Under the Consumer Guarantees Act, immigration advisers within New Zealand must ensure their advice:
- is given with a reasonable degree of care and skill
- meets the purpose you are seeking advice for
- is given in a timely way
- is a reasonable price if none is agreed beforehand.
If the advice leads to problems, you can get your adviser to fix them, or ask for your money back. If the problem can’t be fixed, you can ask for compensation.
Read our Faulty or unsatisfactory services page to find out more.
Immigration advisers also can’t make false or misleading statements or behave in a false or misleading way when they give you advice, under the Fair Trading Act.
Read our False and misleading advertising or trading page to find out more.
Who can give you immigration advice?
You have various options as to who can lawfully give you immigration advice. These include using:
All immigration advisers who give immigration advice about New Zealand must be registered by the Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA), unless they are exempt. This applies to advisers based overseas or in New Zealand.
This is to protect you from the risks of using an unlicensed adviser who may lie on your visa application, or give you poor advice so that your visa application may be declined.
What type of immigration adviser you choose depends on their costs, level of expertise and what services they can provide to suit your needs.
Using a licensed immigration adviser
When you use a licensed immigration adviser they are specialised in immigration issues and also have to meet competency standards(external link) and a code of conduct(external link) set by the Immigration Adviser’s Authority (IAA).
Before you hire a licensed immigration adviser, check:
Under the IAA’s Code of Conduct(external link), your licensed immigration adviser must:
- be honest, professional, respectful and comply with New Zealand law
- help provide interpreters and translators if you need this
- provide you with ongoing timely updates
- charge fees that are fair and reasonable
- keep your personal information confidential and comply with the Privacy Act(external link)
- advise you whether you may be eligible for legal aid.
Using exempt immigration advisers
You can also use an exempt(external link) immigration adviser. These include:
- within New Zealand - lawyers, employees or volunteers at Community Law Centres or Citizen’s Advice Bureaux, government employees who give immigration advice as part of their jobs and current members of parliament and their staff
- outside New Zealand – education agents advising on student visas only, foreign diplomats and government employees who give immigration advice as part of their jobs.
The New Zealand Law Society can help you find a lawyer or organisation(external link).
Immigration New Zealand
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has information about New Zealand visas on their website(external link). You can: