Airlines will be fined for not vetting travellers to New Zealand properly
International airlines which do not guarantee passengers have the correct documents to enter New Zealand will be fined under new border rules.
Some 788 travellers have been declined admission at New Zealand airports in the last year. Reasons include using fake documentation, not possessing a visa or having previous criminal convictions, reports the NZ Herald.
Immigration New Zealand claims it costs about $600 for each passenger that is rejected, which includes immigration supervision, lodging and food. It can take between 12 and 72 hours to process every entry refusal. The new requirement will mean airlines are required to check passengers have valid documents, such as a passport and valid visa, and confirm they meet the entry conditions for New Zealand's before they are permitted to board the plane.
Immigration also claimed that people entering the country without the right immigration may pose a "significant cost" with genuine asylum claims. Currently carriers are responsible for returning people who have been refused entry, but not other costs.
The immigration department's acting manager of intelligence, risk and integrity Peter Elms said that the this new system will make an immediate, efficient and proportionate act to be taken when carriers break their responsibilities.
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