1 Mar 2019

NZ woman sentenced for unlicensed immigration advice to Pacific community

10:21 am on 1 March 2019

A New Zealand woman from the Tongan community has been sentenced to 250 hours of community work for offering a "free pass" to Pacific migrants.

Lealeifuaneva Linda Moala was sentenced earlier this month, after pleading guilty to charges of unlicensed immigration advice in March last year.

Ms Moala, who worked as a contractor for Immigration New Zealand, took payments from family and friends while claiming she was an immigration officer.

Auckland Airport

Auckland Airport Photo: 123RF

New Zealand's Immigration Advisers Authority is urging members of the Pacific community to make sure immigration advisors are licensed.

"Unfortunately we hear of cases where even trusted friends or family have been recommended to help a person out with immigration advice, and it turns out they aren't licensed," said Andrew Galloway, the Registrar of Immigration Advisers.

The authority's online register of licensed advisers can be found at www.iaa.govt.nz.

Individuals found providing unlicensed immigration advice can face up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $NZ100,000.

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