19 Jul 2013

Immigration adviser's licence cancelled

10:34 pm on 19 July 2013

An immigration adviser in Christchurch has been found guilty of charging excessive fees to one client and misleading another.

The Immigration Advisers Disciplinary Tribunal has cancelled Christine Yap's licence to practice, fined her $5000 and ordered her to pay $4640 in compensation.

Yap was found guilty of charging a South African client $587 an hour - a figure the tribunal said was grossly excessive.

The tribunal said she tried to justify the fee because her client was based in South Africa. It said

the location should make no difference to the fee charged and she had abused her client's trust.

The tribunal said Yap had failed to comprehend the gravity of the offence and tried to blame the client for failing to check the fees charged by advisers.

In a second incident, Yap was found guilty of misleading a British client. She was ordered to repay the fees charged to both clients and will not be allowed to reapply for her licence to practice for two years.