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Indian students lose deportation fight

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/02/2017

Nine Indian students fighting to stay in the country after their agents used fraudulent financial documents to obtain visas have lost their battle against deportation.

The nine are reportedly planning to take refuge in an Auckland church with the help of the Unite Union.

New Zealand has been taking increasing numbers of Indian students but that has also attracted more unscrupulous operators taking money from them to arrange visas.

Public protests last year claimed 150 were at risk of being kicked out because of agent fraud. Immigration NZ said the number was more like 39.

Some of those being deported had not completed their qualifications after being lured by the Immigration NZ promise of being able to work here afterwards, their lawyer Alastair McClymont told RNZ.

The Greens say the government should show compassion and allow them to stay.

National was happy to speed up immigration arrangements for US billionaires like Peter Thiel but now the government was refusing to help those in real need, says immigration spokewoman Denise Roche.

"This is a sad example of the two-tier immigration system that National has set up," she said.

"It is unjust to send these students home without giving them an opportunity to at least complete the qualification that they have already paid for."

Immigration NZ issued a brief statement to say the students hadn't been detained but would be deported if they did not leave the country voluntarily.

"As individuals who have exhausted all options to remain in New Zealand, the students have been invited to make arrangements to depart voluntarily or arrangements will be made for them to be deported," general manager of visa services Steve Stuart said.

"The individuals have not been detained and are not being held in custody."

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