In its front page story (‘Indian migrant workers refused entry’) Indian Newslink December 15, 2012) had reported that officials of Immigration New Zealand (INZ) in Delhi were allegedly refusing Indians on work visas to return to New Zealand if they have stayed in the country longer than four weeks.
The publication had also reported that Auckland based Barrister Alastair McClymont had filed an urgent petition at the Auckland High Court on December 10, 2012 on behalf of his eight clients, restraining INZ from the practice.
“Many Indians, who have gone to their home country to celebrate Diwali and other family and social occasions, have been refused permission to board flights to New Zealand on the ground that they have ‘overstayed’ in India, with INZ officials saying that their job position and other details need to be investigated,” he had said.
Mr McClymont had said that there was no such action taken by any other INZ office anywhere in the world and hence believed that Delhi officials were ‘targeting Indian workers.’
“Immigration officials in India have told my clients that they have to determine if they have been in India for more than four weeks ‘on genuine grounds’ and that they would have to contact their employers in New Zealand for verification. But they sit quiet on these cases. They did nothing, letting time lapse,” he said.
Mr McClymont had said that many Indians go to their home country for an extended period (in some cases up to two or three months) because they use the time to get married, arrange the marriage of their siblings or children, secure admission for their sons and daughters in schools and universities and for a variety of other reasons.
“While the officials have the right to examine the genuineness of each case, such inspection or investigation should be carried out without delay. We have reason to believe that INZ is deliberately delaying the process so that the migrant workers would ‘automatically lose their jobs.’ This is unfair,” he said.
INZ posted the following statement on its website on December 21, 2012.
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) wishes to assure Indian visa holders that there has been no change to Immigration policy.
However, following recent media coverage, INZ wants to assure visa holders that they are generally able to travel to and from New Zealand in accordance with the travel conditions of their visa.
INZ will endeavour to contact anyone it has any concerns about to discuss their individual situation and any effect this may have on their ability to travel.
INZ also wants to reiterate that the Indian market is very important to us and New Zealand welcomes Indian nationals.