Citizens of India who are applying to emigrate to New Zealand through the Skilled Migrants Category are being urged to be careful when choosing their migration agent.
In recent months, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has declined more than 50 applications from India for permanent residence after discovering that they were submitted through an unlicensed immigration adviser.
INZ’s New Delhi branch identified 54 such applications submitted by Hyderabad-based Opulentus Overseas Careers.
INZ’s General Manager, Visa Services, Nicola Hogg, says that the branch reviewed all applications it held after identifying that that there may be an unlicensed agent involved in Skilled Migrant Category applications from the Chennai/Hyderabad area.
“INZ takes this matter extremely seriously,” Ms Hogg says. “Our investigators in New Delhi have established that applicants paid Opulentus to represent them in their visa applications and they were asked to deny the involvement of any immigration adviser if questioned by INZ.”
Under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007 anyone giving immigration advice onshore or offshore must be licensed by the Immigration Advisers Authority, unless they are exempt people such as lawyers with a current New Zealand practising certificate.
Opulentus had neither licensed immigration advisers nor exempt people. As a result, INZ declined all applications submitted by the company.
Ms Hogg says INZ’s action sends a strong message to unlicensed advisers that they will be found out if they do not comply with the requirement to be licensed.
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