Is it ok to give immigration advice to workers?

Date: 26th June 2017

Many businesses in resort towns such as Queenstown and Wanaka, rely on migrant workers to help staff their businesses, especially in the peak winter and summer seasons. If you employ, or are thinking about employing, migrant staff in your cafe, orchard, vineyard, farm, hotel, or tourism business… here’s a heads up.

The Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) is warning New Zealand businesses not to give current or prospective migrant employees advice on immigration matters. Only those licenced by the IAA can give advice in this situation.

Immigration advice includes:

  • Advising a person on what New Zealand visa they best qualify for.
  • How to best answer a question in a visa application form.
  • Representing a person to Immigration New Zealand.

Best practice for giving advice

So what should you do if you faced with visa-related questions from a worker? Instead of giving advice, direct them to where they can find the right information.

As a business, you can legally give information to employees directly from the Immigration New Zealand website or from a visa form. You can also suggest your employee contact Immigration NZ for help. Direct them to the Immigration Advisers Authority website to locate an adviser.

“Knowing how you can legally help will not only protect your business and employer reputation, but ultimately assist your employees with their immigration matter,” says Catherine Albiston, Registrar for IAA.

IAA warns businesses

“If visa applicants are not honest on their form about the help they received, the application may be declined and Immigration New Zealand may refuse future visa applications,” Albiston says.

“Don’t risk not being able to hire the staff you need. Ensure your prospective employees use a licensed immigration adviser if they need immigration advice.”

More about hiring migrant workers

Hiring someone from overseas

Hiring migrant workers in Queenstown



Posted in: Alexandra, Latest News, Queenstown, wanaka