Peters: "Partnership has become an immigration back"
Since 2008 more than 14,000 foreign students have become permanent residents by finding Kiwi partners, NZ First leader Winston Peters says.
"Partnership has become an immigration back door - the number who have found love and stayed exceeds the populations of Kaikohe, Dargaville and Kerikeri," he said.
"Since 2008 we have granted residency to 14,204 foreign students on the basis of partnership - Immigration New Zealand approves over 95 percent of applications."
Mr Peters says he doubts immigration staff visit and interview every one of the more than 2000 applicants each year to check whether they're bona fide.
"Many applicants know they don't have the resources to check.
Mr Peters says in total, 47,208 foreign students have been granted residence.
"China and India account for 58 percent of the figure - that's almost equal to the population of Invercargill," he said.