Auckland, February 22, 2017 (1155 pm)
A small but strong group of international Indian Students ended its sanctuary at Auckland Unitarian church at the weekend pending negotiations between their lawyer and Immigration New Zealand (INZ) regarding their deportation.
The negotiations finalised earlier today.
The students have agreed to leave New Zealand voluntarily and INZ will not detain them if they depart by Sunday midnight or Monday midnight depending on flights and travel documents.
The students will deem to have been deported and will have a five-year re-entry ban. Character waiver has also not been granted.
The group is preparing a request to the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate INZ’s interpretation of the character waiver process which occurs in visa applications.
The students would await the outcome of any Ombudsman’s investigation before applying for visas to return to New Zealand.
While this is a very disappointing outcome, the supporting organisations in New Zealand will not stop the fight against injustice that these students continue to suffer.
Anu Kaloti is Spokesperson of Migrant Workers Association of Aotearoa New Zealand.
Students going back home to India (Radio New Zealand Picture)