said.

Richard Howard, Pathways NZ managing director and immediate-past chairperson of the New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment said it’s better for offshore immigration advisors to lodge their applications now, as licensing ensures that immigrants receive a high level of professional service.