The great con: easy New Zealand residence

International students have been left feeling ripped off after changes to immigration rules shattered their dreams of residence, according to an Indian graduate and an immigration lawyer.

Mostly Indian students then.

Applications meeting the criteria for residency under the skilled migrant category have halved since a higher points threshold was introduced five months ago.

A new overhaul of the residence rules is expected later, which might lower the bar for skilled migrants, but is likely to favour more experienced immigrants. That would leave younger graduates unable to qualify under the new criteria.

Excellent. ? Looks like Winston Peters’ harping is having the right effect. ?This was always a rort, and it started in India.

Immigration lawyer Alastair McClymont said he had thousands of clients who felt deceived by Immigration New Zealand’s continual references to a pathway to residence.

He said unlicensed agents in India had not slowed down their false promotion of overseas education as a route to residence since the change in the points system.

“Some of them have been trying to get residence for years through work experience so it does affect them in a large way,” he said.

“But most of them have been sold the whole New Zealand education experience and they’ve already committed so much time and money into it, that they’re willing to keep on working here, gaining work experience and trying to gather enough points to meet the criteria to get residence, because that’s what they were sold.”


Mr MacLeod said the government decided to “flush the pool” – clear the skilled migrant category applications of what were deemed “lower-quality immigrants” including international students.

“They’re in the game for residency and the sheer numbers of those people by late last year were causing the system to effectively implode under the weight of those numbers,” he said.

“The government had to find a way of recalibrating and pushing those people, mainly international graduate students, out of that pool.”

We want their money, and then they need to go back home. ?Which is also why a lot of these “students” are in their twenties and thirties. ?They were never really here to learn anything. ?They just hope to get on the gravy train where John Key would let them have residence as soon as they had a regular gig at the local Indian takeaway.

That door is now closing. ? As it should.