Over 50 per cent of Indian students have not been issued visas in the past 10 months owing to the fraud perpetrated by unlicensed agents.
According to New Zealand Herald, 10,863 applications of the total 20,887 were declined. Of the declined applications, 9,190 had been filed by unlicensed education consultants, lawyers and agents barred from licensing.
Munish Sekhri, VP of Licensed Immigration Advisers NZ, a group representing licensed agents from India, was quoted by the news daily as saying that visa fraud in India was extensive. The agents, who are unlicensed, would offer all services from arranging phony documents, fake funding and more.
The agents would create fake phone numbers and emails to pose as clients and receive verification calls from Immigration New Zealand (INZ) by charging a fee of $1,000.
Sekhri cites an Indian newspaper advertisement posted publicly by a company named Imperial Education, which said that it could help students get visas even if they did not have enough funds to show. Many private training establishments (PTEs) and technology and polytechnic institutes have been supporting this fraud, he adds.
He said that the need of the hour was the compulsory licensing of agents who hunt for students and urgent elimination of these ‘cowboys’ from the industry.
Immigration NZ area manager Michael Carley said they and the IAA (Immigration Advisers Authority) knew about these fraudulent means. In order to address this issue, INZ and IAA had run a campaign in India to encourage the use of a New Zealand adviser for assistance to migrate to New Zealand.
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