Immigration New Zealand is battling widespread fraud over student visas as the number of Indian people studying here is on the rise.
In the last year 20,000 student visas were applied for, and just over half were declined.
The majority of those applications were from unlicenced agents and advisers, which use false educational qualifications and financial statements to apply for student visas.
And there are warnings the problem could be more widespread.
Professor Paul Spoonley from Massey University says it’s going to be “an ongoing issue”.
“It’s a big industry in India, so I’m not surprised at the number that Immigration New Zealand have found,” he said.
“They’ve got a major reputational risk for us as a destination for Indian students … we’ve got to get on top of it because otherwise an important industry in this country is at risk.”
Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse says the issue is being looked into further.
“Immigration NZ and Education NZ have gone into that market to make sure that people are very, very clear about the expectations for being a student in New Zealand,” Mr Woodhouse said.
With legitimate students also at risk of being taken advantage of, the advice from Immigration NZ is do your research or become part of a growing number being turned away.
Source : TV NZ