New Zealand's immigration system continues to be harangued by scams this week as yet another scam was uncovered less than a week after the second scam targeting the Tongan community was uncovered.
While immigration authorities address certain technicalities in the New Zealand visa system this week, a large scam which has unearthed almost 300 international students in the country without a valid visa threatens to overshadow positive moves in policy.
A model student at Wellington's Victoria University has had his New Zealand visa application rejected over a technicality in his application...read more.
New Zealand Immigration Minister Nathan Guy has agreed to a pilot scheme which will see winter sports operators be able to hire foreign staff much easier...read more.
An investigation led by Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has uncovered almost 300 Chinese students who obtained a New Zealand visa by fraudulent means...read more.
Model student refused New Zealand visa over technicality
Chinese student Jack Du
now faces the prospect
of leaving New Zealand.
A model student at Wellington's Victoria University has had his New Zealand visa application rejected over a technicality in his application.
Chinese student Xinkang 'Jack' Du now faces being expelled from the country after his New Zealand visa application was rejected because he did not supply a criminal record certificate with his application.
Mr Du applied for an extension to his student visa in May but was rejected for not supplying a valid criminal record check from China. Mr Du then graduated with his first class honours degree in biomedical science and marine biology and reapplied for another visa, this time for a graduate job search visa.
However, Mr Du's application was rejected again, despite submitting a clean criminal record check, for being in the country for a month without a valid visa.
Mr Du maintains that he could not supply the criminal record check in his initial application as he hadn't received it at the time of his application and submitted it as soon as he received it himself.
The exceptional student, who graduated first in his class and was featured on the university's website advertising the establishment to other international students, now faces expulsion from the country, despite having paid NZ$25,000 (£13,000) a year for his studies and having the qualifications listed on New Zealand immigration authorities' shortlist.
"It's very sudden, it just feels like it's out of nowhere and obviously I've had plans, I'm quite keen to use my skills to make a difference here," said Mr Du.
"It seems quite harsh for someone who has been studying here; I was hoping to make a difference."
Victoria University have written letters of support for Mr Du's application and the case has been referred to the association immigration minister, Kate Wilkinson.
back to the top
NZ visa rules relaxed for winter sports
Foreign workers on NZ slopes
will no longer have to work
30 hours a week.
New Zealand Immigration Minister Nathan Guy has agreed to a pilot scheme which will see winter sports operators be able to hire foreign staff much easier.
Under current New Zealand visa rules, employers must guarantee that staff will work at least 30 hours a week to be eligible for a visa. However, certain aspects of the tourism industry, particularly snow sports operators wanting to employ overseas staff for skiing and snowboarding instructors, have long since complained about the difficulty of meeting the requirements.
"Some operators were having difficulties meeting Immigration NZ's requirement for 30 hours work weekly in highly weather-depedent activities," said a Tourism Industry Association (TIA) newsletter.
However, after the TIA lobbied the NZ government, Immigration Minister Nathan Guy agreed to waive the 30 hour requirement in a pilot scheme which will run until September 2013.
"This is a big win for operators who can't find skilled New Zealand staff to do the job and have to recruit competent overseas-based individuals," said the TIA newsletter.
Mr Guy's pilot scheme requires applicants to have at least three years' experience in a similar capacity overseas and to have a guaranteed job offer paying at least NZ$20 (£10.34) an hour.
The move has been welcomed by tour operators in Queensland, one of New Zealand's premier winter sports locations, who claim the scheme will allow for a much greater degree of flexibility in hiring qualified staff.
back to the top
Investigation reveals hundreds of students using fraudulent New Zealand visa
There could be as many as 231
students without a valid New
Zealand visa still in the country.
An investigation led by Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has uncovered almost 300 Chinese students who obtained a New Zealand visa by fraudulent means.
Investigators are now trying to determine whether any INZ staff were involved in the scam and attempting to track down 231 students who are still in New Zealand.
Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce, who detailed the depth of the investigation, said questions had been raised over the integrity of staff members.
"There are investigations as to whether perhaps one or two Chinese nationals who were working for Immigration New Zealand may be involved," said Mr Joyce, adding that INZ suspected that many of the colleges teaching the students might not be aware their visas are invalid.
"They are probably in the situation where they have been the unwitting recipient of students that don't have the correct information.
"In terms of international education there is always a challenge with some people who are attempting to use any country's international education system as a way of entering the country."
The latest scandal comes on the heels of several other scams that have plagued New Zealand immigration authorities in recent months including two separate scams targeted at the Tongan community in New Zealand.
However, Acting Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson says New Zealand receives as many as 25,000 student visa applications from China every year and while the number of fraudulent visas uncovered was 'significant', the fact it was uncovered showed the system was working.
Ms Wilkinson said that some of the students could face deportation but depending on circumstances, this might not be the case for all:
"Natural justice says that they're all entitled to give their side of the story."
back to the top
- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor for the New Zealand Visa Bureau.
©Visa Bureau 2003-2013