Cape Town - The New Zealand Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) has launched a campaign to inform South African travel agents about what immigration assistance they can legally provide in response to New Zealand’s visitor visa change for South African nationals.
New travel regulations for both South African and New Zealand travellers came into effect in November 2016, with South African visitors to New Zealand now requiring a visitor visa.
Shortly after, in a move labelled by the Department of Home Affairs as 'reciprocity', SA changed its visa regulations for Kiwi visitors, who now also need visas to enter SA.
SEE: New Zealand travellers now need visas to enter SA - DHA
Now Travel agents are being advised they need the proper licence to dispense advice.
“Travel agents may receive an increase in requests for immigration help from those wishing to come to New Zealand,” warns Registrar of the IAA Catherine Albiston.
“Agents may not be aware they can only provide very basic assistance, such as sharing Immigration New Zealand’s forms and website, and putting clients in touch with a licensed immigration adviser or exempt person if they do not hold a licence themselves.”
New Zealand immigration advice cannot be provided without a licence
New Zealand immigration advice cannot be provided without a licence, which includes advising a person on visa options or how best to fill out an application form. Exempt people include current New Zealand lawyers and Immigration New Zealand staff.
“If a client is unsure where to go for New Zealand immigration advice, the travel agent could supply the link to Immigration New Zealand’s website or the Immigration Advisers Authority’s free register of licensed advisers to help the client find a local licensed adviser,” says Ms Albiston.
SEE: New Zealand visa requirements 101: What Saffas and Kiwis need to know
“Do not risk giving or receiving unlawful immigration advice about New Zealand. If the agent or visa applicant is not honest with Immigration New Zealand, the current and future visa applications may be declined.”
The IAA is responsible for issuing licences to immigration advisers worldwide and handles complaints about poor immigration advice. The IAA does not provide immigration advice. Added to this, a person’s immigration application or status will not be affected by contacting the IAA. More information on the IAA can be found at www.iaa.govt.nz or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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