Richard James Martin has been charged with providing immigration advice without being licensed.
New Zealand’s Immigration Advisers Authority has brought four charges against the former immigration lawyer in Auckland’s the North Shore District Court following an investigation.
Richard of Richard Martin Immigration Limited, was charged under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act with three counts of providing immigration advice when neither licensed nor exempt; and one count of receiving a fee or reward for such advice.
The 48-year former immigration lawyer, who helped entertainer Michael Barrymore to obtain residency in New Zealand, entered not guilty pleas in the court on 18 December 2013.
Registrar of Immigration Advisers Barry Smedts said: â€œThese charges are part of the Authorityâ€™s ongoing work targeting people giving immigration advice unlawfully.â€
Barry urged people to choose their immigration adviser wisely.
â€œLicensed immigration advisers are skilled people who have met immigration adviser competency standards and who follow a code of conduct.
People acting unlawfully can be incompetent and have no obligation to treat migrants ethically.â€
Licensed immigration advisers are listed on the Authorityâ€™s online register at www.iaa.govt.nz.
Richard has been remanded on bail till 7 February 2014. This is not the first time that Richard has found himself on the wrong side of the law. In 2011, the Authority had brought 91 immigration-related charges against him for alleged offences between 2009 and 2010.
Earlier in 2009, Richard was convicted for stealing money from his former employer, and was sentenced to five months home detention, according to a report in Lawyer’s Weekly. Subsequently, the New Zealand Law Society struck him off the lawyer’s register.
Anyone considering seeking immigration advice from a lawyer is advised to check the New Zealand Law Societyâ€™s online register. This will confirm the person they are hiring holds a current practising certificate.
Anyone looking for immigration attorney for New Zealand should check the Immigration Advisers Authority online register to find a licensed immigration advocate. The register contains an international list of licensed immigration advisers and can be consulted either online or by contacting the Immigration Advisers Authority directly on New Zealand freephone 0508 422 422 (from within New Zealand).
The Immigration Advisers Authority issues licences to people who are competent to give immigration advice. If you have any complaint against licensed immigration advisers in New Zealand, contact the authority which investigates people giving immigration advice without a licence or exemption.
The Immigration New Zealand website provides detailed information about: