Zero tolerance to fraud ensures quality migrants

Some broad examples are (a) presenting a false or altered passport or other document in support of a visa application (b) providing any false or misleading information in support of a visa application (c) assisting someone to come to New Zealand, or remain here, when the person does not hold a visa or the correct type of visa (d) while assisting someone to come to New Zealand, misleading them as to the type of work they will be doing or the purpose of their travel.


The Immigration Act 2009 provides penalties of up to seven years imprisonment and a $100,000 fine for immigration fraud.

If residence status was obtained through immigration fraud, a person risks being deported.

A person who has procured citizenship based on immigration fraud can be deprived of his or her citizenship.

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) does not tolerate immigration fraud, because it undermines our immigration system. It can also contribute to situations where vulnerable people find they are being exploited.

The integrity of our immigration system is paramount, given its importance to our country and our international reputation.

INZ has a team of investigators dedicated to investigating and where appropriate, prosecuting people for immigration fraud.

Wide-ranging other anti-fraud measures are in place, including (a) screening of all passengers at offshore airport check-in (b) exchange of biometric information (e.g. fingerprints) with UK, Australia, Canada and US under the umbrella of the Five Country Conference (c) a joint US, Australia, New Zealand border control system that immediately identifies passengers when they check in at offshore airports if they attempt to use lost or stolen New Zealand, Australian or US passports and (d) close scrutiny of visa applications.

In addition to border controls, INZ pays particular attention to the horticulture/viticulture industries and the export education sector.

Sector fraud

Fraud in the horticulture and viticulture sector (exploitation of unlawful foreign workers) has reduced significantly since the introduction of a Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme in 2008.

The scheme enables approved employers to engage workers from various Pacific countries to assist them with seasonal work. For more information on requirements, see the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme.

Reflecting the importance of the education sector to New Zealand’s economy (at $2.3 billion per annum, it is among our top five export earners), INZ works closely with the Education Ministry and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority to ensure the integrity of education providers for international students.

If the Department is dissatisfied with the operation of a provider from an immigration perspective, it would apply sanctions that can include suspending or terminating the processing of applications for study.

Sex workers

New Zealand law prohibits foreign nationals on temporary visas working in the sex industry.

INZ is vigilant in identifying sex workers attempting to work illegally and action is taken against those who employ them or facilitate their entry into New Zealand. Sex workers working illegally also risk deportation and restrictions on returning to New Zealand.

Anyone who has suspicions of immigration fraud should call Crimestoppers on 0800-555 11.

Source: Immigration New Zealand

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