Immigration advisers’ regime to be reviewed

  • Michael Woodhouse

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse has announced a review of the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007, which regulates immigration advice and created the Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) and the Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal.

“The Act is now more than five years old and a review is timely to ensure the new system is working as effectively and efficiently as possible.

“Before the IAA was established, anyone could put up a sign and call themselves an immigration adviser. Requiring immigration advisers to be licensed and sign up to a code of conduct has seen a significant improvement in the quality of immigration advice and the credibility of the sector.

“There have been some teething issues as would be expected with the creation of a new regulatory structure. Some immigration advisers have raised concerns with me about the current regime and I expect these to be addressed in the review,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“Most licensed immigration advisers are good, honest and work hard for their clients. However, there are still too many reports of advisers acting in bad faith, in legal grey areas, and with questionable conduct. These people tarnish the whole profession.

“It’s in everyone’s interests to raise the bar and ensure the business of independent immigration advice continues to cement itself as a reputable industry. This review is an opportunity to consult with advisers to see how this can best be achieved.”

Mr Woodhouse says the review will also be considering the appropriateness of current penalties for breaching the IAL Act, and the process for approving an applicant’s license.

The review will be carried out by MBIE, which will consult with a wide range of stakeholders. Findings are due to be presented to the Minister in June 2014.

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