India-visa rejection rate tops 50pc


More Indian student visas have been declined than approved in the past 10 months, as Immigration New Zealand battles widespread fraud.

In figures revealed to the Herald, 10,863 of the 20,887 applications the agency received from applicants in India were declined. Among the declined applications, 9190 had been lodged by unlicensed education advisers, student agents and lawyers who are exempt from licensing.

Munish Sekhri, vice-president of Licensed Immigration Advisers NZ, an India-based group representing licensed agents, said fraud in India was widespread and it would be an “uphill challenge” for Immigration to “win the war”.

“I would say one in three applicants from Punjab would have used some form of deception and up to 80 per cent for those from Hyderabad,” said Mr Sekhri. “The unlicensed agents they use do anything from arranging fake documents, providing fraudulent funding and even an imposter service.”

For about $1000, agents would set up fake emails and phone numbers to impersonate clients to take verification calls from Immigration.

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