24 Dec 2012

NZ adviser loses licence over passport

7:22 pm on 24 December 2012

A New Zealand immigration adviser is to be stripped of his licence after withholding the passport of a migrant who had to return to Fiji.

A tribunal has found Auckland-based Richard Uday Prakash was not entitled to fees he claimed the migrant owed him.

It also found he should not have withheld the man's passport under any circumstances.

Mr Prakash, of Vital Consulting 2007 Ltd, failed to get a migrant's work visa for the man, and withheld his passport to force him to pay fees.

The migrant had already booked a flight to Fiji as his visa was about to expire.

The Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal said licenced immigration advisers must return migrants' personal documents when they ask and they should have a written agreement with their clients.

Mr Prakash's immigration adviser's licence will be cancelled from 25 January.