Who can give immigration advice

It can be a challenging process settling in a new country. Migrant clients may turn to your teams and staff for advice on their immigration matters.

“Make sure you know how you can legally help migrants asking for immigration advice, and who you can point them to for further assistance,” says Registrar for the Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) Catherine Albiston.

“Legally, anyone providing New Zealand immigration advice must be licensed by the IAA or exempt. Exempt people include current New Zealand lawyers, Immigration New Zealand staff, Citizens Advice Bureaux staff, and Community Law Centres.

“Migrants can find lots of free information on the Immigration New Zealand website.  If your client needs personalised immigration help, directing them to a licensed immigration adviser will help ensure they receive professional, honest and reliable advice.

“Some licensed advisers and immigration lawyers will do pro-bono work for people in need. Let your client know that they can ask about this,” says Ms Albiston.

As a settlement service provider, you can:

  • Provide information directly from the Immigration New Zealand website or from a visa form.
  • Direct people to Immigration New Zealand for help so they can find out what visa they need and complete the application themselves.
  • Direct people to the Immigration Advisers Authority website to locate a licensed immigration adviser or a list of exempt people.
  • Translate immigration information from one language to another.
  • Fill in a visa application form for a client under their direction, as long as you don’t provide advice.

“It’s important that you are honest to Immigration New Zealand if you assist clients with visa applications and declare your help,” adds Ms Albiston.

“If someone in your organisation would like to help further, you can become a New Zealand licensed immigration adviser following a course of study that can be completed online.”

A scholarship is available to a person working for a not-for-profit organisation each year to complete the Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice. Licence fees are also waived for not-for-profit advisers.

The IAA Guide to Licensed Advisers can be found here in English, Simplified Chinese, Korean, Hindi, Punjabi, Samoan and Tongan and can be downloaded and supplied to clients. You can also request hard copies from the IAA.

If you need further information or have any questions, please email the IAA at:


Immigration Advisers Authority website

Become a New Zealand licensed immigration adviser

IAA Guide to Licensed Advisers