New information show 15 bank managers in India have been identified by Immigration New Zealand as presenting fraudulent documents on behalf of foreign students studying here, Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says.
“Documents obtained by Labour under the Official Information Act show bank managers doctored genuine information which was then used by education agents to prove students had the funds to pay for their New Zealand tuition (see INZ No Surprises Factsheet attached).
“This fraud is so widespread, Immigration NZ officials say “there has been no agent we’ve looked at that hasn’t been using it, to some extent or another’ (see INZ Fraud Penetration Email attached). There are more than 1000 education agents operating in India.
“The Government was warned in 2012 that New Zealand’s international education sector was rife with rorts. Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce and Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse continue to turn a blind eye to this fraud because the sector is so lucrative.
“These documents confirm hundreds – possibly thousands – of students have arrived in New Zealand with these fraudulent papers.
“These people are desperate for a New Zealand education to better the lives of their families back in India. They are vulnerable and being preyed on by unscrupulous education agents and bank managers who are making money out of them.
“Now hundreds of students here face mass deportation if they can’t prove they have the money they claimed to have on their original study applications.
“The Government must take urgent action to protect these students from being exploited and protect New Zealand’s international reputation as a fair and honest country,” Iain Lees-Galloway says.