07 April 2009

Advice on emigrating to New Zealand to become expensive for agents

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Giving advice on emigrating to New Zealand has become an expensive trade for migration agents, who will soon have to have a licence costing $2,000, reports Farming UK.

Bogus 'migration agents' giving false advice on emigrating to New Zealand will hopefully be flushed out by the Government's latest initiative, the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007.

The Act is an attempt to protect those emigrating to New Zealand from migration agents who are not fully trained to give the right immigration advice or who can potentially charge fees for services that they are not legally allowed to do so.  The new laws mean that all migration agents based in New Zealand who are giving advice to migrants need to have a licence to do so, as of 04 May 2009, and from 04 May 2010, all offshore migration agents will be under the same conditions.

Immigration New Zealand has stated they would not accept any New Zealand visa application that has been received from unlicensed onshore advisors.  This means all New Zealand visa application forms will be classed as failed if they are lodged by an agent not registered with the Government.

However, some believe that while the hefty licensing fee will work well to flush out the "fly-by-night" operators, some are sceptical that the fee is too high.  John Fegan of ATR Fegan, an agricultural recruitment company, says that the $2,000 fee is "eye-watering", considering that his company needs to pay an annual charge of $1,000 to keep staff registered to provide advice on emigrating to New Zealand.

"Our experience is increasingly that these guys need all round help and advice. It is impossible to assist an immigrant without giving advice." 

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their New Zealand visa application.

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