No amnesty for duped Indian students - Joyce

Students protest in Auckland against their deportation (Adrien Taylor / Newshub.)
Students protest in Auckland against their deportation (Adrien Taylor / Newshub.)

Steven Joyce has a simple message to Indian students facing deportation over their use of fake documents to enter New Zealand: tough.

Forty-one students are being sent back and dozens more could follow after it was found their applications to study in New Zealand used fraudulent documents.

The students say their India-based agents are to blame, and they've done nothing wrong. A demonstration took place today in Mt Roskill, Auckland, outside National list MP Parmjeet Parmar's office.

No amnesty for duped Indian students - Joyce

Protesters in Mt Roskill (Adrien Taylor / Newshub.)

But speaking to TV3's The Nation on Saturday morning, Mr Joyce said the responsibility was with the students to make sure their papers are legit.  

"They have to make a declaration that all the information they supply to New Zealand is correct," the Minister for Tertiary Education explained.

"They get agents to advise them, but it is squarely and clearly the responsibility of the student."

Mr Joyce said students "would say" they didn't know, even if they did, to avoid deportation. He's not sure how many students are only here thanks to dodgy agents.

"That's like saying how many people have committed crime that you don't know about? It could be a few hundred. I literally don't know."

Around 22,000 Indian students study in New Zealand each year. None of those sent home will get a refund of their fees - some have spent tens of thousands of dollars.

Mr Joyce denied it was unfair to take a hard line against Indian students, while letting hundreds of Filipinos who used fake documents to come here stay.

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse relaxed the rules for hundreds of Filipino dairy workers, so if they'd have been eligible for a work visa anyway if they didn't lie, they'd be allowed to stay.

"In those cases, when they were looked into, most of them were found to have embellished their CVs - but actually they would have qualified, most of them, to come here anyway," says Mr Joyce.

No amnesty for duped Indian students - Joyce

Protesters in Mt Roskill (Adrien Taylor / Newshub.)

About 40 percent of Indian applicants to study in New Zealand are rejected. Mr Joyce says there are "unique challenges" in dealing with Indian visa agents.

Newshub.

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Email
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Viber Share to WhatsApp Share to Email