Chinese students in visa fraud caught
Tue, 17 Jul 2012 4:32p.m.
Five Chinese students caught in a visa fraud bust are in custody awaiting deportation, while 31 others have also been tracked down and face deportation.
Immigration NZ last week began searching for 246 students in New Zealand as a result of fraudulent visa applications processed in Beijing.
Of those, 74 are illegal overstayers whose visas have expired and they are liable for deportation.
The remaining 172 are on fraudulently obtained visas and may become liable for deportation, depending on their individual circumstances.
They are among 279 people granted student visas based on false qualifications and bank statements supplied by two immigration agents in China in the past year.
Some never made into the country.
Immigration NZ general manager Peter Elms says every day compliance staff are finding students implicated in the fraud.
Last week, two students were found in Christchurch in a joint operation between Immigration NZ and police, and last night a further eight were found in Blenheim and served with deportation notices.
None of the eight understood English and some were believed to be working on a vineyard.
Mr Elms says Immigration NZ will investigate employers who employed student visa holders not entitled to work, and they could face charges.
Immigration NZ urges the remaining students to come forward, and has begun contacting their parents in China to ask them to encourage their children to front up or return home voluntarily.
Anyone deported from the country is unable to return for between two and five years.
Mr Elms says the investigation is expected to take several more weeks.
All of the students were enrolled at 20 education providers in the Auckland area, Government ministers said last week.
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17/07/2012 5:16:45 p.m.
Sadly quite often the NZ system is taken advantage of and the "students" or illegal workers know exactly that their visas are illegal, and if they can get away with it they will, so hopefully this will send a message out to other fraudulent and illegal practices taking place...
17/07/2012 5:12:54 p.m.
74 overstayers out of 279 visas granted. Is that a normal proportion for Chinese students? If so, there must be tens of thousands of illegally overstaying students in the country.Of course many are not actually students, but that is another matter....
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