23 Sep 2011

Immigration adviser left client homeless

11:59 am on 23 September 2011

The Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal has fined an Auckland immigration adviser who left a migrant family homeless.

Artika Devi from the Manukau firm, Universal Immigration Services, has been ordered to pay $35,171 for her treatment of four separate clients.

In one case, a family moved from Auckland having been assured by Ms Devi they had jobs at a Marlborough vineyard.

On arrival, they discovered the jobs did not exist and were then forced to live in a tent until the campsite owner lent them money to return home. They have been awarded $17,000.

The Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal said the family was "essentially put into the position of being homeless."

The fine it has imposed in the four cases comprises penalties, fee refunds, and compensation for lost documents, loss of earnings and travel costs.

Ms Devi's immigration adviser's licence has been cancelled and she has been banned from reapplying for a full licence for two years though this does not prevent her from working under supervision.