by –Ruchika Agarwal
Indian High Commissioner Mr Sanjiv Kohli,assured that every effort would be taken to safeguard the interests of the students My submission has been to allow these students to complete their education and to let them stay as per terms of visas granted to them.He is still in diplomatic communication with INZ to finalise amicable solution to protect the interests of Indian students who got notice for deportation
150 students collapsed in a heap when Immigration New Zealand notified them in writing that they are to be booted out of New Zealand as they were staying unlawfully in the country. Their dreams shattered when they were informed that the Visa documents that supported their student visas were fraudulent owing to which they would be deported later this month.
INZ issued Liability notices to 41 Indian students in regards to submitting fraud documents to enter into NZ least realizing that they and their families had spent fortune to pay for their studies and a bright future.
The government’s decision to deport these students were scorned by Immigration Lawyer Alastair McClymont. As per him the students got their visas through education agents and had no idea about fake documents being submitted on their behalf. Mr. McClymont also said, “ Deporting these students for something that was not their fault was wrong. Also it was unfair to make the students victims of a scam by their agents.”
The students are demanding justice and expressed their discontentment over the way NZ authorities have dealt with the situation. They have been made scapegoats by the agents One of the student victim of this scam ( name undisclosed) has made an appeal to the government to intervene on humanitarian grounds and show mercy on all the students so that they can work hard and prove their loyalties to NZ. He said,” We are not cheaters. We are victims”.
Protests were planned and a rally held to raise awareness of the situation and to stop the deportation of these Indian students.
In this context Indian High Commissioner assured that every effort would be taken to safeguard the interests of the students and they would to be treated fairly. He said that the consequences of the system failure cannot be transferred to just the students thus blaming any party wouldn’t lead them to an appropriate solution. He strongly assured the students by saying “My submission has been to allow these students to complete their education and to let them stay as per terms of visas granted to them. The lessons learnt from the investigations are helpful in setting in place necessary safeguards but seem harsh and unfair if applied with retrospective effect. I am confident that our relationship has the maturity to deal with such challenges.”
As per Ethnic communities spokesperson a sympathetic response must be considered and the government needs to take a fair decision keeping in mind the $3 billion education industry of New Zealand which comes from 125,000 international students.. Last year, there was an unprecedented surge in Indian students , more than 29,000 Indian students enrolled to study .
In the writer’s opinion on this situation a due compensation keeping in mind the time, effort and dead money invested by the student and their families should be reimbursed in full by the concerned authorities. If not compensation, then atleast the students should be allowed to complete their respective courses/programs with a underwriting that due to this situation their open work permits will not be issued thereby making it a restricted visa category on “study only” basis.