Immigration New Zealand believes some Indian business owners are targeting students from India as cheap labour and charging them thousands of dollars for jobs that lead to residence.
Radio New Zealand reported that documents obtained under the Official Information Act state the practice is an established business model.
One document said a former student employed at one of the businesses told the Labour Inspectorate that he paid $20,000 for his job.
The report said Immigration received allegations that eight stores were involved in providing false information for visa applications, job selling, unlawful working and exploitative employment practices.
The documents also said former staff at an Auckland tertiary institute were believed to have helped students work, in breach of their study visas.
A former employee at a tertiary institute was found to have been working with education agents in India.
It was found he provided a package including entrance to the country through a student visa, and residency through employment at his numerous businesses, including a petrol station, fast food chains, sports bar, ICT sales and service businesses.