21 May 2009

Emigrating to New Zealand before 2003 gets loophole for false applications

After investigating a case of a man emigrating to New Zealand on a false New Zealand visa application sponsored by an MP, it has been revealed that those emigrating to New Zealand before 2003 have an escape clause allowing them to do so.

People emigrating to New Zealand using the skilled migration program must pass a points test to have their New Zealand visa application approved.  In order to gain valuable points towards their application, potential migrants can organise a job offer in New Zealand.

National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi was recently found to be giving fake job offers to people emigrating to New Zealand.  An Indian immigrant who used the job offer – and never even met Mr Bakshi when in New Zealand – admitted to immigration authorities this week that this was the case. 

While immigration laws would have this man removed now, before 2003 it was legal to have a job offer to support one's New Zealand visa application even if that person emigrating to New Zealand never takes up that job.  As the man had submitted his application before 2003, he has the right to remain permanently in the country.

Mr Bakshi has denied that he committed any offences. 

"I don't remember. I offered someone [a job] and they did not turn up. I was never informed they got a visa or anything like that," the NZ Herald reported him as saying.

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to New Zealand.

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