15 February 2012

Immigration authorities clamp down on New Zealand visa fraud

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Immigration authorities in New Zealand have promised to continue deporting those who fraudulently apply for or abuse the rights their New Zealand visa provides them.

New Zealand visa

New Zealand's immigration authorities have promised to continue deporting foreign nationals who abuse their visas.

Recent figures released show that 57 people had their New Zealand visa cancelled and were deported by immigration authorities due to either criminal convictions or failing to meet the terms of the visa's requirements.

"People wishing to make their future [in New Zealand] must meet immigration policy to become a resident," said Steve Stuart, New Zealand Immigration's general manager, intelligence, risk and integrity.

"And that includes telling the truth and being who they say they are."

These statements come just a week after an Indian woman was deported after entering New Zealand on a false passport in 2002. Harleen Singh, 29, then used the passport to obtain residency, citizenship and even her own New Zealand passport.

Ms Singh entered New Zealand under a false name after failing to gain a genuine New Zealand visa under her on name.

Mr Stuart revealed that 24 individuals who held residency status in the country were deported last year; two were deported for having obtained their residency status by "fraud, forgery, false or misleading representation" and a further five were deported for not meeting the "requirements imposed on their residence permits."

Mr Stuart said a foreign national obtaining residency often led to citizenship status and eventually a New Zealand passport and it is for this reason why authorities are taking such a strict view on the exploitation of New Zealand immigration policy.

"Identity fraud is a major challenge for Immigration and is not tolerated. We investigate and we prosecute because the integrity of our immigration is paramount, given its importance to New Zealand and our international reputation," he concluded.

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy that specialises in helping people apply for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa.

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