'We didn't do anything wrong' - Indian students sent home

Anjaneyulu Pentyala
Anjaneyulu Pentyala

Anjaneyulu Pentyala is about to be deported, having spent $23,000 coming to New Zealand and simply says: "I don't know what to do."

He is part of a group of student visa-holders served deportation notices because their India-based agent used fake documents - he says they didn't know.

They paid 1,000,000 rupees to come here and study - that's $23,000.

Their one-year IT and business courses have just a week to go. There will be no refund.

Mr Pentyala says returning home will bring shame on their families.

"If I return, I can't see my parents' face. They feel bad, and I too feel very bad - how can I show my face to them?" he says.

"They trusted me, and they spent a lot of money on me. How can I go back - seriously - I can't go like this."

Newshub has revealed India-based agents overwhelmed New Zealand authorities with fraud.

"The agent has done the wrong thing. Why are they blaming us. We can't do anything," Mr Pentyala says.

"We didn't do anything wrong. Those bloody people have done everything." 

Hundreds of students are here illegally, but only a few are being deported.

'We didn't do anything wrong' - Indian students sent home


Labour leader Andrew Little says the Government has been "turning a blind eye".

"There's no question, the Government knows this. They know that there are students who are coming here that are exploited and they have done absolutely nothing about that situation."

Student visas allow work for 20 hours a week, and a pathway to New Zealand residence.

'We didn't do anything wrong' - Indian students sent home

Documents obtained by Newshub show the Government was warned about an exploitation issue two years ago, with a survey showing one in 10 students were working for less than the minimum wage.

But Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said the system had been "beefed up".

"We have a very good international education product. It earns about $3 billion of export earnings for New Zealand and the purpose of coming here is to get a good education."

International education is a $3.3 billion industry but the integrity of the system is under doubt.

The question is this: Have these students been buying an education or a chance to work and pathway to residency?