Immigration New Zealand cracks down on short-term visa abuse
A crack down on workers violating short-term visa rules appears to have been initiated by Immigration New Zealand. The move comes following an investigation into a company based in China that was contracted to do work for KiwiRail.
The Chinese locomotive provider has been told that any future visa extensions would require a high level of scrutiny and would only be provided in exceptional circumstances.
A probe by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment was conducted in April into employees who were on short-term visas to remove asbestos from trains. However the MBIE decided to halt the investigation because New Zealand law did not apply to the workers.
Although Michael Woodhouse, the Immigration Minister, told parliament that he was satisfied the workers had only been in the country for a short period of time, and no more than three months, it has since been revealed that most had been granted 90-day extensions. This means they can remain in the country for up to six months.
Immigration New Zealand has denied that any mistakes were made in granting the extensions, but has said that in future requests will have to meet a high threshold and that any extensions will only be considered where the circumstances are exceptional.
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