People exempt from licensing
People who can give immigration advice without a licence are:
- those who provide immigration advice in an informal or family context only, so long as the advice is not provided systematically or for a fee
- current New Zealand Members of Parliament and their staff who provide immigration advice within the scope of their employment agreement
- foreign diplomats and consular staff accorded protection
- New Zealand public service employees who provide immigration advice within the scope of their employment agreement (all public service departments are listed in Schedule 1 of the State Services Act 1988)
- New Zealand lawyers
- people working (either employed or volunteers) for New Zealand community law centres, where at least one lawyer:
- is on the employing body of the community law centre
- is supervising (either employed or a volunteer) at the community law centre
- people working (either employed or volunteers) for New Zealand citizens advice bureaux
- people who provide immigration advice offshore about student visas only
- people exempted by Regulations (there are currently none).
New Zealand Lawyers
For the purpose of this exemption, a lawyer is a person who holds a current practising certificate as a Barrister or as a Barrister and Solicitor issued by the New Zealand Law Society.
Employees of a lawyer or a law firm who provide immigration advice in the context of their employment agreement also fall within this exemption on the basis that the employee cannot give advice on their own account. The exempt lawyer employing this person is responsible for the advice given to the client, not the employee.
Lawyers are prohibited from applying for a licence under section 12(6) of the Act. The Immigration Advisers Authority will not accept licence applications from either lawyers or non-lawyer employees of law firms.
Offshore student advisers
Advisers who are offshore and provide advice in relation to student visa applications only are exempt. This exemption does not allow an adviser to provide advice to secondary or related applicants on any other visa type such as work, visitor or guardian visas. If an offshore adviser wishes to provide advice on student and other visa types, they must apply for a licence.