A number of unscrupulous and unlicensed immigration advisers are facing charges in courts, although some of them have left the country.
The Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) has filed cases against a number of such persons. Among them are the following:
Richard Martin of Richard Martin Immigration Limited North Shore has been charged on three counts of providing immigration advice without the necessary license or exemption and one count of receiving a fee or reward for providing immigration advice without a license or exemption. The North Shore Court remanded him on bail until February 7, 2014.
Tengyu Yuan (Nick Yuan) of Noahark Consultant Limited was convicted of six charges of providing immigration advice without a licence and one charge of holding out as an immigration adviser after amassing more than $100,000 from six migrants. The Auckland District Court sentenced him to 10 months of home detention, 300 hours of community work and 12 months post-detention conditions.
Ashneel Nand of Universal Immigration Services (NZ) faces 42 charges, which include posing as a licensed immigration adviser and asking or receiving a fee for providing immigration advice without a license.
Sunita Devi of Universal Immigration Services (NZ) faces eight charges including providing immigration advice without a licence and asking or receiving a fee for the provision of immigration advice.
Registrar Barry Smedts said that IAA had investigated several such persons in 2013.
“What we have learned is that those operating unlawfully tend to use similar methods. They may ask you to sign a blank visa application form or tell you they are on close terms with Immigration New Zealand workers. Whatever you are told, it pays to follow our five tips when choosing an immigration adviser,” he said.
Some useful tips
Choose only those licensed by IAA or those exempt (www.nzls.org.nz)
Do not hide information or lie while filling an application form
Avoid people who do not put their name on your visa application
Do not sign any form before it has been completed and do not sign any document that you do not understand
Beware of people who claim ‘good contacts with Immigration New Zealand’