Indian students facing deportation from New Zealand are victims of fraud, and the Government should allow them to stay, the Green Party said today.
The Government has issued nine students with deportation orders after discovering that their India-based education agents used fake documents to secure their study visas in New Zealand, and hundreds more students face a similar situation.
“Punishing students whose families have invested tens of thousands of dollars in their education is completely unfair,” said Green Party immigration spokesperson Denise Roche.
“These students have fallen prey to scammers taking advantage of New Zealand’s poor visa oversight systems. It’s not their fault that Immigration New Zealand’s systems did not do due diligence on visa applications by third parties.
“The Government needs to step up and take responsibility for its mistakes, by improving oversight of the system and offering better protection for students who are scammed by overseas agents.
“Steven Joyce wants to increase international education in this country by another $2 billion dollars, but his Government is failing in its duty of care to students who are already here.
“If the Government is truly interested in students’ learning, and not just in their tuition fees, they need to cancel this deportation order and allow these students to complete their education,” said Ms Roche.